The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges & the Renewal of University Life  ‹›


Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

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— The Collegiate Way website is a labor of love. For the past eight years it has served as the primary resource and central clearinghouse for the growing residential college movement, and it is visited by hundreds of people every day from all around the world.

Won’t you consider lending it your support this holiday season?

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The Collegiate Way website receives no institutional funding and no grant support, and it never has. Apart from an occasional Amazon link, it accepts no advertising.

And yet it has been cited in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and many other newspapers across the United States. Its central views have been published in The Times Higher Education Supplement in London, in the professional journal Planning for Higher Education, and in the major online news source Inside Higher Ed. It has been quoted on websites, linked from blogs, and even assigned as required reading for courses on higher education.

The Collegiate Way’s mailing list, which has just passed the 800-subscriber mark, includes students and faculty, alumni and architects, journalists and administrators, and friends of the residential college movement from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere around the globe. The collegiate way of living has worldwide appeal.

And most importantly, the resources available on the Collegiate Way website have been instrumental in the establishment of new residential colleges; in promoting discussion of the residential college idea at many institutions; and in helping to strengthen existing colleges and collegiate systems. “You’ve helped our efforts more than you know,” wrote the dean at one major American university. “Your web site has been tremendously inspiring and motivating to me. My boss said to me today that he was now ‘sold’ on the idea of residential colleges,” wrote a senior faculty member at another.

Since the website was first established your editor has had five different offices and four different residences in three different states. But through it all, the web address has remained constant, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year (in case you need late-night advice on how to arrange tomorrow’s residential college tea, or have an urge to begin planning your new residential college gardens on a long holiday weekend).

Running a successful website or online community is a bit like running a residential college. If things are working well, the detailed labor that is needed to keep everything operating disappears into the background, and the members only experience the life of the place itself.

I often quote this poem by Dylan Thomas as a metaphor for successful residential college management. Perhaps it could be a metaphor for the management of the Collegiate Way as well.

In My Craft or Sullen Art

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labor by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

Your support for these spindrift pages, and the art and craft that continues to go into them, will be greatly appreciated.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021