Linonian Society
Linonia is a literary and debating society founded in 1753 at Yale University.


Linonia was founded in 1753 as Yale University's
RapidMiner, formerly YALE , is an environment for machine learning, data mining, text mining, predictive analytics, and business analytics. It is used for research, education, training, rapid prototyping, application development, and industrial applications...

 second literary and debating society. By the late eighteenth century, all incoming freshmen at Yale College
Yale College
Yale College was the official name of Yale University from 1718 to 1887. The name now refers to the undergraduate part of the university. Each undergraduate student is assigned to one of 12 residential colleges.-Residential colleges:...

 became members either of Linonia or its rival society, Brothers in Unity
Brothers in Unity
Brothers in Unity was an 18th century debating society at Yale University. At the time of the formation of Yale's central library, two debating societies, Linonia and Brothers in Unity, donated their respective libraries to the university...

, which was founded in 1768. Other debating societies arose throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, notably Crotonia
Crotonia was the first literary society to exist at Yale University. Little is known about it. It was already defunct before 1766. The name is also used by a contemporary student literary society at Yale, dedicated to the spoken word. Students read from both their work and others' and hear from...

 in 1738 and Calliope in 1819, but were relatively short-lived. By the end of the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the social dominance of Linonia and Brothers began to decline, and the debating society system ultimately evolved into the Yale Union and later in 1934, the Yale Political Union
Yale Political Union
The Yale Political Union , a debate society now the largest student organization at Yale University, was founded in 1934 by Professor Alfred Whitney Griswold , to enliven the university's political culture of the time. It was modelled on the Cambridge Union Society and Oxford Union...


The Linonian Society was reconstituted at the beginning of the 21st century in the mold of Yale's other collegiate secret societies. Instead of tapping only rising seniors, however, it draws from the Yale Law School
Yale Law School
Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Established in 1824, it offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D. and M.S.L. degrees in law. It also hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers...

, Yale Graduate School and Yale School of Management
Yale School of Management
The Yale School of Management is the graduate business school of Yale University and is located on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. The School offers Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. degree programs. As of January 2011, 454 students were enrolled in its MBA...

, in addition to Yale College students. According to tradition, Linonia participates in Yale's tap night during the second week of April. Unlike other "bio" societies, meetings often involve debate on intellectual and political topics.

Linonia and Sterling Memorial Library

At the time of the formation of Yale's central library in 1871, Linonia and Brothers donated their respective literary collections to the university. Both societies had kept substantial collections of works not deemed suitable by the Yale faculty, which did not teach English literature until the late nineteenth century. The donation is commemorated in the Linonia and Brothers Reading Room at Yale's Sterling Memorial Library
Sterling Memorial Library
Sterling Memorial Library is the largest library at Yale University, containing over 4 million volumes. It is an example of Gothic revival architecture, designed by James Gamble Rogers, adorned with thousands of panes of stained glass created by G. Owen Bonawit.The Library has 15 levels, each with...

. The reading room contains the Linonia and Brothers (L&B) collection, a travel collection, a collection devoted to medieval history, and a selection of new books recently added to Sterling’s collections. The Linonian Society, Brothers in Unity, and Calliope are all commemorated with their own courtyards in Branford College
Branford College
Branford College is the oldest of the 12 residential colleges at Yale University.-The Founding of Branford:Branford College was founded in 1933 by partitioning the Memorial Quadrangle into two parts: Saybrook and Branford...


Prominent members

  • Nathan Hale
    Nathan Hale
    Nathan Hale was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British...

  • Timothy Dwight IV
    Timothy Dwight IV
    Timothy Dwight was an American academic and educator, a Congregationalist minister, theologian, and author...

  • James Hillhouse
    James Hillhouse
    James Hillhouse was an American lawyer, real estate developer, and politician from New Haven, Connecticut. He represented Connecticut in both the U.S. House and Senate...

  • William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

  • Chauncey Mitchell Depew
  • Andrew Dickson White
    Andrew Dickson White
    Andrew Dickson White was a U.S. diplomat, historian, and educator, who was the co-founder of Cornell University.-Family and personal life:...

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