“E-L-I-O-T, you just won the lottery” basically sums up the enthusiasm and house pride that freshman can expect if they are assigned to Eliot House. Equipped with a number of unique resources and a friendly and welcoming community Eliot House continues to be “more Harvard than Harvard”—but in only the best ways possible.
1. In 1951, Eliot A-12 housed the descendants of Henri Matisse, James Joyce, and the Islamic prophet Muhammad
2. Eliot’s mascot is the mastodon
3. Roughly 450 Harvard students live in Eliot
4. Eliot House is featured in Love Story and The Social Network and the Eliot belltower is in a few shots of Legally Blonde
5. Eliot’s motto is Floreat Domus de Eliot meaning “May Eliot House Flourish”
6. Eliot was named after Charles William Eliot, a former President of Harvard
7. Residents of Eliot are called Eliotites
8. The House was built with an endowment from Edward Harkness, who also financed the construction of six other houses and the first colleges at Yale
9. There is a wine cellar under “O” Entryway
10. Notable Alums include Rashida Jones ’97, Leonard Bernstein ’39 (additionally, there are a number of Bernstein pianos in Eliot), and the Unabomber, Theodore J. Kaczynski ’62
All rooms in Eliot are suites, and the lucky freshmen who are assigned Eliot will be happy to know that each suite has its own bathroom. Each rooming group is assigned a suite with the number of rooms equalling (or one less than) the number of members (for example, a room of four people will either have a double, two singles, and a common room or a two doubles and a common room).
Eliot sits right on Memorial Drive, so even if you’re a little cramped (a drawback of most River housing), you’ll most likely have a view of the Charles. Athletes are big fans of Eliot’s back-gate swipe, which makes the commute across the River significantly shorter. Eliot also offers seniors two big party suites: Ground Zero and The Cockpit, the latter of which comes with an Eliot crested beer pong table.
Eliot House tries to emphasize community and inclusion in the day-to-day life of its residents. Its big and little sibling program allows freshmen to get advice about House life and their concentrations from upperclassmen in the House who want to meet the new Eliotites. A large source of Eliot pride comes from its IM crew team, the Eliot Boating Club. Eliot takes crew very seriously, practicing several times a week, either on the water or on their in-house erg machines, during the fall and winter in preparation for spring competitions. Eliot hosts three formals throughout the year—Soiree in the fall, Formal in the winter, and Fête in the spring. Eliot is the only House with three formals, and additionally, an annual charity bash, selling goods and services from the residents in support of a different charity every year.
What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your house?
Melissa Hammer ’17, HoCo Chair: “I think Eliot is just built in a way that encourages community development. You can just see that in the layout of the dining hall. We have all different sized tables—some are smaller, some are bigger, some are round—and that’s meant for different types of conversation. Also, we have our one single courtyard. It’s such a great place to hang out. People will be playing frisbee when it gets nice out. We do have such a great community here. We have a great staff, faculty, deans. It’s a wonderful place to spend your next three years here. I wish all freshmen could get Eliot.”
What is your best memory in Eliot?
Hammer: “Housing Day last year was so cool because you got to see the whole entire House, or what seemed like the entire House, come down to the dining hall and get their face painted, and just be so excited to go out and share what our community is with all of these new people. It was so cool to see everyone come together.”
If you had to liken your House to a fruit, what fruit would it be and why?
Hammer: “A grapefruit because when you’re looking at the outside you don't know what to expect but when you go in, it’s this beautiful, pink color. I mean it’s not actually pink, but it’s an expected brightness and I think Eliot has an unexpected niceness about it that just looking at the outside you might not notice, but when you see our beautiful courtyard I think you would see how beautiful it is.”