Adams Honors Kielys in Ceremony

House dedicates conservatory to long-serving Masters

Adams House said an official goodbye last night to Robert Kiely and his wife Jana, the two long-serving former Masters who helped give the House its reputation for tolerance and quirkiness.

About 100 students and other admirers squeezed into the Adams House Conservatory last night to dedicate the room to the Kielys, who served as Co-Masters of the House from 1973 to 1999.

Over the quarter-century, the fostered artistic freedom and tolerance in the House, which, before randomization in 1995, was known as the House most welcoming to the gay community.

As Masters, the Kielys fought randomization in an effort to maintain the identity and character of the House, said David Fithian, Adams' Allston Burr Senior Tutor, in his tribute to the couple.

"They were champions of acceptance and belonging," Fithian said. "Bob and Jana had the courage to take a stand."

Judith Palfrey, who was named Adams Master when the Kielys stepped down last year, echoed Fithian's sentiments.

"This is a place where ideas and creativity are cherished," said Palfrey, who is Brazelton professor of pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School.

"Welcome to Adams House," she said.