Timothy Dwight College Dean John Loge ’66 announced Thursday in an e-mail to TD students that he will step down at the end of the academic year after a 23-year tenure in the college.
Loge, a lecturer in the English Department, said he will leave the deanship in order to spend more time with his family and to pursue other interests. He first came to Yale as an undergraduate in 1962 and was appointed dean of TD in 1991, following stints as an adviser at Undergraduate Career Services and as a writing tutor in the college.
He said he has not yet decided whether he will maintain his post in the English Department but said he hopes to “keep a hand in at Yale in some way, perhaps by teaching.”
As dean for more than two decades, spanning the tenures of two masters, Loge said he has come to value the college as a tight-knit community that has rallied around him in times of personal hardship.
“I’ll miss the people — students and everybody I work with. I’ll miss the conversations, especially the philosophical conversations,” he said.
After he was hit by a car three years ago, Loge said, he was welcomed back to campus, still on crutches, with a student-planned celebration in the dining hall.
An avid nature writer, Loge said he looks forward to having more time to hike, camp and go on road trips. He said he also plans to spend more time with his family, including his three grandchildren in Connecticut.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” he said. “It’s time for me to do some other things I’m interested in and time for me to let somebody else have all the pleasures of being dean.”
TD Master Jeffrey Brenzel cited Loge’s “grounded wisdom” and “deep conviction” as qualities that made the dean a beloved figure in the college.
“I know that his abiding calm and sense of proportion have made his office in TD, and TD itself, a place of welcome, encouragement and support for generation after generation of students,” Brenzel said in a Thursday night email.
Hailed in TD as “the dean of deans,” Loge will be sorely missed in the college, students said Wednesday afternoon.
Seniors Anada Lakra ’14 and Serena Cadelaria ’14 said they were glad they would leave the college with Loge. They wondered whether a new dean would be able to match Loge’s musical prowess, displayed at the annual TD music night when he and Brenzel perform by singing and playing guitar to a song the pair composes.
“Dean Loge is TD,” Kelly Wu ’16 said. “He’s such a weird and thoughtful human being.”
Russ Egly said he will not let Loge leave the college — “we’re going to barricade him in his office.”
Egly described Loge as a “father figure” whose care for his students transcends their academic standing. He said Loge drove him to the airport at 5 a.m. when Egly found out his father had a terminal illness, sending him home and telling him not to worry about his exams.
Students remarked on Loge’s laid-back, comforting attitude and his well-known maxims, including his advice to always “go slow.”
Maxwell Ulin ’17 said he first came to respect Dean Loge when he heard his famous “boat speech,” a speech he gives every year at the college’s freshman dinner in which he compares the TD dining hall to a boat protecting the students from harm.
But Loge said he is devising a way to make sure all students, including non-seniors, hear “the other half of the boat speech,” which he typically gives at the senior dinner.
Corey Malone-Smolla ’16, a member of the TD college council, said students are brainstorming ways to commemorate Loge’s legacy in the college.
“We’re thinking of renaming our buttery after him, or maybe creating a Loge lounge somewhere in the college,” Malone-Smolla said. “Or getting a plaque made out of the ginkgo wood because he loves our ginkgo tree so much and putting it somewhere special.”
Loge’s announcement comes in a week filled with similar news of departures from the residential colleges. Silliman Dean Hugh Flick and Calhoun Master Jonathan Holloway GRD ’95 announced on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, that they will be stepping down from their positions at the end of the academic year as well.
Loge will officially step down from his post as dean in June 2014.