Welcome Letter 2024!

Welcome, "Spiders"!

We are delighted to greet you as a valued member of the Jonathan Edwards College Class of 2024.

The term "Spiders" is one you will hear frequently in the next four years as you open your email from your head of college and dean. If you do not know why Jonathan Edwards (JE) students are called Spiders: read up on Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), one of Yale's most illustrious graduates, and namesake of the residential college you will enter, and you soon will understand!

JE has the proud distinction of being the first of Yale’s residential colleges to open in 1933. Built in traditional Gothic style, our college features a breathtaking Great Hall, two picturesque libraries, and elaborate masonry that will thrill the most hardcore Harry Potter fan. Our facilities include a Buttery and letterpress, a small theatre, and an art gallery. Watching our gorgeous courtyard fill with autumn leaves is an experience only matched by seeing our vibrant tulip gardens blossom in the spring.

Above all else, JE prides itself on a strong and supportive community. As your head of college and dean, we will be there to guide you through each step of your academic journey. Along the way, we will have the help of a strong fellowship of scholars from all fields who will serve as your first-year advisors and whose presence in the college builds an environment of stimulating conversation, career advice, and general congeniality. You will also benefit from our wonderful JE staff who will eagerly assist you with the details of adjusting to life as a Yale student. Most of all, you will welcome the advice and friendship of our upper-level students, who will serve as your First-Year Counselors (FroCos) and Big Sibs.

We understand that this is a challenging semester to be starting your Yale education. In fact, this semester will be different from any other in the history of JE College. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time.

We expect that you will have many questions about the public health situation in Connecticut and how Yale will be managing risk on campus. Please consult the Yale College FAQ page. We ask that you and your family consider your needs in the context of the pandemic. For example, you should be prepared for an extended quarantine requirement or an evacuation.

This situation is dynamic, so please monitor messages from the Yale College Deans Office. In other communications, you will receive more detailed information about moving in, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine requirements. You can also expect more detailed information about the academic calendar, course registration, and the structure of first-year orientation. You may face difficult decisions about whether to live on campus or remain at home. We, along with our colleagues in the Yale College Dean’s Office, will provide as much information as possible and answer any questions you may have. As your head and dean, we are committed to providing you with the best possible orientation to academic and social life at Yale.

There are others who will be available to help you. Shortly before the fall semester, you will be assigned a college adviser from among the fellowship of the college. Working together as a team, your college advisor, your FroCos, and the directors of undergraduate studies of Yale’s departments and programs will play an important role as you plan your course schedule within the broader context of your Yale career.

You will meet with your college adviser before classes begin. In the meantime, please read and pay attention to all the information sent to you by the Yale College Dean’s Office. Please read all your e-mails promptly and with care!

On behalf of the upper-level students, alumni, fellows, and staff of Jonathan Edwards College, we welcome you to a place that will form a part of your identity forever.


Congratulations on being placed in the best college at Yale!


With warmest regards,

Mark Saltzman - Head of College 

Christina Ferando - Dean