New College House named for Wayne and Phyllis Booth, led by newly appointed Resident Masters

The College will pay tribute to the late English scholar and dean of the College Wayne C. Booth, and his wife Phyllis, by naming a new residential house in their honor, Dean John W. Boyer announced this week.

The Wayne and Phyllis Booth House will open this fall inside the International House, providing a home for undergraduates within one of the oldest and most diverse communities at the University of Chicago.

Wayne Booth was one of the 20th century's most prominent and influential literary critics and a scholar of great importance at the University of Chicago. He served as Dean of the College from 1964 to 1969.


Phyllis and Wayne Booth also served as two of the first Resident Masters in the history of the University’s House System, at Woodward Court in 1970.

“Phyllis and Wayne were extraordinarily generous colleagues who cared deeply about the welfare of our students,” Boyer said, adding that the couple championed the creation of the College’s unusual Resident Masters program, in which faculty members live in the House System to serve as mentors and leaders.

“As dean of the College, Wayne Booth guided the College during a critical period of transition, and worked tirelessly for the social cohesion of the campus,” Boyer said. “This house is a fitting way for a new generation of students to understand his contributions to scholarship and to the University’s intellectual community.”

Booth’s remarkable strengths as a teacher already have been recognized through the establishment of the annual Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Scott and Laura Stern will serve the community as Resident Masters to Booth House and to Phoenix House, which opened inside International House in 2010. Scott Stern (AB ’80 and MD ’84) is a professor of medicine and associate dean for technology and innovation in the Pritzker School of Medicine. He has taught and practiced at the University of Chicago since 1994. Laura Stern (AB ’80) has worked for more than 30 years in a variety of investment management roles, including founding her own asset management business.

“The presence of Laura and Scott as Resident Masters will bring enormous enthusiasm, energy and leadership to these two houses and to the House System more broadly,” said Katie Callow-Wright, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Assistant Dean of the College. “They have strong roots at UChicago and are already enriching this community and connecting with students in many ways,” she said.

Scott and Laura Stern met each other through the housing system as first-years living at Woodward Court. With this appointment they will oversee a broad range of programs to create a sense of cohesion among the students who live in the College houses there. “We want to focus on enriching the cultural, social and intellectual experiences of all the residents who come to these houses,” said Scott Stern.

International House has been a unique fixture on the University of Chicago campus since it was opened in 1932, hosting civic and community events in Hyde Park and providing dormitory-style housing for tens of thousands of visitors, professors and students for 80 years. The creation of the Phoenix House in 2010 and now the Wayne and Phyllis Booth House within I-House comes in response to increased demand for on-campus housing.

The new Wayne and Phyllis Booth House will open this fall to students from all four years in the College. It will host a full undergraduate student housing program, including on-site Resident Heads and Assistant Resident Heads, a house lounge, and all the amenities that make the housing system at UChicago distinct and successful.