Eliot House

Eliot House is a hub of activity of our religiously pluralistic student body and serves as office space for the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, where the College chaplains' and advisors' offices can be found. It is here that students can find Community Shabbats, Jummah Lunches and Muslima Conversations, puja space for Hindu students, and much more. Eliot House boasts three kitchens — kosher, halal, and a general-use kitchen — dedicated prayer space for Muslim and Hindu students and a large lounge that accommodates Shabbats, chai conversations, and meetings for all faith and non-faith groups. Students can enjoy the sounds of chants, the smells of curries and the sense of pride in their identity, whether religious, spiritual or ethical.

For many students, Eliot House is a place where they learn more about themselves while discovering a meaningful sense of community. It's also a place where students can take on leadership roles, which range from planning an interfaith event, creating and leading group services to organizing a dinner celebration. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

If you have a disability and would like to attend any events in Eliot House, please contact Annie Clattenburg, 413-538-2054, or aclatten@mtholyoke.edu, one week in advance of the event to discuss your accommodation needs.

History of Eliot House

Eliot House was conceived in 1956 by the chair of the Fellowship of Faiths, a student organization dedicated to supporting Protestant, Catholic and Jewish students. The Fellowship of Faith dreamed of a religious center that would serve all students of faith by providing “faith education, worship and social services to students.” The house marked the symbolic shift in the religious identity of the College from a Protestant to a nondenominational campus serving a multifaith student body and community. 

In 1984, a space was created on the rooftop of Eliot House to include a traditional Japanese meditation garden and teahouse called Wa-Shin-An, translated as “Peace-Mind House.” Wa-Shin-An offers tea ceremonies four times during the academic year, including during Family and Friends Weekend, Commencement and Reunion II. Wa-Shin-An is a treasure for all those seeking a quiet contemplative space for meditation and peace.