Kirkland House is often identified by its “incestuous” parties or by its famous alumni (*ahem*Mark Zuckerberg*ahem*), but there is so much more to this house. The quirky, close-knit community of Kirkland has its fair share of traditions and secrets. Get placed in Kirkland House and you can expect to attend Boat Club meetings that—rumor has it—have nothing to do with boats, meet house staff who knew the Facebook creator before he was cool, and take place in a lively Secret Santa for the holidays. Here’s what else you can expect from this not-often-mentioned but very spirited house.
Kirkland has two ten-man suites located in B entryway, often colloquially referred to as “the Beef.”
Kirkland has one of the most vibrant house communities among river houses, largely on account of its many house traditions. There’s everything from Secret Santa—a week full of random acts of kindness and elaborate gifts—to the Kirkland Drama Society, which puts on a production every year.
Speaking of drama: if you were ever a fan of the Broadway hit “Rent” than the idea of “wine and beer!” is probably enticing to you. Kirkland is known for its wine and beer seminars, which are hosted every other week by Kirkland’s Faculty Dean Tom C. Conley or one of the Kirkland's tutors, Luke W. Walczewski.
We sat down with one of Kirkland’s House Committee chairs, Handong Park ’18 to get frequently asked questions about the house answered:
What are the best “chill” spots in Kirkland?
HP: The Hicks House (the house of a revolutionary in the 1600s that used to house Revolutionary War soldiers and is now a beautiful library and study spot), Kirkland’s dining hall, and the JCR.
How much do you interact with your Faculty Deans?
HP: You're super connected to your tutors and [Faculty Deans]. Tom and Verena A. Conley host weekly wine seminars and tastings, always in the dhalls, and take their two Bernese Mountain dogs to the courtyard. Luke organizes the Brew Club which creates their own beers to serve at the biweekly Stein Clubs
Tell us a little bit more about Kirkland’s most notable tradition: the Secret Santa.
HP: Secret Santa. It’s a week of random acts of kindness and elaborate gifts, from dog play dates to YouTube videos of celebrities saying hi to a Kirklander, followed every year by the Holiday dinner where roasted boar heads used to be served annually, but now a fake boar is paraded around the dining hall.
What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your house?
HP: Kirkland is more than a house. It's a home that is extremely supportive, loving, spirited, and supportive. You'll always have someone to sit with in the dhall, and some event to attend for Kirklanders. The house has defined many students' Harvard experiences.