Entry. Access to Saybrook is from one of its two entrances on Elm Street at the memorial Quadrangle and across from Yale’s beautiful “Old Campus.” From the gated entrance nearest High Street, you turn immediately right after entering the courtyard and walk a short distance to an archway, turning left and passing through a large wooden door. Walk up the short flight of stairs (or take the elevator), turn left on the first floor, and walk through large double doors to the Saybrook common room and then into its spacious dining hall.
Built in the English Tudor style, Saybrook’s buildings and dining room are characterized by 19th century era screens of masonry arches and entryways with many carvings, sculptures and armorial decorations. The dining room features a dark wood, vaulted ceiling; two-story banks of leaded windows; and the famous Saybrook Arras (an impressive needlepoint stage curtain featuring the college’s grapevine motif) on the dining hall’s back wall.
History and Traditions. Saybrook College was founded in 1933. It is named for the town (and early Connecticut colony) where the Collegiate School, Yale’s predecessor institution, was founded in 1701. Traditions include the annual Saye and Sele Day (a picnic lunch and carnival event in the Spring); a midnight breakfast program during exam week; and the infamous “Saybrook Strip,” performed at the end of the third quarter in Yale football games.
“We ate here.” Notable Saybrook alumni include well-known artist Maya Lin; TV host Dick Cavett; A. Bartlett Giamatti, former Yale President and Commissioner of Baseball; and Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.