Information for Incoming First-Year Students

Living in Gregory next year?  We're so excited to be your new home away from home!  Below find some valuable info about our House and first-year community:

  • Gregory has a sizable number of first-year students, generally in the range of 100, consolidated on the top floors of each building.  You'll be surrounded by your peers, though you will get to know our upperclassmen at our multitude of events.
  • As the above note indicates, Gregory is a four-year community, with students ranging from freshmen to seniors, so you have the option to return to the House for your second year (and beyond).  The majority of our upperclassmen are returners in their second, third or fourth year in the House.
  • Gregory underwent extensive renovations in summer 2014. The rooms have new furniture and flooring, and our public spaces are top-notch.  The West Wing on the first floor of Van Pelt Manor, which features ample study space, a billiards/kitchen lounge and our swanky cinema, is the center of much of our programmatic identity, though the Class of 1925 basement (with the Darkroom cafe) is also a hub of activity.
  • Gregory averages close to 25 events each and every week-- so there are innumerable opportunities to get to know everyone.  Standby social gatherings include Tuesday BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug), Wednesday study breaks and Sunday brunches, but we have a long list of regular traditions.  Year and and year out, we hear from our students that frequenting such events -- and lingering to chat rather than grabbing food and fleeing-- is the best way to develop a large and healthy social network in the House. 
  • We have two unique ongoing programs that bring Penn faculty, alumni and other notable guests into the House to meet with you: Dinner with Gregory and Diversity Discourse Across the Disciplines.
  • Our freshmen live in four bedroom quads-- so each Gregorian has a private bedroom and shares a bathroom with no more than three students. Each bedroom comes with a twin extra-long bed, a desk, desk chair, two chest of drawers and a small bookshelf; each quad comes equipped with (1) microwave/refrigerator unit. No AC though; so be sure to bring a big fan or buy one at nearby CVS!  See more suggestions on what you'll need in your apartment at Gregory.  You can see the format of a regular quad here, including the randomly-determined bedroom assignments, but note that the A bedroom does not come with the couch pictured:
  • As you can see, you'll have three roommates! See our suggestions for conversations to have with your roommates over the summer and during New Student Orientation. 
  • Gregory's dedicated staff for 2019-2020 includes the House Dean (Christopher Donovan), Faculty Director (Lisa Lewis, Professor of Nursing), three House Fellows (Bioethics Professor Lance Wahlert, Biology professors Katie Barott and Byron Sherwood), 9 Graduate Associates, 3 undergraduate Resident Advisors, and a sizable band of undergraduate Managers.  Check out our staff page for bio/photos, though it will not be fully updated for Fall 2020 until later in the summer. Gregory has the best staff-to-student ratio in the college house system, so you will surely get to know some of the staff throughout the year.
  • Gregory has two extremely active, prestigious program communitiesFilm Culture  and Modern Languages. The Modern Languages Program (MLP) has five set language houses-- ArabicChineseFrenchGerman and Spanish.  Keep in mind that any schedules listed on the webpages/syllabi are for the current year-- meeting days and times for fall will be decided in late August.
  • First-year applicants for Film Culture are housed together on the fourth floor of Van Pelt, a predominantly freshman hall. First-year Modern Languages Program applicants are housed together on the top two floors of the Class of 1925 building; note that your roommates might be in any of the language houses, since it is during the biweekly (at least) events that you will be practicing in your target language.
  • Our program community participants have the option of obtaining course credit in Arabic, Cinema Studies, French, German or Spanish by participating in our residential programs!  No other College House offers that many academic options in residence. See the individual program pages for more information (but note that schedules and syllabi will be different for Fall 2019).  Don't worry about enrolling during summer pre-registration... attend the intro meetings the first week of classes and decide then.
  • Other Gregory perks include free coffee and tea at the Darkroom Cafe and DVD/gaming/cot rentals from the House Office.
  • The House is named after Emily Lovira Gregory, the first woman faculty member at Penn. 
  • Since Gregory is one of the smallest Houses at Penn, many students won't know that much about us (we kind of like it that way), and what they think they know is often way off base. In addition, many of the photos/videos out there are pre-renovation.  You can read all about our storied history, our coat of arms and our namesake, but the best way to get more information is to ask Gregorians-- if you have questions for current residents, staff, or even alumni, please let us know and we will easily put you in touch! And be sure to follow us on facebook!

For more information about the various college houses and their signature programs, check out the College Houses and Academic Services website.  For questions about move-in and the like, consult the Residential Services webpage.  For questions about room assignments contact

We can't wait to meet you in late August!