Dinglebell, Dinglebell Rock

Dean Dingman opens up his home to first-year students...and keeps them there.

Crimson file photo

Dingman knows what freshmen love best: beer and pizza. He provided the pizza, but not the beer.

Fifty three Dunster Street is a pleasant, quiet establishment in Harvard Square, full of warmth, family, and hungry, chattering freshmen. I know what you’re thinking: where’s HUPD? Don’t worry—the class of 2013 actually got personal invites from Dean Thomas A. Dingman himself.

Last Wednesday, the Dean of Freshmen opened up his home to students from Straus, Lionel, and Pennypacker. On the small talk agenda were the end of fall classes, finals, and the transition to spring semester, but the items on the menu seemed to be the real crowd-pleasers.

“Would I be a little naïve if I thought they only came for the conversation?” says Dean Dingman, who offered Pinocchio’s, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other non-Annenberg treats.

However, most freshmen seemed genuinely interested in meeting the dean and appreciated the escape from dorm life.

“You get this idea that administrators just live at Harvard, but he has a house and a wife and everything—he’s a real person,” says Laura E. D’Asaro ’13, a Straus resident. “It’s kind of like elementary. You imagine your teachers never go home.”

“Given its place on campus, it would be a missed opportunity not to get as many freshmen in here as possible,” says Dingman, who also hosts cooking lessons and other events at his house.

Caitlin N. Lewis ’13 of Pennypacker is also a fan of the location. “I like the view of ’Noch’s out the window. I’m sure he enjoys the drunk teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights.”

Other students, however, aren’t feeling love from the administration. “I set foot into FDO once and just to inquire if I could borrow a projector,” says freshman Samuel E. Milner ’13, “The answer was no. I haven’t been back.”

Nevertheless, with the Dean greeting freshmen with a “Hi! Welcome! How are you!” and his wife passing around homemade cookies, it’s hard not to believe you’re one of the Dingmans.