On the ground: Saybrook ‘here for’ Miller

It was quite the pizza party. Depending on how one counted, there were four deans, three masters and one provost, chowing Yorkside pizza Sunday night in Saybrook College.

But even Provost Peter Salovey, the former Yale College dean, was limited to two slices — this was, after all, his successor’s turf.

The two-slice limit — a Saybrook tradition — also applied to Acting Dean Joseph Gordon GRD ’78, the former acting master of Pierson College; Saybrook College Dean Paul McKinley; and hundreds of Saybrugians who gathered in the courtyard to fete Saybrook Master Mary Miller, tapped Friday for the deanship of Yale College.

The main attraction, of course, was Miller herself — soon to become Yale College dean — and her husband, Associate Master Edward Kamens, who will become master on Dec. 1 when his wife assumes her new role.

Before she spoke, Miller had to adjust the microphone downward. She then quipped about the height of Salovey, who is just a few inches taller than she.

“The deans in this University just keep getting shorter,” she said to cheers.

The laughing crowd was even enthusiastic in dress: Yellow and blue shirts emblazoned with the new dean’s face and the words “It’s Miller Time” filled the courtyard.

Peter Luehring-Jones ’09, the Saybrook College Council president, told Miller that as she begins her new job, “Saybrook will be here for you.”

And Saybrook was there in force on Friday, too. After news of Miller’s appointment leaked early in the day, excitement filled the college’s dining hall and courtyards.

But for all her popularity, the newly minted dean is not one for excessive pomp. University President Richard Levin said in an interview last week that he admires Miller’s lack of “rhetoric or cant.”

True to form, Miller closed her remarks by reminding the gathered crowd, pursuant to long-standing Saybrook policy, to limit themselves to only two slices of pizza.

When Miller stepped down from the podium, she found herself surrounded by congratulatory students. Monitoring each student’s pizza intake, then, was near impossible.

But she did not need to. One student standing near the pizza reminded fellow Saybrugians of Miller’s famous saying: “The two-slice limit is in effect.”

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