Winthrop Masters Say 10th Year Is Their Last

Winthrop House Master Paul D. Hanson and his wife, Co-Master Cynthia Rosenberger, announced at a House meeting Tuesday that they will be stepping down at the end of this year to focus on teaching.

“We’ve had a wonderful period here,” said Hanson, who is Lamont professor of divinity. “It’s time to allow this wonderful part of our career to come to an end.”

Hanson and Rosenberger have served as Winthrop Masters for nine years.

They previously served as Masters of Dudley House, the only non-residential House, which is open to both graduate students and undergraduates living off-campus.

A professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Hanson will continue teaching at Harvard.


Rosenberger will continue teaching early childhood education at the UMass-Amherst.

“I plan on putting all of my energy into teaching,” Hanson said.

Rosenberger was unavailable for comment.

Hanson said he and Rosenberger have worked over the past nine years to instill a “tradition of informality, warmth, lack of pretension and inclusivity.”

Looking back on his time at Winthrop, Hanson said he remembered both the good times and the hard times. He recalled an event three years ago at Thropstock, Winthrop House’s spring festival, when students encouraged him to take on his wife in a sumo wrestling match.

But the most significant moment he could recall was last year on Sept. 11.

“I opened my doors,” he said, “and the students poured in.”

Several Winthrop residents and staff members said they would miss the pair, expressing appreciation of the Masters’ accessibility, kindness and energy.

Hanson cited the last as a major motivation behind his and Rosenberger’s decision to step down.

“It has been a long time,” Hanson said. “Mastering takes a lot of energy.”