Eliot House (Harvard College)

Eliot House is one of twelve undergraduate residential Houses at Harvard University. It is one of the seven original houses at the College. Opened in 1931, the house was named after Charles William Eliot, who served as president of the university for forty years (1869–1909).

Eliot House
Residential House
Harvard University
Eliot House on the Charles River
Location101 Dunster Street
Coordinates42°22′13″N 71°07′15″W
Named forCharles William Eliot
ColoursBlue, Red, White
Sister collegeJonathan Edwards College and Emmanuel College
Faculty DeansDouglas A. Melton and Gail O'Keefe


Before Harvard opted to use a lottery system to assign residences to upperclassmen (beginning with the class of 1999), Eliot was known as a 'prep' house, providing accommodation to the university's social elite, and being known as "more Harvard than Harvard". Describing Eliot House in the late 1950s and early 1960s, author Alston Chase wrote, "[A]lthough most Harvard houses in those days reflected the values of Boston Brahmin society ... Eliot was more extreme".

The motto 'Floreat Domus de Eliot' and 'Domus' are traditional chants and greetings, particularly on Housing Day, when freshman find out their housing assignments. Some traditions of Eliot House are the charity event An Evening with Champions, the Eliot Boat Club (an intramural crew team), formal dinners such as the Charles Eliot Dinner, a strong sense of house pride, and the annual Spring Fete.

Movie appearances

Eliot's prominent belltower is featured in many films, including two screen shots in Old School; Legally Blonde; Chasing Liberty; and Euro Trip, which features the tower at the end of the film, incorrectly identifying it as Oberlin College. Eliot House is also featured prominently in Love Story and The Social Network.

Notable alumni

Notable former residents of the house include:

In 1951, roommates of Eliot House A-12 included Paul Matisse, grandson of French impressionist Henri Matisse, Stephen Joyce, grandson of novelist James Joyce, and Sadruddin Aga Khan, lineal descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This caused master John Finley to brag to The New York Times, "where else would you find, in one room, the grandson of Matisse, the grandson of Joyce, and the great-great-great-great-grandson of God?"[14]


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  10. Pepp, Jessica A. (February 24, 1995). "Jack Lemmon to Receive Arts Medal". The Harvard Crimson. Harvard University. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  11. Weisberg, Stuart E. (2009). Barney Frank: the story of America's only left-handed, gay, Jewish congressman. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 54. ISBN 1-55849-721-8.
  12. Aldrich, Nelson W. (2009). George, Being George: George Plimpton's Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals--and a Few Unappreciative Observers. Random House. p. 61. ISBN 0-8129-7418-2.
  13. Solomon, Jason M. (March 5, 1992). "The World According to Kozol". The Harvard Crimson. Harvard University. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
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