World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Leverett House


Leverett House

The Leverett House Crest
Leverett House

is the largest (by number of students) of twelve residence houses for upperclass undergraduates (who have already completed their first year) at Harvard University. It is situated along the north bank of the Charles River in Cambridge and consists of McKinlock Hall, constructed in 1925, two 12-story towers completed in 1960, and two floors of 20 DeWolfe Street, a building Leverett shares with two other houses at Harvard.


  • Structure 1
  • History 2
  • People 3
  • House symbols 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


McKinlock Courtyard

The bulk of McKinlock Hall consists of 5 entryways, each of which leads to four or five floors of suites for approximately 35 students. McKinlock also serves as the center of Leverett social life: it houses the Leverett Dining Hall, the Junior and Senior Common Rooms, the Old Library Theatre, the Master's Residence, and several other common spaces.

The Leverett Towers (commonly referred to as F- and G-Tower since the entryways in McKinlock span A-E), on the other hand, serve a primarily residential function. Each tower consists primarily of singles and doubles and holds approximately 150 students. The top floors of the towers - especially those facing south - boast outstanding views of the Boston skyline and the Charles River for the students lucky enough to live there. The ground floor of G-Tower features a common area that house residents have nicknamed the "G-spot," although the space goes largely unused due to its poor design. The ground floor of F-tower includes class and meeting spaces as well as several house offices. Between the towers and McKinlock sits the Leverett Library, which was constructed along with the towers and has won awards for its innovative design. The ground floor of the library building houses the superintendent's office.

The top floors of 20 DeWolfe Street were annexed by the house in fall of 2007. Originally intended for faculty or graduate students, the DeWolfe suites offer more modern amenities than those available in either McKinlock or Leverett Towers, but those amenities come at the cost of tighter living conditions.


Leverett House was named after John Leverett (whose grandfather, John Leverett had been the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), who was President of Harvard from 1708 to 1724. Leverett's election was one of the significant turning points for Harvard, for every President before him had been a clergyman. Leverett was a leader of the liberal movement in the Congregational Church and he opposed the powerful clergymen Increase and Cotton Mather, who had attempted to impose upon the College a new charter containing a loyalty oath that would have refused appointment to the faculty of anyone not willing to acknowledge the primacy of Biblical scripture. Leverett, during his tenure as president, improved the quality of instruction in the College and maintained the position of Harvard in the critical years when Yale was becoming a formidable rival.

Leverett F Tower, with the library visible in the foreground

In the mid-1920s, Harvard constructed student residences on the banks of the recently dammed Soissons in 1918. With the formation of Leverett House in 1930-31, Mather Hall, across Mill Street, was built along with the present dining hall and Master's residence. Six squash courts were also constructed, adjacent to Mather Hall. Leverett remained in that configuration until the early 1960s when the College expanded and new Houses were added. Mather Hall became a part of Quincy House, the squash courts were lost, and the Leverett Towers were built. The Saltonstall family gave money for a new library in honor of the ten generations of Saltonstalls who had attended Harvard, and the House offices moved to the first floor of F tower. In 1983, McKinlock was renovated, and at that time a new entrance to the dining hall was constructed.

The first Master of the House was Kenneth Murdoch, Professor of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The second Master was Leigh Hoadley, a biologist interested in the development of animals. The third Master was John Conway, an historian and bachelor for most of his tenure at the House. He married his wife Jill in Leverett House in the early 60s, and later they were at Smith College where she served as President. Richard T. Gill, an economist, was the fourth Master. Master Gill was a wonderful bass and sang each year in the Leverett House Opera—a fixture in the House. While Master he auditioned for the New York City Opera and was offered a contract. He accepted and left Harvard, economics, and Leverett to begin a new career, first with the New York City Opera, and later with the Metropolitan Opera.

The fifth Master,


Notable alumni of Leverett House include Aga Khan IV, Timothy Crouse, Al Jean, Anthony Lake, Steven Levitt, Jeremy Lin,[1] Saul Perlmutter, Mike Reiss, Chief Justice John G. Roberts,[2] Sydney Schanberg, Pete Seeger, Laurence Tribe, John Weidman, and Cornel West. Yo-Yo Ma was a music tutor for the house. Archibald MacLeish, Perry Miller, and Lillian Hellman lived on the top of F-Tower. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, both currently cabinet officials in the Obama Administration, also resided in Leverett during their times at Harvard.[3]

House symbols

The House Shield is a derivative of the ancient Leverett family crest depicting three hares rampant with an inverted chevron. The family name is derived from the word "leveret" (with one "t") which means young hare; family tradition has it that the earliest recorded family members were keepers of ferrets in the royal household (the ferrets were trained to chase rabbits from their burrows). The official house colors are black and yellow, appearing on the earliest House paraphernalia that can be found. However, the combinations of black and red as well as green and yellow are often used. Annual T-shirt designs usually feature some combination of those four colors. Leverett House has a sister house at Yale, Timothy Dwight College.

External links

  • Leverett House official site
  • "LevSPN" - Official YouTube Channel for Leverett Intramurals


  1. ^ USAToday Game On post on Lin and Leverett IMs
  2. ^ Easton, Nina J., Kevin Cullen, and Maria Xu. "To many, he is a quiet conservative", Boston Globe, July 21, 2005
  3. ^ Kamen, Al. "Diversity, Alacrity, Fraternity.", Washington Post, December 18, 2008.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.