Amid red balloons, brass band music and free champagne, President Neil L. Rudenstinly rededicated Dudley House yesterday as the new Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) student center.
Rudenstine was one of six speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which drew more than 100 to the steps of Lehman Hall, which houses Dudley.
Master of Ceremonies Neal Hogan, a Dudley House fellow, opened the event by reading a letter from GSAS Dean Brendan A. Maher, who was not present at the rededication. In it, Maher said he "welcomed a place graduate students can call home."
The other speakers also praised the establishment of the center, which many saw as more than a decade overdue. Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Jeremy R. Knowles said, "The life of a graduate student is brutish, nasty and long." He said he hoped the center would make this life "easier"--but not easy enough to encourage "tenured graduate students" to stay for too many years.
Kathryn J. Welter, a representative on the Graduate Student Council, said the rededication was a "culmination of efforts which have been exerted since 1983."
Dudley, which had served as a non-residential house for undergraduates and transfer students living off-campus since 1935, will now be "a center for social, cultural and academic activities," for more than 2700 GSAS students, according to Dudley Master Paul D. Hanson. The current undergraduate affiliates will remain full members of the house, Hanson said.
Some undergraduate members expressed concern over the future of their status at Dudley.
"There is essentially a question of parity for the 125 undergraduates who are affiliated to Dudley, and who cannot integrate into the residential house system." said Gordon M. Fauth Jr. '93, who chairs the Dudley College Committee.
The centerpiece of the event was the reading of an "Ode to Dudley House" by Graduate Student Council member Courtenay W. Moore.
Rudenstine then cut a crimson ribbon tie across the Lehman Hall stairs with scissors presented by Hogan, who also gave Rudenstine a Dudley House T-Shirt--his 67th T-shirt this fall, the president said.