Lowell House is considered by many to be the "premier example of the Harvard House form." Its location is ideal, as it is situated close to Harvard Yard, Harvard Square, and the Charles River. Lowell is most widely known for its bell tower and the Russian bells within that serve as an alarm clock to some begrudging students every Sunday afternoon. Still, freshmen who are lucky enough to get Lowell will enjoy a friendly house community and a slew of neat house traditions.
Currently, sophomores in Lowell live in mostly n-1 suites with medium-sized common rooms. Because Lowell is being renovated next semester, most sophomores will live in the Inn at Harvard. If Lowell’s Housing Day video is any indication, the Inn will be rechristened the “Lowelltell” once the house moves in.
Rooms in the Inn are mostly one-room doubles with in-suite bathrooms. For those sophomores that end up in other swing housing locations, there’s a chance they may be blessed with a spacious common room and an array of triples and quads that are still relatively close to Harvard Square.
Lowell is the embodiment of a tight-knit, somewhat niche community. Boasting two of the most involved Faculty Deans in any of the upperclassmen houses, Lowell is known for its quaint Thursday afternoon teas where Lowell residents gather in the Faculty Dean’s residence for tea and baked goods. According to House Committee Chair Juliana Rodriguez ’19, the house has a slew of unofficial mascots, including “Bacchus, the Blue Morphy Man, Fists&Arrows, and the Lowell Tide.”
“Lowell House has been known to really give off a “family vibe,” Rodriguez said. “We are really looking forward to spacious swing housing, and the Class of 2020 will come back to an incredible renovation that will include so many new social spaces, like a theatre.”
Another staple of the Lowell Community is the annual tradition of Lowell speeches, which occur over the course of the spring semester. Students can give speeches about any topic and are assigned a mentor to help them with their public speaking.
We took a stroll through Lowell’s dining hall to ask house residents about the experience of living in Lowell:
What are some of the highlights of Lowell’s house community?
JR: Lowell house is the archetypal and ideal house life experience, often serving as a model for other houses! We have incredibly prideful and active alumni including two Supreme Court Justices, Nicholas Kristof, Natalie Portman, and Matt Damon. Distinguished professors and professionals, prominent administrators and a superb tutor corps make up the Senior Common Room which joins us for formal High Table dinners, lunch conversation, caroling around our traditional holiday Yule Dinner, a raucous trivia night, and serve as dedicated mentors.
Why did you run for HoCo?
JR: I love Lowell because the community is truly warm, inclusive, and supportive; and we have some of the most enduring traditions. Thursday tea is a great way to unwind from the week and meet so many wonderful people. I joined HoCo because I love how active it is in the house, planning an event each week of the semester.
If you had to describe Lowell in three words, what would they be?
Ikeoluwa Adeyemi-Idowu '19: Cute, traditional and connected, literally.
Tell us a little bit about your Faculty Deans Diana L. Eck and Dorothy A. Austin. How often do you interact with them?
II: They are really, really sweet. I’m not that close with them, but Diana gave me a hug the other day. They make an effort to learn everyone’s name.
Is there anything you would change about Lowell?
II: I’d make the dhall a lighter shade of yellow. It’s a little harsh.
Are you looking forward to swing housing?
II: [I’m] looking forward to [swing] housing because it’s great, but also I’m a little worried about the community being literally split apart, because now we’re all literally connected underground.