Phillips Brooks House Association

student volunteers

Volunteer with the Phillips Brooks House Association. Photo courtesy of CollegeNext.Org

The Phillip Brooks House Association (PBHA) is a student-run organization that wants to see community change.

This nonprofit program emphasizes the importance stepping outside of the classroom and participating in public service and social engagement. It heads over 80 other student-run programs that focus on different kinds of change within the greater Boston community and beyond.

History of Phillips Brooks House Association

Phillips Brooks House was originally built to honor Reverend Phillips Brooks, who was a preacher at Trinity Church. Reverend Brooks was an advocate for social welfare and community service. In 1900, years after Revered Brooks had passed away, the house was dedicated to Harvard to promote charity and service among the members of the student body.

Historically, service initiatives have included organizing clothing drives, establishing a Red Cross center and an ROTC lounge during the World Wars, and making Harvard courses accessible to high school graduates with financial need.

phillips brooks house association statue

Phillips Brooks Statue in Copley Square. Photo courtesy of Daderot.

Fun Fact: You can see a statue of Phillips Brooks outside of Trinity Church in Copley Square, across from the Boston Public Library. The man behind him, many people joke, looks just like Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars.

(To see the statue up close, click here for directions on how to get there with the MBTA Green Line. Get off at the Copley stop.)

Phillips Brooks House Association Today

Currently, PBHA hosts more than 80 student-directed programs and over 1,400 student volunteers. These students both run and volunteer in community service projects like after-school tutoring, teaching English language classes, promoting deaf awareness, and providing assistance at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

“The Best Course at Harvard”

Many students advocate for PBHA, and claim that the projects that they have worked on foster personal growth as well as community change.

Shalini Pammal, class of 2013, served as a director of the Afterschool Program in South Boston. She volunteered at Condon Elementary school and has since been devising a curriculum that encourages building confidence, improving social skills, and providing social support for young students.

Jonathan Hoffman, ’69, volunteered for an educational program in the Concord State Penitentiary. He and another student directed a play that was put on by inmates. The theatrical experience was so popular within the prison that he was asked back the next year.

Chimaobi Amutah, ’07, was a trip leader for Alternative Spring Break, providing services and support in rural Mississippi with the help of a coalition of other student volunteers. He calls PBHA “the best course at Harvard.”

(Editor’s Note: Click here for more information about how to become a better student leader.)

Contact the Phillips Brooks House Association

For more information about PBHA or any of its partnering organizations, you can call (617) 495-5526, email, or write to:

Phillips Brooks House Association
Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138

To locate Phillips Brooks House, see the map below. The House is located directly across from the Holden Chapel at the northwestern corner of Harvard Yard.

[pw_map address=”Phillips Brooks House, Cambridge, MA 02138″]