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Trumbull College is one of twelve undergraduate residential colleges of Yale Universitymarker in New Havenmarker, Connecticutmarker.

The college is named for Jonathan Trumbull, the last governor of the Colony of Connecticut and first governor of the State of Connecticut, serving from 1769 until 1784, and a friend and advisor to General George Washington throughout the revolutionary period who dedicated the resources of Connecticut to the fight for independence. He was the only colonial governor to support the American Revolution.


One of the University's older colleges, Trumbull was originally two free-standing dormitory buildings flanking the old gymnasium. When university President James Angell instituted the residential college system in 1933, the gym was torn down and the dormitories connected with a new building in the Gothic style, forming the Sterling Quadrangle; the fourth side of the quadrangle is Sterling Memorial Librarymarker. The new building contains the Trumbull dining hall, common room, and library, and a new dorm wing was constructed parallel to the originals. A Master's House was also constructed in the northeast corner of the quadrangle.

James Gamble Rogers, the architect of many of Yale's colleges, considered the dormitories that would later be incorporated into Trumbull his magnum opus, inscribing the initials of the men who worked on the project on shield carvings along the outside of the buildings.
Stone Courtyard, Trumbull College
The buildings of Trumbull are modeled after King's College, Cambridgemarker. Three separate courtyards — Alvarez (Main) Court, Potty Court, and Stone Court — grace Trumbull's interior.

Main Courtyard, Trumbull College
The college is also home to Nick Chapel. Yale architecture students designed and built the chapel in the 1970s with funding from a bequest by former master John Nicholas. Frequently used as a theater, the space is in high demand by Yale students of all colleges.

Student life

Trumbull's freshmen are housed in Bingham Hall along with students from Calhoun College. Bingham, located at the corner of College and Chapel streets on the former site of the Osborne Lab, is the only building on Old Campus with rooftop access. Other features of Bingham are its tower and accompanying elevator and the laundry facilities in its basement which serve about half of Old Campus.

Trumbull is the smallest of Yale's residential colleges, both in terms of students affiliated with the college and students housed in the college.

At present, due to a lack of space within the college, nearly half of Trumbull's junior class is annexed to McClellan Hall on Old Campus. While freshmen and sophomores are guaranteed and required to live in on-campus housing, seniors have priority in selecting the remaining housing, leaving some juniors without a room in the college. The university seems to have recognized this problem, as it has assigned fewer freshmen to the college this year than in years past. The planned construction of two additional residential colleges is also expected to help reduce Trumbull's overcrowding.


Renovations near completion in August 2006, as seen from Sterling Memorial Library.
  • Trumbull freshmen won the 2008 Freshman Olympics for the first time in Trumbull history.

  • Trumbull finished 7th place in Yale College Intramurals in the 2007-2008 season, its top finish in years. Highlights of the season included a victory in women's cross country.

  • The College was extensively renovated during the 2005-2006 academic year. All dorm rooms and bathrooms were renovated, and the dining hall kitchen and the activity areas in the basement received comprehensive upgrades and modernization.

  • Master Janet Henrich has been re-appointed for another 5-year term (April, 2007).

College traditions

  • Assassins is a "deadly" game that draws shifty eyes all over campus, causing roommates to betray each other and even some Trumbullians to hide in showers. Although unofficially played since the late 1980s, the current incarnation of the Trumbull Assassin game was developed and run by Jon Gruenberg (TC '95).

  • Cornhole has become increasingly popular among Trumbull seniors. The game involves throwing a series of four bean-bags across to the other team's board, scoring 1 point for each that remains on the board, 3 points if it falls through a hole in the middle. After both teams have gone, the difference between their points is taken, and that difference is awarded to the winning team.

  • Trumbull Crier: Every town has a crier, and so does Trumbull. Every week, the Crier has traditionally shouted from the balcony of the cozy dining hall, "It's six o'clock in Trumbull College, and all is well!" and made announcements of upcoming events. The first Trumbull Town Crier was Jeremy Monthy (TC '95), who came up with the concept, made and wore the tricorn hat fitted with bull horns, and began each announcement, "Moo-ye, moo-ye."
The Trumbull College Potty Court gargoyle as Dean Peter Salovey.
  • The Trumbulletin is Trumbull's tabloid magazine and the oldest residential college publication at Yale, although it has been waning as of late, with nary an issue in more than two and a half years.

  • Rumble in Trumbull: Trumbullians combat with massive foam gloves. Favorite past Rumbles include Jews vs. Gentiles and various competitions among suites. The traditional master vs. dean match, however, has not taken place within the past few years.

  • Pamplona: Trumbullians celebrate the end of Spring classes with food, music, competitions, and the Running of the Bulls.

  • Potty Court Frisbee: A game popular in the 1970s and 1980s played in the Potty Court by two teams of two players each. The general idea was to try to throw a frisbee through the wrought iron arch at the one end of the courtyard from the other arch while the other team's two players tried to stop it. Defenders could stand on and lean out from the low stone wall next to each arch, and could hang from the arch, but could not touch the walkway under the arch. The attempts alternated between the teams with a scoring system that gave more points for getting the frisbee through the smaller gaps in the arch.

Potty Court of Trumbull College, Yale University

To discourage defenders from committing to defense of the arch before the opponent threw, the thrower could also score a point for a shot that hit the wrought iron fencing next to the arch. The first team to get seven points won. The game included arcane terminology for the different point levels, including a "Grundel" for a more difficult throw. Other than the frisbee, the only other equipment used were leather gloves (optional) for hanging from the sharp wrought iron. A 1970 Yale Daily News article gives an overview of the game and profiles some early enthusiasts.

  • Running of the Bulls: A raucous run through Cross Campus and Trumbull's traditional rival college, neighboring Berkeley. It usually occurs on the day of Pamplona.

  • Trumbull seniors annually paint the Potty Court Statue prior to graduation. The class of 2008 painted the statue to look like Yale College then-Dean (now Provost) Peter Salovey.

Masters and Deans

# Master Term Dean Term
1 Stanhope Bayne-Jones 1932–1938 Russell Inslee Clark, Jr. 1963–1965
2 Charles Hyde Warren 1938–1945 Edwin Storer Redkey 1965–1968
3 John Spangler Nicholas 1945–1963 Paul Terry Magee 1968–1971
4 George Deforest Lord 1963–1966 W. Scott Long 1971–1974
5 Ronald Myles Dworkin 1966–1969 C. M. Long (acting) 1974–1975
6 Kai Theodor Erikson 1969–1973 W. Scott Long 1975–1978
7 Robert John Fogelin 1973–1976 Robert A. Jaeger 1978–1982
8 Robert A. Jaeger (acting) 1976–1977 Mary Ramsbottom 1982–1986
9 Michael George Cooke 1977–1982 Peter B. MacKeith 1986–1990
10 Frank William Kenneth Firk 1982–1987 William Di Canzio 1990–1998
11 Harry B. Adams 1987–1997 Peter Novak 1998–2001
12 Janet B. Henrich 1997–2002 Laura King 2001–2004
13 Frederick J. Streets (acting) 2002–2003 Jasmina Beširević-Regan 2004–present
14 Janet B. Henrich 2003–present

Notable alumni

Note: Records of the residential colleges of which graduates of Yale College were members are incomplete and not readily available.

External links


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