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Department of Residential Life records

 Collection
Identifier: A049

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains material dated 1966-1997, with the bulk of the material coming from 1987-1995.  The majority of the collection is information published by the department for students and their parents.  This includes applications for campus residence, guidebooks on campus living, rules and regulations, and pamphlets concerning off-campus living.  There is also some material relating to the administration of the department, on topics such as the hierarchy of the department, job descriptions, and functions of the office.  In addition there is a small amount of material relating to the department's Faculty Associate Program.

Dates

  • 1966-1997

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Originally under the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students, the Department of Residential Life came into being in 1962, as the Office of Student Housing.  In 1987 it became known as the Department of Residential Life.  The office was headed by both a dean of men and a dean of women until 1970, when it was replaced by a director of student housing, reflecting student pressure for co-ed dorms.  Until 1993 the department operated as three separate offices, the Office of the Director (Administrative and Technical Services), Student Life, and Facilities and Operations.  In 1993, in an effort to simplify operations for both themselves and students, all three offices were moved together to 4 Speare Place.

Residential Life's mission has been to create a positive environment, both academically and outside the classroom.  Resident assistants and graduate assistants live in the dorms, helping to achieve this goal.  Residential Life provides theme housing, such as the Honors Hall, Wellness Hall, Quiet Hall, and the International Hall to provide students with a more comfortable environment.  These theme halls are located in the 21 residences that the University owns.  The Faculty Associate Program, begun in 1991, is another method by which Residential Life improves the quality of campus living.  The program brings volunteer faculty into the dorms, encouraging the students and faculty to interact on a more personal basis.

Northeastern opened its first dormitory at 428 Marlborough St. on September 22, 1950.  This dorm housed the University's female students.  By 1959 the University had opened three more residence halls, two male dorms on Marlborough St. and one women's dorm on St. Stephen St.  Residential policies stipulated that women not commuting from home had to live in one of the dorms, although men were given the option of finding approved housing in the neighborhood.

In 1959 Northeastern, primarily a commuter school, decided that it needed to become more residential.  Creating a University community became a goal, and developing more student housing was an important element of the goal.  By 1967 Northeastern had opened nine new residence halls and was housing over 2,000 students; by 1975 that number had grown to almost 3,000.  Today (2001) the university houses over 4,100 people.

Northeastern continues to build new residence halls, as the demand for student housing grows.  West Campus Village, opened in the fall of 1999, has become the centerpiece of Residential Life's housing options.  Davenport Commons is scheduled to open in the fall of 2001. This 600 bed residence hall is a unique initiative by Northeastern, combining both student housing and low-income housing for neighborhood families.

