Musicians, poets, students and faculty members gathered yesterday afternoon in Adams House for a benefit in honor of a retired Harvard librarian whose home on Upton St. in Cambridge burned down last month.
Ruth Hamilton, a former librarian at Widener, has long-standing connections to Adams House.
She has been singing spirituals at the annual Adams Winter Feast since 1973.
Since her retirement from the library in 1990, Hamilton has served as an associate of the Adams Common Room.
Benefits from yesterday's event were donated to help Hamilton rebuild her house.
In addition, Adams House is soliciting funds from the community to donate to Hamilton.
Adams House music tutor Hugh Hinton, who served as master of ceremonies, spoke about the importance of a sense of solidarity in the house.
"It takes a true community for people to come together in good times and bad times," he said.
Hamilton's love of music and singing add to life on campus, Hinton said.
Acting Adams House Master Richard C. Marius said that he remembers Hamilton singing on the steps of Widener as far back as 1978.
Hamilton was joined by more than 30 members of the Harvard community to attend a program of music and reading.
Hinton said Hamilton's appreciation for music is a good role model for student performers.
"When she sings, we feel the beauty and meaning of music," said Hinton.
Students such as folk singer Julie B. Geller '97 and cellist Julia Tom '96 were among a variety of student and faculty musicians who presented pieces.
In addition, members of the Kuumba Singers, with whom Hamilton has sung in the past, performed to honor Hamilton's spirit and strength.
In an interview, Hamilton said she was honored by the generosity of the Adams community and expressed her appreciation to the musicians and performers.