Campus & Community

Phillips Brooks House To Celebrate Centennial

2 min read

The Phillips Brooks House Association Inc. (PBHA), the oldest and largest volunteer public service organization at Harvard College, is rededicating its home, the historic Phillips Brooks House, on the centennial of its original dedication, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2000.

The event begins at 4 p.m. At 4:30, Peter Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, will deliver remarks on the occasion, as did his predecessor, the Rev. Francis Peabody, at the original dedication on Jan. 23, 1900.

Also adding brief remarks will be Robert Treat Paine Storer ’45, the great-grandson of Robert Treat Paine, who spoke at the original dedication of Phillips Brooks House. Paine was a lifelong friend of Phillips Brooks, the great Boston Episcopal preacher for whom Phillips Brooks House was named.

Brooks was an 1855 graduate of Harvard College, overseer of the University, and rector of Trinity Church in Copley Square. He was also closely involved with supporting undergraduates in volunteer efforts during his lifetime.

The three-story building in the northwest corner of Harvard Yard was dedicated as a home to pursuits of “piety, charity, and hospitality,” and has come to be the center of student service organizations at Harvard College.

The Phillips Brooks House Association is the principal student organization at Phillips Brooks House. It was formed in 1904 when a number of student service groups merged. Today, PBHA comprises 73 programs, 1,800 volunteers, and works in communities throughout Boston and Cambridge.

Since its inception, PBHA has been a leader in student volunteerism. The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter at the University Lutheran Church – the only student-run homeless shelter in the nation – is a PBHA program, as was an earlier program that sent Harvard students to Africa for the summer and served as a model for the Peace Corps.

Among its alumni/ae, PBHA counts Franklin D. Roosevelt ’04, ACLU founder Roger Baldwin ’05, Harvard Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Coles ’50, Senator Paul Sarbanes JD ’60, Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier ’71, and countless other leaders in public service.

At the rededication this Sunday, a special cake in the form of Phillips Brooks House, designed and donated by Alden Merrell Cheesecake Co., will be served. The event is intended for students, alumni, community members, and others associated with PBHA, but the public will also be welcome.