Silliman Courtyard, Bench Nation

Bench in Silliman CourtyardComing from a vanilla midwestern suburb, Yale and New Haven was a wonder. Fond memories of so many places and spaces: college roof tops, gargoyles, and cupolas, intensely quiet library reading rooms, Long Island shoreline ecology, darkened squash courts, and my runner up— the Silliman Commons. The worn, but vibrant Persian carpets, deep leather chairs, and high ceilings struck a deep resonance in me and anyone who has visited my home has seen how that still resonates. Nevertheless, it is the English teak benches in the Silliman courtyard where the Silliman Bench Nation of poets, writers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, psychologists, and other ne’er-do-wells met nightly in this outdoor salon to share and debate the great, the mundane, and the whimsical issues of that time in the fall and spring of our senior year that will always be a part of me and binds us still.

Bill Rossbach