McKelvy House is home to the McKelvy Scholars, a group of students nominated by the faculty to participate in a common social and intellectual experience. The students live at McKelvy House and, with the aid of a faculty advisor, organize weekly discussions on topics of common interest.

McKelvy House exemplifies Stick and Shingle architecture. Its overwhelming scale is belied by its asymmetrical design and by its varied use of materials–dark and light granite, shingles, and slate. The granite is deliberately uneven to give the house an earthy and homemade feeling, like a Yankee stone wall. The shingle skin also provides an organic texture and looks back to America’s earliest architecture, which was often covered with shingles because of the plentiful wood supply in the Colonies. In fact, the whole building–including its materials, seemingly unbalanced design and prominence of its chimneys–makes deliberate reference to its humble predecessors in Colonial America.