Rosenfeld Hall

Rosenfeld Hall

In February 1969, the students of TD voted by 2 to 1 to approve an experimental rooming plan to house more women in preparation for Yale College moving towards co-education the next fall semester. The plan required taking all of TD’s incoming freshman out of Old Campus and using the available rooms above the Language Laboratory on Grove Street to accommodate our students. TD would take 40 men and 20 women in the new freshman class and an additional 10 women in upper years classes. Ella Wasserman, who chaired the Yale Coeducation Planning Committee, endorsed the plan. Elting Morrison, then the master of TD, also supported and led the college’s decision to experiment with ways to move coeducation forward.

“Timothy Dwight Passes Plan to House Freshmen, Coeds” (Source: Yale Daily News, February 28, 1969)


Located at 109 Grove Street, just across the street from the original TD courtyard, Rosenfeld Hall’s dormitory space and facilities were incorporated into the college after a generous donation from Richard Rosenfeld TD‘63 in 1985. Before Mr. Rosenfeld’s donation, the building had served as Yale’s principal language laboratory; prior to that, it housed a secret society. In the late 1980s, the building became known as “Rosenfeld Hall”.

“Alumnus donates funds to update language lab” (Source: Yale Daily News, October 31, 1985)

The large downstairs common room is named after Reverend William Sloane Coffin, who served as a source of personal inspiration to Mr. Rosenfeld. Coffin, Yale’s chaplain from 1958 to 1975, is famous for having challenged Yale’s conservative traditions as well as for playing a key role in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s. 

Portrait of Reverend William Sloan Coffin by Robert Anderson YC '68Coffin was a vociferous critic of Yale’s discriminatory admissions practices, which, until 1962, explicitly limited the number of nonwhite, non-male, and non-Protestant students admitted to the university. Coffin also helped organize freedom rides, supported conscientious objectors and protestors against the Vietnam War, advocated for nuclear non-proliferation, and hosted racial justice activists, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, at Battell Chapel. Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives contains his papers which chronicle his remarkable and impactful career. 

Portrait of Reverend William Sloane Coffin by Robert Alexander Anderson YC ‘68

Richard Rosenfeld addressing the TD community

In fall 2023, Mr. Rosenfeld returned to TD to address the TD community. He recounted Yale’s history of racial and religious intolerance and discussed the ongoing importance of Enlightenment principles – scientific reasoning, tolerance, and full participation – as critical for a university and democracy. This historic talk was attended by TD Head of College Mary Lui, Dean Sarah Mahurin, current TD students, staff, and fellows, as well as President Peter Salovey. To access a published version and video of the talk, please go to this link.

Richard N. Rosenfeld TD “63 and President Peter Salovey at Timothy Dwight College House (Photo Credit: Mary Lui)