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|Location||302-304 York Street|
|Motto||In Deo Non Armis Fido|
|Motto in English||In God, not arms, I trust (Samuel F.B. Morse family motto)|
|Named for||Samuel Morse|
|Colors||Black, white, red|
|Sister college||Mather House
Morse College is one of the twelve residential colleges at Yale University, built in 1961 and designed by Eero Saarinen. It is adjacent to Ezra Stiles College. The current Master is Amy Hungerford, Professor of English. The Associate Master is Peter Chemery. Following the Spring 2005 semester, former Dean Rosemary Jones stepped down, and was followed by Dean Alexandra Dufresne, who left after the 2006–2007 academic year. On May 2, 2007, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey announced that Joel Silverman will become the next Dean of Morse College.
In his report on the year 1955-6, Yale President A. Whitney Griswold announced his intention to add at least one more residential college to the system Yale had launched only two decades earlier. "We have the colleges so full that community life, discipline, education, even sanitation are suffering," he stated. This news bred wild rumors about four or five new colleges being added to Yale's system. Nothing substantial was announced until the spring of 1959 when Eero Saarinen '34 was chosen as the architect, and the Old York Square behind the Graduate School became the designated site. The Old Dominion Foundation, established by Paul Mellon '29, provided money to build two "radically different" colleges, which would alleviate the growing strain on the older colleges.
Morse College is an eclectic structure built on an odd, angular site with many design features that are reminiscent of the Tuscan villages, most notably San Gimignano. The college consists almost entirely of single rooms, and in a modern attempt to capture the spirit of Gothic architecture, Saarinen eliminated all right angles from the living areas. This resulted, notoriously, in two rooms which have eleven walls, none of which is long enough to put the bed against and still be able to open the door. In a 1959 article in the Yale Daily News, Eero Saarinen discussed his design for Morse. "Our primary effort was to create an architecture which would recognize the individual as individual instead of an anonymous integer in a group." Although the design has its fervent supporters, some prior residents regard the design as a disaster. The exterior of the college has been compared to concrete peanut brittle.
The college provides several amenities to its resident "Morsels." The fourteen-story main tower provides an inspiring view of all of New Haven. The common room's decorations include air hockey, pool, ping-pong, foosball, and a big-screen TV. A special more homey atmosphere is found in Ericka's Room, a space filled with comfy couches, TV, board game tables, and hosting small literary and theatrical events. Ericka's Room memorializes Ericka Bishop, '97, who was killed by a drunk driver just prior to the start of her junior year in Morse.
Morse has an adjacent "twin" residential college named "Ezra Stiles" which is architecturally similar and built at the same time. The two distinct colleges share an underground kitchen over which runs a public walkway to the Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Architecturally, Morse and Stiles differ from predecessors by having more private space per student, and the lowest ratio of natural light aperture to wall surface of any other colleges.
Morse College freshmen are housed exclusively in the historic Durfee Hall, which, built in 1871, is among the oldest buildings on Yale's Old Campus. It is known for its unique housing quarters, 80% of which are singles—the highest percentage of any freshman housing. Durfee Hall has twelve-foot vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, at least two fireplaces per suite, and a unique walk-through suite system that allows residents access to all floors and stairwells of the building.
Also during the 2009-2010 school year, Morse College dominated Yale intramural sports in Men's Cross Country, Men's B Hoops, and Coed Dodgeball, one of only four colleges to win championships in every season. Morse College freshmen then pulled off a brilliant performance at the Yale Freshman Olympics, earning a bronze medal and winning such events as the distinguished volleyball tournament.
As of June 2009, renovations of Morse College were begun to bring the college up to date with the other ten colleges that were renovated in the previous ten years. Renovations include a steel and wood skybridge between Morse and Ezra Stiles, as well as a large shared basement space that will house, among other elements, a gym, recording studio, art studio, and 100-seat theater, and that will swell the shared space between Ezra Stiles and Morse to 15,300 square feet (1,420 m2) from the former 11,699. Renovations also include a re-landscaped courtyard, an outdoor eating patio, and a water feature, the "Morse Beach".
- "Morse, Morse, Hung like a horse!"
- "Dot dot, dash dash, we're Morse college, kiss our axe!" (in reference to Morse code and the battle axe that is part of Morse's shield)
- "Dit dot dit, rah rah Morse!"
- "Yale is Morse!"
- "Morse is the Co-op, DANCE! Morse is the Co-op, DANCE! Bet you want to get inside our PANTS!" (In reference to a common slur formerly used by students of other residential colleges that Morse College looked like the old Yale Co-op building and present Yale Bookstore.)
- "Morse always wins"
- "We eat your fear"
- "Harass them! Harass them! Make them relinquish the ball!"
- "Morse likes sports!"
The full official cheer of Morse College is a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Samuel Morse, followed by the repetition of "Morse, Morse, hung like a horse" six times, then concluding with "Morse Always WINS!"
Origin of the Current Official Morse College Cheer
1) It is always Samuel Morse's birthday. Every day. 2) If Morsels are playing a game of capture the flag on old campus against each other, no matter which team is victorious, Morse always wins.
Alternative to 2: Despite a terrible call by officials during the Freshman Olympics Dodgeball Competition of 2007 (thereby throwing the scoring of the Olympics to Pierson College), all 117 members of the Morse Freshman class came out of Durfee for the last event, the Tug of War, beating all of the other colleges.
- Fran Kranz, actor from "Cabin in the Woods", "Dollhouse", and "Death of a Salesman"
- Jennifer Beals, actress from Flashdance and The L Word
- Nancy Caffyn, former Mayor of South Windsor, Connecticut and a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
- Sada Jacobson, 2004 Olympic bronze and 2008 silver (individual) and bronze (team) medal winner for sabre fencing
- Allan Heinberg (1989), co-creator of The OC, writer for The Gilmore Girls, Sex and the City, etc.
- Douglas Warner, former Chairman, J.P. Morgan
- Bronson Pinchot, actor portraying Balki in Perfect Strangers
- Clay Shirky, writer on the social and political impact of the Internet
- Joseph Lieberman, U.S. Senator from Connecticut
- The Morse courtyard was home to two well known sculptures - Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks by Claes Oldenburg and a piece by J. Seward Johnson. The Johnson sculpture was removed during the renovations.
- Morse's mascot is the walrus, because in French le morse translates to walrus.
- A student in Morse is known as a "Morsel," also the name of the small cafe ("Buttery") in Morse's common room.
- On April 23, 2010 over 100 Morse students stormed the Yale Daily News building with a replica of the Lipstick in response to an article which claimed that Morse students had the least spirit of the 12 residential colleges.
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