Chronology

  • September 22, 1950 First residence hall, an all women's dorm located at 428 Marlborough St., opens.
  • 1959 200 students housed on campus.
  • July 1959 Boston Storage Warehouse purchased.
  • 1961 Roosevelt apartment building purchased and named West Dorm, later White Hall.
  • 1962 The Office of Student Housing comes into being.
  • April 8, 1963 Ground breaking begins for Speare Hall on site of the Boston Storage Warehouse.
  • September 17, 1965 Spere Hall is dedicated and named in honor of NU's first president Frank Palmer Speare.
  • Mid 1960s Approximately 2,000 students housed on campus.
  • November 9, 1966 Five residence halls are dedicated as the Charles and Annie S. Stetson Hall West, in honor of former member of the NU Corporation and Board of Trustees, Charles and his mother (hall for women); the Galen David Light Hall, in honor of NU's first secretary and treasurer (hall for women); the Harold Wesley Melvin Hall, in honor of the first dean of students (hall for women); the William Lincoln Smith Hall, in honor of NU's first professor (hall for men); and the William Crombie White Hall, in honor of the former Executive Vice President (hall for men).
  • 1967 Stetson East, an extension of Stetson Hall West is opened.
  • Late 1960s Strict residential policies, such as curfews, dress codes and allowing for co-ed dorms, are relaxed.
  • 1970 Director of student housing is appointed, combining the positions of the Dean of Men and the Dean of Women.
  • 1972 Students House at 96 The Fenway is purchased.
  • 1975 Approximately 3,000 students are housed on campus.
  • 115 and 119 Hemenway are purchased for use as dorms.
  • October 29, 1975 Students House dedicates as the Harry Hamilton Kerr Hall, in honor of the former member of the NU Corporation and Board of Trustees.
  • 1978 Upper class dorm, dedicated West Hall, is build on Leon St.
  • 1987 Office of Student Housing becomes the Department of Residential Life.
  • May 31, 1987 Burstein Hall is dedicated in honor of brothers Hyman and Barnet Burstein who were both NU alumni and whose family donated the money for the hall.
  • May 6, 1930 115-119 Hemenway St. is dedicated as the Christopher Kennedy Hall in honor of the former Student Affairs Administrator and Vice President for Administration.
  • May 20, 1990 West Hall dedicated as Robert and Betty Wills Hall, in honor of the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  • 1991 Faculty Associate Program is started.
  • 1992 Residential Life institutes theme housing in many of the dormitories.
  • 1993 The Department of Residential Life mores into 4 Speare Hall.
  • October 17, 1993 The Kenneth Loftman Hall is dedicated in honor of the former trustee.
  • Fall 1999 West Village A, an upper class residence hall, opens.
  • 2000 Approximately 4,100 students are housed in campus residence halls and 600 other students live in nearby leased properties.
  • Fall 2000 West Village B and C open.
  • September 2001 Davenport Commons opens.
  • September 2002 West Village E opens.
  • September 2004 West Village G and H open.
  • February 2006 Reorganization within Campus Life moves the Department of Residential Life under the newly created Center for University Life.
  • September 2006 West Village F opens as a Freshman Honors dorm.
September 22, 1950
First residence hall, an all women's dorm located at 428 Marlborough St., opens.
1959
200 students housed on campus.
July 1959
Boston Storage Warehouse purchased.
1961
Roosevelt apartment building purchased and named West Dorm, later White Hall.
1962
The Office of Student Housing comes into being.
April 8, 1963
Ground breaking begins for Speare Hall on site of the Boston Storage Warehouse.
September 17, 1965
Spere Hall is dedicated and named in honor of NU's first president Frank Palmer Speare.
Mid 1960s
Approximately 2,000 students housed on campus.
November 9, 1966
Five residence halls are dedicated as the Charles and Annie S. Stetson Hall West, in honor of former member of the NU Corporation and Board of Trustees, Charles and his mother (hall for women); the Galen David Light Hall, in honor of NU's first secretary and treasurer (hall for women); the Harold Wesley Melvin Hall, in honor of the first dean of students (hall for women); the William Lincoln Smith Hall, in honor of NU's first professor (hall for men); and the William Crombie White Hall, in honor of the former Executive Vice President (hall for men).
1967
Stetson East, an extension of Stetson Hall West is opened.
Late 1960s
Strict residential policies, such as curfews, dress codes and allowing for co-ed dorms, are relaxed.
1970
Director of student housing is appointed, combining the positions of the Dean of Men and the Dean of Women.
1972
Students House at 96 The Fenway is purchased.
1975
Approximately 3,000 students are housed on campus.
115 and 119 Hemenway are purchased for use as dorms.
October 29, 1975
Students House dedicates as the Harry Hamilton Kerr Hall, in honor of the former member of the NU Corporation and Board of Trustees.
1978
Upper class dorm, dedicated West Hall, is build on Leon St.
1987
Office of Student Housing becomes the Department of Residential Life.
May 31, 1987
Burstein Hall is dedicated in honor of brothers Hyman and Barnet Burstein who were both NU alumni and whose family donated the money for the hall.
May 6, 1930
115-119 Hemenway St. is dedicated as the Christopher Kennedy Hall in honor of the former Student Affairs Administrator and Vice President for Administration.
May 20, 1990
West Hall dedicated as Robert and Betty Wills Hall, in honor of the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
1991
Faculty Associate Program is started.
1992
Residential Life institutes theme housing in many of the dormitories.
1993
The Department of Residential Life mores into 4 Speare Hall.
October 17, 1993
The Kenneth Loftman Hall is dedicated in honor of the former trustee.
Fall 1999
West Village A, an upper class residence hall, opens.
2000
Approximately 4,100 students are housed in campus residence halls and 600 other students live in nearby leased properties.
Fall 2000
West Village B and C open.
September 2001
Davenport Commons opens.
September 2002
West Village E opens.
September 2004
West Village G and H open.
February 2006
Reorganization within Campus Life moves the Department of Residential Life under the newly created Center for University Life.
September 2006
West Village F opens as a Freshman Honors dorm.

Extent

0.35 cubic feet (1 container)

Overview

Northeastern University (NU) opened its first dormitory at 428 Marlborough St. in 1950. By 1967, NU had opened nine new residence halls, housing over 2,000 students; by 2001, over 4,100 students lived in NU resident halls.  NU's Department of Residential Life was created in 1962 as the Office of Student Housing.  It became known as the Department of Residential Life in 1987.  The office was headed by both a dean of men and a dean of women until 1970, when it was replaced by a director of student housing, reflecting student pressure for co-ed dorms.  Until 1993, the department operated as three separate offices, the Office of the Director (Administrative and Technical Services), Student Life, and Facilities and Operations.  In 1993, the offices were integrated at 4 Speare Place.

Overview

Northeastern University's Dept. of Residential Life collection contains records documenting campus housing between 1966 and 1997, with the bulk of the material dated 1987-1995.  The collection contains information published for students and their parents, including guidebooks on campus living, rules and regulations, and pamphlets concerning off-campus living.  There are also administrative records concerning the department's functions and organization. In addition, there is a small amount of material relating to the Faculty Associate Program.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Physical Location

29/4
Title
Finding aid for the Department of Residential Life Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Stein Helmrich
Date
May 2001
Language of description
Description Is In English

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US