Andersons To Become First Tang Hall HousemastersBy Krista L. Niece
For the first time in its history, Tang Hall, will soon have a housemaster.
The role of housemaster at Tang will be “very similar” to that of undergraduate housemasters, according to Assistant Dean Carol Orme-Johnson, who was on the search committee. “Building community, helping students to get to know each other” and helping residents to feel at home are the major responsibilities.
The Graduate Student Council supported the addition. “It’s great that this opportunity exists that wasn’t there before,” Brian J. Schneider G, president of the GSC.
Tang Hall is a graduate dormitory for first year students. Currently, however, three floors are occupied with undergraduates to reduce crowding in other dormitories.
Andersons to build community
Associate Professor of Athletics and men’s basketball coach Larry Anderson, his wife Dawn, and their two children, Paul and Skyy, will take up residence at Tang sometime this spring. Renovations are currently underway on the top floor apartment, where they will live.
“The students are the reason I really want to work there,” Anderson said. “The students at MIT have just been great.”
Larry Anderson has worked at MIT for four years. He worked at his alma mater Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, for eight years previously. He completed his graduate work at the University of Mississippi.
Dawn Anderson, who also graduated from Rust, is a marketing representative for Harvard Community Health.
Larry Anderson served a “similar role” at Rust, as dorm councilor in an undergraduate dormitory. He sees his upcoming role as very similar. “I want to help build community, be a resource person,” he said. “We want to help make it the best place [to live] that the dorm can be.”
Tang is set up in individual apartments, making community building somewhat more difficult. “Having a faculty [member] there ... might overcome the barriers of the building” itself, Schneider said.
Dean on call leaves Tang Hall
The decision to install a housemaster was made last summer, after the top floor apartment was left vacant when then-Dean on Call Leo Osgood took a position in the office of minority education and moved out. The apartment had traditionally been the location of the Dean on Call, but after Osgood moved this was changed.
The timing was “partly an accident,” Orme-Johnson said. “We’ve been wanting to have housemaster coverage for grad students increase anyway... no one can quite explain why” there has not been a housemaster at Tang before, she added. Several of the graduate dorms, including Green and Westgate, already have housemasters, but some, like Edgerton Hall, do not.
Students help choose housemaster
Deans for Student Life Margaret R. Bates and Associate Dean Andrew M. Eisenmann ’70 made the decision to place a housemaster at Tang. The search committee included Orme-Johnson, two current housemasters, Tang House Manager Dennis Collins, Graduate Coordinator Sunil Sonath, and the three graduate resident tutors on undergraduate Tang floors.
Tang students identified the two finalists and made a final recommendation to Dean Rosalind H. Williams, who made the final decision.
Orme-Johnson cited a “need unique to Tang,” where students live only for one year, to build a strong community.