By Sara Hart
By the first part of the 20th century, Yale had gained renown as an elite university. Such status spurred aggressive building, expanded curriculum, and increased enrollment. Concerned alumni and administrators sensed the atmosphere was becoming increasingly impersonal and, therefore, detrimental to students. They moved to organize the campus into a network of smaller, self-contained residential colleges, loosely based on the model of Oxford and Cambridge. They reasoned that an intimate, domestic environment would not only be more conducive to academic achievement, but promote emotional and social well-being.
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