Introducing New Housie Will Harlan

Introducing New Housie Will Harlan

Will Harlan – A Searcher Par Excellence


When asked what Will liked best about his college education, he said “I like searching – it is the most consistent aspect of myself”. And it is this special quality that brought Will from his hometown of North Augusta, Georgia to Simmons College to pursue a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, to our Beacon Hill Friends House community in Boston.

Will remembers in high school when he found the Belief-O-Matic on It was a questionnaire that asked him twenty questions about his concept of faith, and lo and behold, the faith he was most aligned with was Quakerism! He did not find a Quaker community where he lived, but the thought stayed with him. The concepts of simplicity, stewardship, respect, and of course the value of seeking all resonated in his heart.

After working in a traditional business in Georgia after college, Will realized he wanted a change. His love of seeking and research in school led him to a desire to develop his expertise in library science, and Simmons seemed a perfect fit. It was by putting this piece of the puzzle into his life that Beacon Hill Friends House arose – through the Simmons College Off-campus Housing Facebook page. Beacon Hill Friends House was listed on the site, and upon visiting our BHFH website, Will knew this was the living arrangement he was looking for, where he could explore the affinity with Quaker qualities that he discovered in high school!

Will values communal living, and the power of a community that is greater than the sum of its individuals. He enjoyed learning about groups like the Amish in college, and was impressed with the productivity and purpose that could be attained when a community works in harmony. The chance to be involved in the work of Beacon Hill Friends House has added a facet to his life in Boston, and it is easy to see from the committees he is on: The Retreat Committee, the Resident Committee, the Nominating Committee and newly formed Financial Aid Committee. But Will has done more than this – he is finding ways to use his library and archives skills to enhance the BHFH experience. This summer he worked with Cheryl Mitchell, mother of a BHFH alumna, to examine archives of 1990 BHFH alumni and prepare an exhibit for our 1990s alumni event that was a stellar success! And he looks forward to the opportunity to perform a demographic survey of current and past BHFH residents to understand the nature of our special community over the years.

Will’s love of searching has enriched his life, brought him to Beacon Hill Friends House and is radiating love and light in all of us. Thank you, Will!