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The Orlandos (2001-2013)

Terry and Ann Orlando, Ashdown House's 7th Housemasters
Terry and Ann Orlando,
Ashdown's 7th Housemasters

Terry and Ann Orlando served as housemasters of Ashdown from 2001 to 2013, and guided the Ashdown community during its transition from W1 to NW35 in 2008.

A professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT since 1981, Terry P. Orlando leads the Superconducting Circuits and Quantum Computation Group at the Research Laboratory of Electronics. He received his Doctorate in Physics from Stanford University where he met his wife Ann, a fellow graduate student. A retired electrical engineer specializing in navigation systems, Dr. Ann Orlando teaches Patristics and Church History at Saint John’s Seminary.

Terry and Ann were chosen as housemasters in 2001 when Vernon and Beth Ingram retired. Admired for their warmth and mentorship, the Orlandos strengthened existing House traditions and fostered some new ones. For example, they helped expand the Sunday Brunch from bagels, orange juice and coffee to the plentiful and diverse menu that we see today. They also supported the creation of the biannual Casino Night in 2009 and often volunteered their expertise as blackjack dealers.

In 2006, MIT suddenly revealed their plans to house undergraduates at W1 and move the Ashdown community to a new dormitory in the Northwest Campus. The initial design for the dormitory included only efficiency apartments and no common space apart from the laundry room. Working alongside graduate student leaders, Terry and Ann successfully petitioned the administration to revise the plans for the new building so that the needs of the Ashdown community were better represented. They lobbied strongly for additional common space as well as for more affordable room options. The Orlandos also made certain that the traditions and history of Ashdown were preserved during the transition, pushing for the new location to retain the name of Ashdown House. Moreover, they advocated for the Fabyan Room, Hulsizer Room, Ingram Room, Crafts Lounge and Thirsty Ear Pub to be included in the layout of the new building, NW35.

After twelve years of service to Ashdown, Terry and Ann Orlando retired as housemasters in 2013. Grateful Ashdown residents organized a farewell barbeque where Terry and Ann were given a photo album commemorating their extensive service to the Ashdown community. Also, in recognition of their fervent dedication to the Ashdown community and graduate student life at MIT, the Orlandos were presented with the Edward J. Horton Fellowship Award at the 2013 MIT Awards Convocation.

The above information contains information gathered from personal interviews, MIT Tech articles and MIT webpages.

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