What is the McKelvy House Scholars Program?

In 1960 the College acquired the magnificent stone mansion called Oakhurst at 200 High Street on a striking site overlooking the Delaware River.  In 1961, the mansion was renamed McKelvy House in honor of the family who had last lived in it, and the College opened the McKelvy Program to provide a small number of students of high intellectual interest and ability an opportunity to participate in a residential program of study, discussion, and daily interaction that would enhance significantly the intellectual lives of all members of the Program.
Each semester the members of the Program organize a series of seminar discussions, usually centered around some broad topic of concern.  Every Sunday evening the members gather in the large living room at McKelvy House and engage in discussion or otherwise pursue the specific topic prepared by the members responsible for the program of that meeting.  Discussions and arguments that begin before or during these meetings often last long into the night or the next week.

Members of the Program are required to live in McKelvy House, but they may retain membership in other social living groups as well.   A small kitchen in the basement of McKelvy House provides an opportunity for members to prepare some of their own meals.  The Faculty Advisor, a faculty member who lives in McKelvy House, helps students coordinate the activities of the Program.

What are the responsibilities of members of The McKelvy House Scholars Program?

Scholars must live in McKelvy House.  They must prepare for and participate in the Sunday evening seminars (which usually run from 6 to 8 p.m.) and other House activities.

What does it cost to be a member of The McKelvy House Scholars Program?

Room rents at McKelvy House are the same as all residence hall room rents.  McKelvy participants are not exempt from having to purchase the full flex dollar requirement.  Dinner at the Sunday evening seminar meetings and program costs are paid for out of the program budget at no additional expense to the members.

How does one become a member of The McKelvy House Scholars Program?

Students do not apply for membership, but are nominated by faculty members.  Students who are nominated receive information about the interview process that leads to the selection of the members by a committee of faculty and current Scholars.

If you think you would like the intellectual stimulation and challenge of living in McKelvy House with 19 other lively and provocative students, we urge you to ask your favorite professor to nominate you.  You are welcome to visit the House, either on Sunday evening for a meeting or at some other time for a tour.  The Scholars expect you and will welcome you.

If you have any questions about the Program, please feel free to ask any of the members of the McKelvy Program Committee or the Faculty Advisor.  Current Scholars also will be happy to talk with you about the House and the Program.