Welcome to the official website for JE, Yale’s oldest residential college. Below is information about college history, college activities, and the people who work to make JE the unique, exciting place that it is. Here you’ll find useful information about room reservations, facilities maintenance, and party registration, among quite a number of other things. If you’re looking for the most up-to-date news about happenings in the college (or just want to see some smiling Spiders’ faces) check out our Facebook page. You’ll figure out pretty quickly why JE is Yale’s best college—as well as why we say with pride, “JE SUX.”
In 1931, University administration borrowed a housing idea from Oxford and Cambridge, the two leading British Universities. The result was a development plan that forever changed the face of Yale College: the Residential College System.
The year 1932 saw the construction of the first of the original seven residential quadrangles under the direction of architect James Gamble Rodgers. Simple as that, Jonathan Edwards College, named for the child prodigy Yale alumnus (1720) and arguably the greatest theologian of The Great Awakening came into its glorious being.
Jonathan Edwards College began during the academic year 1932-33 when Professor Robert Dudley French, the first Master, appointed eight members of the faculty to be the first fellows of the College. These men were chosen because they combined distinction in both teaching and scholarship, and because of their individuality and diversity of interests. As a corporate body they constituted the essential qualities of and intimate collegiate community, delighting in the pursuit of knowledge and in the vigorous exchange of ideas, not only among themselves, but with the undergraduates who joined them in the fall of 1933 when the college opened their doors.
Together with the first Master they established a pattern for one of Yale’s smallest Colleges, designed to encourage individuality and provide a forum where each could express ideas and beliefs in the company of Fellows and fellow students, both old and young.
Yale’s first and foremost child prodigy, Jonathan Edwards matriculated at Yale (then Collegiate School of Connecticut) in 1716 just before reaching 13. At this time, entrance into college required fluency in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Four years and one intense conversion later, he graduated as valedictorian, received his Masters of Divinity from Yale in 1722 and went on to become one of America’s most renowned theologians and philosophers, and a testimony to Yale’s mind-altering powers.
Our Motto: JE SUX!
Find out why here.
Badge and Crest
The badge is a red apple surrounded by a green serpent.
The coat of arms described in heraldic terms is: ermine, a lion rampant vert (green).
To find out more about our badge and crest and our mascot, the spider, click here.
It is interesting to note…
In 1932, upon the eve of Yale’s fall semester, which residential College does the New York Times single out as the most beautiful, the most harmonious, the apotheosis of Universities? Jonathan Edwards.
Our own child prodigy Jonathan Edwards left quite a prodigious legacy indeed. Jonathan Edwards is the only residential college at Yale whose patriarch has graced the pages of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Jonathan Edwards College Statement of Principle
This statement asks each member of the Jonathan Edwards College community to keep in mind two basic principles:
1. As members of a community, we should respect and consider every individual’s rights, needs, and properties.
2. For the most part, the facilities and equipment of Jonathan Edwards College have been provided and maintained through student initiative as well as students-admin funds. To ensure further improvements for JE, we must take care of our facilities and prevent any needless damages.
As members of Jonathan Edwards College, we acknowledge our individuality and responsibility to each other in order to maintain an atmosphere of mutual regard that permits personal freedom. Respect accompanied by consideration and concern for each other allows JE to maintain the spirit and enthusiasm that distinguishes us among colleges at Yale. The members of JE, past and present, have worked hard to provide the facilities and atmosphere which we have today: our facilities represent the products of our peers’ efforts. They are a part of the college and should be respected both for their value as assets and for the time and energy invested into their establishment. We, as contributing members of JE, have the responsibility to shape and to strengthen our residential college life which constitutes such an important part of our time at Yale.