Rededication Celebrates a New Beginning for Silliman College
On November 27, 2007, President Richard Levin and Master Judith Krauss hosted the formal rededication of Silliman College. More than 150 alumni, friends, students, and faculty gathered for the ceremony, which concluded three years of construction and celebrated a new beginning for the College, the eighth of Yale’s residential complexes to undergo a top-to-bottom renovation. Honored guests included lead donors John L. Furth ’52 and Joseph J. Magliocco ’79.
Master Krauss welcomed guests to the dedication and thanked the students, administration, friends, and alumni who supported the project. “What I like most about this renovation is that it has preserved the essential Silliman—our history, important architectural landmarks, and traditions—while creating an elegant and functional new 21st Century relevance,” she said.
Music, History Set the Tone for a Heartfelt Ceremony
The afternoon event unfolded in Silliman’s elegant dining hall, a showpiece of the project with its gleaming hardwood floors, marble fireplace, wood-paneled walls, and Palladian windows. A lively rendition of Pablo Sarasate’s “Zapateado” set the tone for the celebration as Silliman’s Mari-e Takahashi ’08 played violin and Samuel Bagg ’09 keyed one of the College’s four, newly refurbished Steinway grands, made possible by the generosity of Silliman alumnus Preston G. Athey ’71.
In his dedicatory remarks, President Levin revisited the history of the residential college system and recalled its founding benefactor, Edward S. Harkness B.A. 1897, who advocated in the 1920s to create a stronger sense of community at Yale. Levin said, “I think Mr. Harkness would have been thrilled by this renovation. He would have been overjoyed that his vision of the residential colleges has triumphed.”
Levin directed particular thanks to Magliocco and Furth for their leadership support in bringing a new life to Silliman College. He presented each with an original watercolor painting of Silliman’s courtyard, a gift expressing the gratitude of the Yale community.
Donors Recall Past, Envision Future for Silliman
Mr. Furth was invited to the podium to share his thoughts with the gathered crowd. He said, “Yale has been an ongoing source of pride and inspiration in my life. I am thrilled to play a small part in the reinstallation of this great college.” Furth was joined at the event by members of his family, including his children and his brother William H. Furth ’54. Two of his former Yale roommates and lifelong friends, Edward Kline ’52 and Saran Jonas, M.D. ’52, were also in attendance.
Magliocco, whose son Matthew ’08 is a current Silliman resident, directed a portion of his remarks to the students, saying, “You are truly fortunate to be at Yale during one of its golden periods. I hope you will follow in the footsteps of past alumni and keep Yale strong.” Both Furth and Magliocco joined Levin and Krauss for the ribbon cutting, punctuated by musical selections including “Bright College Years” from the Baker’s Dozen, one of Yale’s most popular a cappella singing groups.
At the close of the formal ceremony, Master Krauss invited guests to a reception in the common room. Student-led tours visited highlights of the College renovation, including the art gallery, the seminar rooms, redesigned common spaces, the enlarged servery, and Silliflicks, a state-of-the-art movie theater.
Yale Committed To Ongoing Renovation Program
Silliman, the largest of the twelve residential colleges, opened in 1940 and was the latest to undergo a full-scale revitalization as part of Yale’s ongoing renovation program. Already complete are Berkeley, Branford, Saybrook, Timothy Dwight, Pierson, Davenport, and Trumbull colleges, and students from Jonathan Edwards are currently residing in the swing dorm while their college is under construction. Calhoun is next, scheduled to close in spring 2008, with Samuel Morse and Ezra Stiles to follow.
The ceremony captured the excitement of Silliman College students, grateful to be back, with new spaces to explore. Expressing thanks on behalf of current and future Sillimanders, Alexandra Cavoulacos ’08 said, “Our College is bright and shiny, elegantly renovated, and it still feels like home. The renovations exceeded our wildest dreams.”
(December 1, 2007)