200 Days in the Life of the College

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Sunday, November 14

A feast fit for Woollcott’s own roundtable

By Julia Wilber ’11

In the late fall of her first year at Hamilton, Amanda Berman ’13 ignored an all-campus email invitation to enter her name in a drawing to attend the Woollcott CoOp Thanksgiving. She didn’t make that mistake the second time around, and a year later her name was one of several dozen that were randomly chosen. With her friends calling out, “You’re so lucky!” she leaves an a cappella rehearsal early to make sure she has enough time to get to the feast in Woollcott House.

And she concludes after dinner that “lucky” she was. “This was so good,” she raves. “All the rumors were true!”


Woollcott House, familiarly known as the CoOp, is home each school year to 20 Hamilton students who daily prepare food for one another based on environmental food values. Peeking around the kitchen — and the kitchens of nearby dorms borrowed for space — during the hours leading up to the feast, one witnesses the transformation that develops from the piles of local and organic ingredients. Rolls, pies and stuffing are created from scratch, as are dishes that suit every vegan, vegetarian and omnivore. Thanks to James Beslity ’11, coordinator of Thanksgiving 2010, more than 60 faculty members and students grace the feast with their presence. One satisfied guest is English Professor Naomi Guttman, who volunteers as CoOp advisor. “I like good food,” she says. “I believe there should be this kind of institution at Hamilton, and I am so pleased to be a part of it.”