Welcome to the website of the W.E.B. Du Bois College House. Created in response to the needs voiced by African American students during the late 1960’s and early 70’s, Du Bois College House (aka “the House”) opened in August 1972. Du Bois College House celebrated its 40th anniversary throughout the 2012 – 2013 academic year. The imput and participation of students, staff, and alumni, enabled us to successfullly highlight this momentous occasion. Events included a discussion and presentation by author Playthell Benjamin; a Homecoming Reception that brought current students and alumni from the past 5 decades together; a pre-conference Dessert Reception with actor, singer, and motivational speaker, Chaz Lamar Shepard; a conference, "40 Years of Being a Village," featuring keynote speaker, Lolita Jackson, co-creator of the Du Bois Endowed Scholarship; and the culminating event, "A Conversation with Cathy Barlowe, Esq.," co-founder of Du Bois College House.
As the African American theme-based house, and in adhering to its original mission, most of the programs and events in Du Bois College House are based upon the history and culture of people of the African Diaspora. However, in recognizing the range of diversity within the House’s population, we must also acknowledge, not only its role as a microcosm of the Greater American society, but the House's role in preparing our residents for the greater global world. Du Bois College House is one of the most diverse college houses on Penn’s campus, and often refers to itself as “the U.N. at UPenn!” This means that the entire staff works hard to ensure that our programming is just as diverse as the population, and that it meets the needs of all residents. Consequently, Du Bois College House is an extremely busy and productive college house. In fact, one student stated in a recent College House survey: “There is definitely a lot of pride and spirit in Du Bois. There are always activities going on, and never a shortage of fun!”
Du Bois College House is the smallest of the eleven college houses at Penn. This helps cultivate a really strong sense of community among residents, whether they are students or staff members. Again, in the same College House survey, another student aptly remarked: “Du Bois College House stresses the idea of community and we are probably the closest college house on campus.” This is a constant theme recognized and remarked upon by residents of Du Bois College House.
This sense of community is promulgated largely because of our staff members. The House Dean, Ms. Trish, who loves nothing more than cooking and/or baking for residents, is the most visible member of the senior staff. However, like Ms. Trish, the Faculty Master, Reverend Will, along with the two College House Fellows, Dr. Audrey and Dr. Tsitsi, is also actively engaged with Du Bois College House residents through programming, mentoring, and advising opportunities. The House also has seven graduate associates: Ericka Hall (1st floor West), Lindsay Hartman (2nd floor West), Teemar Carey (2nd floor East), Nikia Jefferson (3rd floor West), Miriam Archibong (3rd floor East), Jonelle Saunders (4th floor West), and David Turner (4th floor East), all of whom are very personable and love working with their undergraduate residents. In addition to the eleven live-in staff, we recently hired Mr. Edward J. Hunter as the House Coordinator. E.J., as he prefers to be called, handles a wide array of tasks that assist the junior and senior staff in making Du Bois College House feel like “a home away from home" for our residents.
Former Faculty Master, Professor Terry Adkins remains connected to the House through his role as Director of the Amistad Gallery, which is unique to Du Bois College House and features compelling biannual projects by students, faculty and community artists.
The W.E.B. Du Bois College House has a great deal to offer to everyone, but especially those interested in a highly diverse, vibrant, intellectually stimulating, and fun living and learning community!