College is for making memories and new friends, but one group at Yale University was brought together in an unexpected way. It was a happy mistake that led to new friendships.
“We all had this one shared characteristic that we didn’t choose, but we are all so different in so many other ways,” David Foster, a junior, said.
You might see the guys around Yale’s campus, sharing a laugh. If you ask their names, they will be happy to tell you.
“Hi there, I’m David Foster.”
“I’m David Gallagher.”
“My name is David Mcelfresh.”
“Hey, David Rao.”
They were all brought together by their name, and there are dozens of them on campus.
“We have Davids from Louisiana, New York, California, Canada, China. I mean, we've got all sorts of different Davids,” Foster said.
They are now members of Yale’s newest social club, “The Council of Davids.”
“Okay so there’s quite a back story,” senior David Gallagher said.
It all started when Gallagher, known as “Original David,” ordered a package.
“I put down my address line, everything's normal,” he said. “But somebody in the process decided to shorten my name from ‘David Gallagher, Yale University.’ So that gets sent to the Yale packaging center to just ‘David University.’”
The mail mishap caused confusion at the campus post office.
“I woke up one morning to see an email from the Yale University package center, where there was me and all the other David's on campus,” Foster said.
“It just said ‘package inquiry,’ you know,” freshman David Mcelfresh recalls.
“They emailed all of us on one chain,” Foster said.
The following “reply all” prompted a storm.
“It kind of seems like it boils down to one very compassionate and empathetic person who said, ‘I want to make sure that this package gets back to its rightful owner,’ and at the same time, it's just a hilarious thing,” senior David Rao said.
Then David Foster posted about the incident on the Yale meme page.
“We took the screenshot of that email and posted it online, and it ended up being viewed by 384,000 people,” he said.
The bonded Davids had a meet-and-greet on campus. They made the front cover of the ‘Yale Daily News.’ Now, they are all part of a large group chat.
“Checking my phone after coming out of a class being stressed, you know, I check my phone, and every time I would see the subject line ‘package inquiry,’ I would immediately laugh because I knew it was going to be something great with all of the Davids,” Mcelfresh said.
However, the new bond hasn’t been without a little bit of drama.
“For some reason, this guy named Michael entered our group chat, and we really didn't know what to make of them,” Gallagher said.
“So we were very concerned,” Mcelfresh explained. “Because how did a Michael get into the David only group chat, right?”
The situation is currently under investigation.
“Even though Michael claimed to be an ally of the Davids, this was a safe space for the Davids,” Mcelfresh said “We couldn't really have anybody else kind of impeding in our safe space. So he did have to be removed from the group chat.”
Right now there are 42 undergrad Davids on Yale’s campus. However, members of The Council say they are open to expanding the group down the line.
“Anyone with any sort of derivative of David in their name,” Foster said. “I mean a David anyone's last name, Davids, Davidson. As long as you have as long as you have some sort of David in your name, you have a home here at The Council of Davids.”
“It is something that we kind of have to write bylaws and write a manifesto, a David manifesto for,” Mcelfresh said. “And we are willing to welcome Michael with open arms if he legally changes his name to David.”
Top of mind for the Davids: world domination. Or at least taking over Yale University.
“We also said, why don't we just all collude and make an actual David University and secede from Yale?” Gallagher said.
It has been a good laugh for all, and a warm welcome for freshmen.
“It’s been really nice to have a community of the Davids, as silly as that sounds,” Mcelfresh said.
They hope The Council has a bright future.
“Maybe one day David University will be accepting applications!” Gallagher said.
The Davids are now wondering if this club, born out of their birthnames, could leave a legacy.
“I'd love to see how it develops, and maybe one day it will be the next Skull and Bones,” Rao said. “This is just one example of how some chance encounter with a package on campus can lead to a really cool phenomenon, and I can't wait to see where it goes.”