Dell Dining was “tent” out of 10


Media: Photo courtesy of Louis Jeffries

The Dining Hall tent housed students while the Millheiser Dining Hall underwent construction.


If you ask the average third former what word they associate with Hill, I’d wager you’d get a lot of the same answers – Dress code. Community. L’ville Weekend. Tradition. Proper. 

Those words, in some way or another, encapsulate that mystic, hard-to-define “Hillness.” But if you ask the Class of 2022 what word they associate with Hill, you’d get a different answer: You’d get “tent.” 

Imagine if you will, pulling up to the Hill School for the first day of orientation. Maybe, like many others, you’d be unpacking boxes from a loaded trunk, tearfully saying goodbye to your loved ones; or maybe like me, you’d be a day student, familiar with Hill but still not certain of what’s to come. 

Regardless of who you are, how you got there, and what your living arrangements would be, the tent would have looked down on you all the same. A white-topped behemoth with clear plastic walls, a surprisingly spacious interior, and a deafening cry from the air conditioners – ask what used to be in the space that tent stood, you’d be told it “used to be the old hockey rink” — and that answer would never clear things up. 

But the Dell Dining tent is a hallmark memory of the Class of ’22 and an all-time-classic Hill experience. Because, despite the noise, despite the freezing cold, Dell Dining — much more commonly referred to by the affectionate moniker “the tent” — developed a cult following by students who associate it with the fond memories of our third form year. 

“You wanna grab dinner in the tent at 6?”

“I love the view from the tent when it’s snowing?”

“I can’t believe they brought all these huge tables down the hill to the tent!”

It was, in short, a great space: the butt of a lot of jokes and the home to a lot of fun. Many great times from our third form year revolve around sharing that space, and the memory of Dell Dining will live on with the Class of ’22 — even as we leave the Hill. In its place has since stood the temporary science building, temporary language classrooms, and now Dellside dorm. 

While they all have served their function well, the Dining Tent is a legendary bit of Hill lore and a tough act to follow.