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Duckett is over 150 years old, but was not purchased until 1968. Throughout its history, however, it has been associated with Smith College. At the turn of the century, it was a boarding house for Smith students who lived off campus. Later on it was owned by an alumna and used as part of a school for girls. The house is named for Eleanor Shipley Duckett, a former professor in the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures.
Mary Ellen Chase, for whom Chase House is named, was her life-long companion, and so the adjoining Chase and Duckett Houses were named for these women scholars and teachers. There are several volumes of their published works in the house library.
Duckett is home to 37 students , one of the smallest Houses on Smith Campus. Duckett's location is a great asset, residents are only five minutes away from everything- classes, libraries and downtown. The white frame building has 21 single rooms and 8 double rooms. Each has its own unique characteristics. On the first floor, students can relax in the living room where the television/VCR and newspapers are kept. A study and kitchenette provide alternative places for reading, studying and gathering.
As for the Duckett house social life, several parties are held every academic year. One cocktail party takes place during Winter Weekend and another during Spring Weekend. These parties are either a cocktail party, a regular party, or an after hours party. There are in-house parties run by each of the classes as well. The first-year students are responsible for organizing a Halloween Party; the sophomores plan a study break for each reading period at final exam time. The entire house plans a Senior Banquet at the end of the year to celebrate Duckett's graduating students.
The Duckett "Special" Dining room offers language lunch tables and special dinners for diverse organizations on campus. It is a private enclosed dining room just off the main dining room, which is shared with Chase and Dawes Houses during the week, and with other houses as well on the weekends.