W.E.B. Du Bois College House: In-Depth
3900 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6138 • House Office: 215.898.3677
"A unique history and legacy"
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in the 2012-2013 academic year, DU BOIS COLLEGE HOUSE has a unique history and legacy that instills a sense of pride in both its residents and alumni. This sense of pride is evidenced in the spirit of the residents, as well as in the physical environment of the House.
From top to bottom, the House is adorned with majestic reminders of our legacy: a colorful mural in the 4th floor lounge praises our diversity; the walls of the Multi-Purpose Room document the history of the Black presence at Penn, and a multitude of photo exhibits in the Recreation Room applauds the success of staff and student-run conferences. And pride was clearly on display at our anniversary Homecoming Reception when close to 200 alumni from every decade since the 1970’s joined dozens of current residents to kick off the House’s celebratory year.
Du Bois strives to adhere to its original mission to serve and support students of the African Diaspora by serving as a hub for activities that promote African American scholarship and culture. With the help of our very active student-governing body, the House Council, and a dedicated network of proud alumni, the House achieves this through ongoing programming such as discussions with prominent scholars, the bi-annual Souls of Du Bois Conference, an endowed scholarship, and a library with over 4,000 items of rich cultural and historical significance.
The diversity of the House adds to its vibrancy as evidenced by some of the time-honored annual programs and events it offers and co-sponsors with campus partners. This includes the rhythmic African Cultures Celebration, the festive Chinese New Year’s Celebration, and the Natives at Penn’s spirited, traditional Pow-Wow.
Du Bois College House celebrates the rich mosaic of engaged students and staff from all corners of the world who call this community their home. It truly is the U.N. of UPenn!
Coat of Arms and House Motto: It takes a village is the African-inspired phrase that reflects the spirit of community in the House.
WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT US:
- - Smallest population of all of the Houses
- - Focus on African American scholarship and culture
- - Strong connection to the West Philadelphia community
- - Most recent House-wide renovation
(Anonymous) Student Quotes from past College House Surveys
"Ms. Trish does a great job of making you feel that this really is your home away from home. That added to the relatively small size of the House population fosters a nice sense of community."
"I really liked living here. The space was beautiful, the staff was very friendly, and the events were very interesting. My GA, Daphne, is the best GA in the world. She's been a great support, friend, and mentor throughout the year and I wish her the best."
". . . I really have loved living in Du Bois and really want to return next year."
"Du Bois is a small College House and everyone's very friendly with each other. Walking into Du Bois feels like walking into a home."
"Everyone is so friendly! And I recognize most of the residents and staff by face if not by name."
"The House Dean has held an integral role in ensuring things run smoothly in the House. Furthermore she has done the most exceptional job with actively engaging in residents' lives and getting to know them. She is definitely the core of the House's sense of community."
"Everyone seems to want the best for each of the residents. Everyone says "hi" to each other in my building."
"Du Bois has a great energy."
"People are friendly and trusting of one another."
"Friendly folks for the most part. Anyone could probably feel like they fit in this community. While Du Bois seems to be mostly black students, it does seem to have a unique blend of other nationalities and types of people that make the atmosphere unique."
"The House is very familial and vibrant."
"Living in Du Bois has made my overall experience at Penn much better."
Cultural Production and Political Power
The Cultural Politics and Political Production (CPPP) Program explores the various modes and mediums through which Black people produce culture in both its expressive and aesthetic forms within specific historical contexts. The program aims to help participants identify the ways these activities shape self-identity and create community. It also seeks to show how these activities influence political engagement and perceptions of both individual and group efficacy in effecting change. Through encounters with film, theatre, spoken word, music, and museum exhibits, students will develop critical intellectual understanding of these personal and political expressions, and of their implications. Additionally, CPPP collaborates with the Greenfield Intercultural Center in supporting specific activities and initiatives critical to the expansion of Native student presence at Penn.
Goals: This program will provide residents with the ability to analyze modes of cultural expression, particularly as they relate to issues of the Black community. Students will develop the confidence and ability to discuss their views with students of differing perspectives and to become more knowledgeable and engaged in contemporary political processes, issues, and policies that impact black Americans, Native Americans, and other underrepresented peoples both nationally and globally.
To Apply: Students should apply during the Residential Program process and make this program their first or second choice. All students are welcome; no essay is required.
View on the Residential Programs page
Staff in Residence
Rev. William Gipson
Ms. Patricia C. Williams
College House Fellow
Prof. Audrey Mbeje
Total number of residents: 168
Freshmen in residence: 39
Number of GAs: 7
Mostly apartment style, with efficiencies, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments with living room, bath, and most with kitchen or kitchenette. Freshmen may only select triples (3 BR/LR/counter-range/fridge).
Class of 1920 Commons