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Welcome to Willard Residential College!

We are so excited to meet our new Woos!

A message from your Faculty Chair:

Dear Incoming Willard Residents:
As the Faculty Chair of Willard Residential College, I am delighted to welcome you
to Northwestern’s oldest and liveliest residential college. You are joining an
exceptional group of Northwestern students, a vibrant community, and a rich tradition
you will love and remember long after you graduate!

Willard students are famous for having real spirit.  Even during the pandemic, that
spirit overcame the difficulties of being a residential college with no one in residence.
For me, it was truly inspiring to see Willard students set an example for others to
follow. They always do!

For years and years, the students of Willard have valued thinking for oneself. They
discuss everything from college life to great philosophical or political problems with
enthusiasm and respect for each other’s opinions.  We differ, and we love it. Willard
features a cohesive community, and your own unique interests and active participation
will prove essential to shaping the programmatic direction this year. We have no mold
into which you must fit and no set of beliefs to which you must conform. Many ways
exist for you to become involved, and you are encouraged to exercise creativity. 
“Creativity” is the Willard watchword!

Willard occupies a magnificent, newly renovated building that is the envy of other
residential colleges. The lower level, through which you enter the building on your
way to the residential college proper, hosts amazing facilities. Everything about the
new Willard facilitates the building of community and sheer fun. You will love it!


We don’t know yet what move-in day will be like, but we do know that members of
the Executive Board and the Resident Assistant team will be here to welcome you and
help you settle in. Along with Associate Chair Christine Helmer and Assistant Chair
Grace Szatkowski. I will host a reception for you (and if schedule permits, your
parents) in the Willard First Floor Lounge (WFFL), also known as the “Waffle.”. We
are all looking forward to meeting you!

Christine Helmer is Professor of Religious Studies and German in the Weinberg
College of Arts and Sciences. Committed to building a community at Willard, she is
open to discovering the unique perspectives we all bring into conversation as we learn
how to be scholars and persons together.  Her teaching and research has to do with the
formation of the modern West, particularly the legacy of German thought, and how
theology can be an intellectual practice in the study of religion. She is also interested

in sports and classical music, and is eager to talk with you about things that matter to

Grace Szatkowski is an audiologist and a Ph.D. student in Communication Sciences and
Disorders studying novel treatments for hearing loss in adults. She serves as the point person for helping us coordinate day-to-day programmatic and administrative matters for faculty-student activities. Grace is happy to help Willard residents with any questions or concerns that may come up to facilitate Willard's thriving, inclusive community! You can usually find her in her Willard office in the WFFL.

Every fall I offer the gigantic Russian 210-2, Introduction to Russian Literature, in
which we read the two greatest novels ever written, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers
and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. These novels pose the ultimate questions:
does life have a meaning, and if so, what is it? Are good and evil just social
constructs or are they more than that? What is love, and what sort of love makes a
good life? A special aspect of this class is an extra informal discussion group for
Willard students. Our faculty fellows offer seminars at Willard from time to time as
well. I sincerely hope that you will consider taking these classes and make the effort
to get to know our faculty at our many events as well as over lunch at our dining hall.
This is what the residential college experience is all about!

Gary Saul Morson
Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities, Faculty Chair of Willard
Residential College

Welcome Incoming Students

A message from your Exec Board:

Hello Class of 2027!


Welcome to Willard Residential College! We are so excited to have you living here next year! As a residential college, we host events almost daily that help boost connection between students and faculty alike. These events are also the perfect opportunity to build relationships with your peers; this is how we personally found some of our closest friends. We also hope you get the chance to meet and get to know us all, as Willard Exec is so excited to meet you all! If you’d like to learn more about our Board, check out the Executive Board here. We are going to make your time at Willard the best ever, and we are excited to turn Willard from your dorm to your home!


Willard is also the only non-thematic residential college, meaning you’ll find a variety of people living here. We host a diverse class of people, ranging from theater kids, film majors, pre-med students, to a surprising number of engineers. We are located in the south quads, and we’re home to about 240 students, making us the largest residential college; we are excited to foster a big community!


One of the best things about Willard is that every resident contributes to our community in unique and amazing ways. Whether it’s giving firesides, attending events with our faculty fellows, presenting niche powerpoints, playing for our intramural sports teams, going to book clubs, going on a midnight Fran’s run, eating food at Munchies, attending a watch or listening party, or hanging out in the WFFL, there are so many different ways for you to get involved. Don’t forget our annual tradition of Willard Formal in Chicago! If you want more information on these fun events, check out the Willard events and traditions page!


If you want to learn more about Willard or start connecting with some of your fellow Woos, you can check out the rest of our website and follow us on Instagram @willardrescollege! We cannot wait to meet all of you on move-in day and welcome you into your new home. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we’ll see you soon!


‘Sko Woos

Willard Exec 2023-2024

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