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Kirkland House is one of the 12 undergraduate houses at Harvard Universitymarker, located near the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker. It was named after John Thornton Kirkland, president of Harvard University from 1810 to 1828. Some of the buildings were built in 1914 but construction was not completed until 1933. Kirkland has fewer residents than most Houses at Harvard, but has nevertheless managed to win many intramural and house-spirit contests, most recently the 2006 Straus Cup. Before Harvard opted to use a lottery system to assign housing to upperclassmen, Kirkland was considered the "jock house" because its location near Anderson Bridge and the Soldiers Field made it a desirable home and convenient place to dine for Harvard athletes.

The Kirkland House Boat Club last won the Agassiz Cup in 2003

Kirkland House boasts many traditions such as its opening ceremony (complete with Minutemen reenactors playing the drums and fife as they process around the House, followed by the house masters, tutors, and students), Secret Santa week (an in-house-only series of gifts, jokes, and events) -- accompanied by bawdy skits in the dining hall, a winter dance nicknamed "IncestFest" (a debaucherous dance open only to members of the house), and the annual "Case Day," celebrated on the first Friday of spring semester, in which Kirkland House residents compete to finish a case of beer in 24 hours.

Kirkland House has also hosted several celebrities and political guests over the years. During the race for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominantion, Kirkland House hosted Richard Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, and John Kerry, and held informal symposium with several political experts. The Kirkland House dining hall has hosted luncheons honoring Queen Latifah, George Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Salma Hayek, Laurence Fishburne, and Herbie Hancock among others, during the college's annual diversity celebration, "Cultural Rhythms." Kirkland is also annual host of the Harvard College Democrats' "Leadership Award Dinner," held every spring in Kirkland's dining hall. Recent award winners have been Alabama Congressman Artur Davis (in 2005), former Virginia Governor Mark Warner (in 2006) and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (in 2007).

Kirkland House has a gym, lounge, game room, music rooms, and performance and event spaces for students. It also has a wall honoring the history of the Kirkland House Boat Club, which has won Harvard's intramural men's sweeps regatta more often than any other House. Most recently, Christopher T. Row, a resident tutor, art history doctoral candidate, and master of divinity student, led the KHBC to five consecutive victories and was awarded the title of "Admiral-for-Life."

The Kirkland House Dining Hall

Kirkland House is located four blocks south of Harvard Yardmarker, adjacent to Eliot Housemarker, and across Dunster Street from the Malkin Athletic Center. Sharing a kitchen with Eliot Housemarker, the two dining halls are known for the best food on campus , and Kirkland's staff is committed to providing exceptional customer service.

The House Seal is a black cross with three silver stars on a red field.

Famous Kirkland alumni include Jeff Bingaman, Charles Murray , Franklin Raines, Wallace Shawn, Thomas Sowell, Pat Toomey, and Mark Zuckerberg.

2009 shooting of Justin Cosby

On May 18, 2009, Justin Cosby was shot in the basement of the J entryway of Kirkland House as part of a failed robbery attempt. Emergency medical services found Cosby outside the Office of Career Services, about one block from Kirkland, and transported him to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he died the following morning.

Over the next few months, Massachusetts and New York identified and arrested three men who allegedly committed the robbery and homicide: Blayn "Bliz" Jiggetts, of Mount Vernon, NYmarker, and Jabrai J. Copney and Jason Aquino, both of New York City. None of the alleged assailants nor the victim was a Harvard student. Two Kirkland residents gave electronic access to the victim, who had come to campus to deal marijuana. One of the alleged killers was the boyfriend of a student. Harvard barred a female student from graduating with the class of 2009 pending the investigation, although its reasons for doing so were not publicly disclosed. The student, Chanequa N. Campbell, told the press that she was unconnected to the shooting and that the school's decision to bar her from campus and withhold her diploma was motivated by racial bias.



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