Campus & Community

A look inside: Kirkland House

5 min read

President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, in his report to the Harvard Corporation in 1927–28, said, “Such a residential House, where members of the three upper classes live together, gives an opportunity for contact in cultured surroundings of younger with older undergraduates, and both with instructors. This happens here now only to a limited extent: yet it is an extremely valuable factor in a true education.”   Almost 100 years later, current President Drew Faust has said of the Houses, “They are the locus where teaching, learning, advising, and vibrant community all intersect.”

Kirkland House, home of co-Masters Tom and Verena Conley, is all of the above and more. The following “Ode to Kirkland” was penned by onetime resident Eric Lesser ’07, and the accompanying photos serve as my very own ode to Kirkland.

Oh Kirkland, Oh Kirkland! You are so good to me!
Oh Kirkland, Oh Kirkland! You are the place to be!
Oh Kirkland, Oh Kirkland! D… you are so fine!
Oh Kirkland, Oh Kirkland! Thank God that you are mine!

The Kirkland House Facebook sits on the counter inside the Masters' residence during a Food Literacy Project cooking class. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was originally a Kirkland resident, back in 2004. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Conversations with Kirkland is a series that brings together Kirkland residents and members of the community. Peter (from left) and Bobby Farrelly respond to a question from Kirkland resident scholar Peter V. Emerson. The Farrelly brothers are most famous for their comedy films including "Dumb and Dumber" and "There’s Something About Mary." Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Conversations with Kirkland is a series that brings together Kirkland residents and members of the community. Peter (from left) and Bobby Farrelly respond to a question from Kirkland resident scholar Peter V. Emerson. The Farrelly brothers are most famous for their comedy films including "Dumb and Dumber" and "There’s Something About Mary." Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Kirkland's Got Talent, an annual talent show held inside Kirkland House Junior Common Room, showcased talent from Kirkland residents including gymnastics, singing, and musical performances. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Teake '12, a Kirkland resident, does a spoken word piece during Kirkland's Got Talent. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Wendy Wang '11 sings a piece during Kirkland's Got Talent, underneath a portrait of James Smith on the wall of the Junior Common Room. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Paige Martin '11 performs a gymnastic routine for Kirkland's Got Talent. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Kirkland tower, seen from inside the Junior Common Room. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Senior Mark Isaacson (left) watches a “Secret Santa” skit performed by House Masters Tom (right) and Verena Conley (center) inside the dining hall at Kirkland. Secret Santas have others perform amusing or embarrassing skits for their selected person all week during lunch and dinner at Kirkland. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Rob Schaaf makes his way to dinner at Kirkland House, decorated for the season. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Chris Kingston '11 (left), Tova Holmes '11 (bottom), and Grace Charles '11 watch a Secret Santa skit inside the dining hall at Kirkland. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Students cheer and sing as a "boar head" is carried around the dining hall followed by a musical tribute to the holidays. The House has been specially prepared for the holidays and the festive dinner. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Mark Isaacson ’11 toasts his fellow Kirkland House residents and House Masters during a winter dinner celebration inside the dining hall. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
At Kirkland, House Masters Verena and Tom Conley (and their dog Jesse) gave up their kitchen to Executive Chef Brian Corcoran, Chef Luiz DaCosta, and 10 students for the Food Literacy Project which hosted cooking classes in the Masters' residences. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Food Literacy Project at Harvard University hosted cooking classes in the Masters' residences in each of the Houses this semester. At Kirkland, House Masters Verena and Tom Conley gave up their kitchen to Executive Chef Brian Corcoran, Chef Luiz DaCosta, and 10 students. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
The cooking class participants are rewarded with dinner. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Members of the Bedford Minuteman group raise the alarm and wake students at Kirkland House as Harvard celebrates Commencement 2011. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Kirkland House Master Tom Conley raises a glass during a toast to the students in Kirkland in celebration of Commencement 2011. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
James Goldschmidt, a law student and tutor at Kirkland House, talks with Mary Elizabeth Clack, a Senior Common Room member, as students wait to enter for breakfast. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Dillon Powers '11 sings “Ode to Kirkland” during Commencement 2011. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Seniors Cathy Sun, Brad Paraszczak, and Marina Magloire try on their caps. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Kirkland House residents make their way to the Yard for Commencement activities. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Amy Chen '11 fixes her hair as she waits in line at Kirkland House to get her degree. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Harvard University celebrates Commencement 2011. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Senior Julie Anne Arnous gets her degree from Kirkland House Master Verena Conley. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer