The Info List - Harvard College

Harvard College
Harvard College
is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University. Founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States[2] and one of the most prestigious in the world.[3]


1 History 2 Academics 3 House system 4 Athletics 5 Student organizations 6 Notable alumni 7 Fictional alumni 8 Footnotes 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Harvard University

View of the ancient buildings belonging to Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., New York Public Library

View of freshman dormitories in Harvard Yard

The school came into existence in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court (colonial legislature, second oldest in British America) of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony—though without a single building, instructor, or student. In 1638, the college became home for North America's first known printing press, carried by the ship John of London.[4][5] Three years later, the college was renamed in honor of deceased Charlestown minister John Harvard (1607–1638) who had bequeathed to the school his entire library and half of his monetary estate. Harvard's first instructor was schoolmaster Nathaniel Eaton (1610–1674); in 1639, he also became its first instructor to be dismissed, for overstrict discipline.[6] The school's first students were graduated in 1642. In 1665, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck (c. 1643–1666) "from the Wampanoag
… did graduate from Harvard, the first Indian to do so in the colonial period."[7]

Lt Gov William Stoughton, (1631–1701), Colonial Governor: 1694–99, 1700–01; circa 1700 overlooking one of the buildings of Harvard College

The colleges of England's Oxford and Cambridge Universities are communities within the larger university, each an association of scholars sharing room and board. Harvard's founders may have envisioned it as the first in a series of sibling colleges on the English model which would eventually constitute a university—though no further colleges materialized in colonial times. The Indian College was active from 1640 to no later than 1693, but it was a minor addition not operated in federation with Harvard according to the English model. Harvard began granting higher degrees in the late eighteenth century, and it was increasingly styled Harvard University, even as Harvard College
Harvard College
was increasingly thought of as the university's undergraduate division in particular.[citations needed throughout] Today Harvard College
Harvard College
is responsible for undergraduate admissions, advising, housing, student life, and athletics – generally all undergraduate matters except instruction, which is the purview of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The body known as The President and Fellows of Harvard College
President and Fellows of Harvard College
retains its traditional name despite having governance of the entire University. Radcliffe College (established 1879)[8] originally paid Harvard faculty to repeat their lectures for women students. Since the 1970s, Harvard has been responsible for undergraduate governance matters for women; women were still formally admitted to and graduated from Radcliffe until a final merger in 1999.[9] Academics[edit] About 2,000 students are admitted each year, representing between five and ten percent of those applying; of those admitted, approximately three-quarters choose to attend.[10][11][12][13] Very few transfers are accepted.[14] Midway through the second year, most undergraduates join one of fifty standard fields of concentration (what most schools call academic majors); many also declare a secondary field (called minors elsewhere). Joint concentrations (combining the requirements of two standard concentrations) and special concentrations (of the student's own design) are also possible.[citation needed] Most Harvard College
Harvard College
concentrations lead to the Artium Baccalaureus (A.B.), normally completed in four years, though students leaving high school with substantial college-level coursework may finish in three. A smaller number receive the Scientiarum Baccalaureus (S.B.). There are also special degree programs, such as a five-year program leading to both a Harvard undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts from the New England Conservatory of Music. Undergraduates must also fulfill the General Education requirement of coursework in eight designated fields:

Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding Culture and Belief Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning

Ethical Reasoning Science of Living Systems Science of the Physical Universe

Societies of the World United States in the World

Each student's exposure (via "Gen Ed") to a range of intellectual areas, while pursuing a chosen concentration in depth, fulfills the injunction of Harvard past-president Abbott Lawrence Lowell
Abbott Lawrence Lowell
that liberal education should produce "men who know a little of everything and something well."[15] In 2012, dozens of students were disciplined for cheating on a take-home exam in one course.[16] The university instituted an honor code beginning in the fall of 2015.[17][18] The total annual cost of attendance, including tuition and room and board, for 2015–2016 was $60,659.[19] Under financial aid guidelines adopted in 2012, families with incomes below $65,000 no longer pay anything for their children to attend, including room and board. Families with incomes between $65,000 to $150,000 pay no more than 10% of their annual income.[20] In 2009, Harvard offered grants totaling $414 million across all eleven divisions;[further explanation needed] $340 million came from institutional funds, $35 million from federal support, and $39 million from other outside support. Grants total 88% of Harvard's aid for undergraduate students, with aid also provided by loans (8%) and work-study (4%).[19]

House system[edit]

Lowell House
Lowell House
in autumn

Nearly all undergraduates live on campus, for the first year in dormitories in or near Harvard Yard
Harvard Yard
(see List of Harvard dormitories) and later in the upperclass Houses—administrative subdivisions of the College as well as living quarters, providing a sense of community in what might otherwise be a socially incohesive and administratively daunting university environment. Each house is presided over by a senior-faculty Faculty Dean, (until 2016 called the house's Master) while its Allston Burr Resident Dean (usually a junior faculty member) supervises undergraduates' day-to-day academic and disciplinary well-being. The Faculty Dean and Resident Dean are assisted by other members of the Senior Common Room—select graduate students (called tutors), faculty, and University officials brought into voluntary association with each house. Many tutors reside in the House, as do the Faculty Dean and Resident Dean. (Terms such as tutor, Senior Common Room and Junior Common Room—the House's undergraduate members—reflect a debt to the residential college systems at Oxford and Cambridge from which Harvard's system took inspiration.)[21] The Houses were created by President Lowell in the 1930s to combat what he saw as pernicious social stratification engendered by the private, off-campus living arrangements of many undergraduates at that time. Lowell's solution was to provide every man‍—‌Harvard was male-only at the time‍—‌with on-campus accommodations throughout his time at the College; Lowell also saw great benefits flowing from other features of the House system, such as the relaxed discussions (academic or otherwise) which he hoped would take place among undergraduates and members of the Senior Common Room
Senior Common Room
over meals in each House's dining hall.[22] The way in which students come to live in particular Houses has changed greatly over time. Under the original "draft" system, Masters negotiated privately over the assignment of "rising sophomores" (that is, current freshmen, who will be sophomores in the coming academic year) considered most—or least—promising.[citation needed] From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, each student ranked the Houses according to personal preference, with an impersonal lottery resolving the oversubscription of more popular houses. Today, groups of one to eight freshmen form a block which is then assigned, essentially at random, to an upperclass house.

The "River" Houses. Harvard Yard
Harvard Yard
at top center.

South of Harvard Yard, near the Charles River, are the nine River Houses:

Adams House Dunster House Eliot House Kirkland House Leverett House Lowell House Mather House Quincy House John Winthrop House

The construction of the River houses was financed largely by a 1928 gift from Yale
alumnus Edward Harkness
Edward Harkness
who, frustrated in his attempts to initiate a similar project at his alma mater, eventually offered 11 million dollars to Harvard.[a][26] Two of the new houses, Dunster and Lowell, were completed in 1930.[23] Construction of the first River houses began in early 1929,[23] but the land on which they were built had been assembled decades before. After graduating Harvard in 1895, Edward Waldo Forbes (grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson) found himself inspired by the Oxford and Cambridge systems during two years of study in England; on returning to the United States he set out to acquire such land between Harvard Yard and the Charles River
Charles River
as was not already owned by Harvard or some associated entity. By 1918 that ambition had been largely fulfilled and the assembled land transferred to Harvard.[27][28] The three Quad Houses (in the Radcliffe Quadrangle) enjoy a residential setting one-half mile (800 m) northwest of Harvard Yard. These were built by Radcliffe College
Radcliffe College
and housed Radcliffe College students until the Harvard and Radcliffe residential systems merged in 1977.[29] They are:

Cabot House Currier House Pforzheimer House

A thirteenth house, Dudley House, is nonresidential but fulfills, for some graduate students and the (very few) undergraduates living off campus, the administrative and social functions provided to on-campus residents by the other twelve houses. Harvard's residential houses are paired with Yale's residential colleges in sister relationships. Athletics[edit] Main article: Harvard Crimson By the late 19th century critics of intercollegiate athletics, including Harvard president Charles William Eliot, believed that sports competition had become over-commercialized and took students away from their studies, and they called for reform and limitations on all sports. This opposition prompted Harvard's athletic committee to target 'minor' sports—basketball and hockey—for reform and regulation in order to deflect attention from the major sports—football, baseball, track, and crew. The committee made it difficult for the basketball team to operate by denying financial assistance and limiting the number of overnight away games in which the team could participate. Several losing seasons, negative attitudes toward the commercialization of intercollegiate sports, and the need for reform contributed to basketball's demise at Harvard in 1909.[30] Today Harvard, one of the eight members of the Ivy League, claims[clarification needed] to have the largest Division I intercollegiate athletics program, with 41 varsity teams and over 1,500 student-athletes. Begun in 1852, the Harvard– Yale
Regatta is the oldest intercollegiate athletic rivalry in the United States. Better known is the annual Harvard- Yale
football game—"The Game", to insiders—first played in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1875, and now played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, making it one of many significant games played on "Rivalry Day."[clarification needed] Student organizations[edit] Main article: List of Harvard College
Harvard College
undergraduate organizations Harvard has hundreds of undergraduate organizations.[31] The Phillips Brooks House Association acts as an umbrella service organization. In an effort to marginalize organizations that "contribute to a social life and a student culture that for many on our campus is disempowering and exclusionary",[32] students entering in the fall of 2017 or later who join unrecognized single-sex organizations (such as single-sex "final clubs", fraternities, and sororities) will be barred from campus leadership positions such as team captaincies, and from receiving recommendation letters from Harvard requisite for certain scholarships and fellowships.[33] Notable alumni[edit] See also: List of Harvard University
Harvard University


Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller
(expelled) Philip Johnson


Waldo Peirce Ellen Harvey Alex Kahn Marina Rosenfeld


Stephanie Wilson


Andrew Fraknoi


Craig Adams Matt Birk Emily Cross Ryan Fitzpatrick Bobby Jones Jeremy Lin Esther Lofgren Dominic Moore Christopher Nowinski Ryan Max Riley Paul Wylie


Harold M. Weintraub


Steve Ballmer Lloyd Blankfein Jim Cramer Bill Gates
Bill Gates
(did not graduate) James Halperin (did not graduate) Trip Hawkins William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst
(rusticated) Sumner Redstone Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
(did not graduate)


Ben Bernanke Martin Feldstein Jason Furman Steven Levitt Merton Miller Eduardo Saverin Robert M. Solow James Tobin


Prince Lucien Campbell John Phillips Edwin H. Baker Pratt


Harry Cross Nelson Denis Hendrik Hertzberg Nicholas D. Kristof Anthony Lewis Walter Lippmann Sylvia Poggioli Sanford J. Ungar


See also: Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
§ Notable people

Harry Blackmun Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. John Roberts David Souter


James Agee William S. Burroughs Michael Crichton E. E. Cummings John Dos Passos W. E. B. Du Bois T. S. Eliot Jean Kwok Norman Mailer Edmund Pearson Max Perkins Erich Segal Wallace Stevens John Updike


Manjul Bhargava Buddy Fletcher Theodore Kaczynski Tom Lehrer

Performing arts – music, theater, and film

Charlie Albright Darren Aronofsky Paris Barclay Leonard Bernstein Andy Borowitz Amy Brenneman Carter Burwell Nestor Carbonell Rivers Cuomo Matt Damon
Matt Damon
(did not graduate) Nelson Denis Fred Gwynne Hao Huang Rashida Jones Tommy Lee Jones Colin Jost Jack Lemmon Ryan Leslie John Lithgow Donal Logue Yo-Yo Ma Terrence Malick Lorenzo Mariani Tom Morello Dean Norris Conan O'Brien Natalie Portman Joshua Redman Meredith Salenger Elisabeth Shue Whit Stillman Mira Sorvino Michael Stern James Toback


Donald Davidson Daniel Dennett Ralph Waldo Emerson Charles Sanders Peirce W.V.O. Quine George Santayana Henry David Thoreau


Philip Warren Anderson Theodore Hall Thomas S. Kuhn[34] J. Robert Oppenheimer Neil deGrasse Tyson


John Adams John Quincy Adams Samuel Adams Charlie Baker Benazir Bhutto Sir George Downing Pedro Albizu Campos Al Franken Elbridge Gerry Al Gore John Hancock Edward M. Kennedy John F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy Henry Kissinger Matthew Mayhew Masako Owada Deval Patrick Tom Ridge Franklin Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jay Rockefeller Chuck Schumer Meshech Weare John Weston


Joseph Stevens Buckminster Aga Khan IV Cotton Mather Increase Mather Jonathan Mayhew Theodore Parker

Fictional alumni[edit]

Amy Farrah Fowler (show: The Big Bang Theory) Ari Gold Charles Emerson Winchester III Emily Sweeney (show: The Big Bang Theory) Frasier Crane James "Toofer" Spurlock Josh Lyman Oliver Barrett IV Method Man
Method Man
(movie: How High) Montgomery (Monty) Kessler (With Honors) Patrick Bateman Quentin Compson
Quentin Compson
(did not graduate) Redman (movie: How High) Reverend Samuel Parris
Samuel Parris
as a character in The Crucible Thurston Howell III Tyrone Slothrop
Tyrone Slothrop
(novel: Gravity's Rainbow) Rafael Barba
Rafael Barba
(show: Law and Order: Special
Victims Unit) Toby Curtis (show: Scorpion)


^ [23][24] Harkness' gift was anonymous, at least at first. "I have forgotten the gentleman's name," Harvard's President Lowell told the faculty in making the initial announcement. "I told him I would."[25]


^ As of 1 March 2018[update]. "Harvard at a Glance". Harvard University. Retrieved 1 March 2018.  ^ Rudolph, Frederick (1961). The American College and University. University of Georgia Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-8203-1285-1.  ^ Keller, Morton; Keller, Phyllis (2001). Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University. Oxford University
Oxford University
Press. pp. 463–481. ISBN 0-19-514457-0. Harvard's professional schools... won world prestige of a sort rarely seen among social institutions. (...) Harvard's age, wealth, quality, and prestige may well shield it from any conceivable vicissitudes.  Spaulding, Christina (1989). "Sexual Shakedown". In Trumpbour, John. How Harvard Rules: Reason in the Service of Empire. South End Press. pp. 326–336. ISBN 0-89608-284-9. ...[Harvard's] tremendous institutional power and prestige (...) Within the nation's (arguably) most prestigious institution of higher learning...  ^ "The instrument behind New England's first literary flowering". Harvard University. Retrieved 2014-01-18.  ^ "Rowley and Ezekiel Rogers, The First North American Printing Press" (PDF). Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull. Retrieved 2014-01-18.  ^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636–1936 (1986) ^ Monaghan, E. J., 2005, p. 55, 59 ^ Schwager, Sally (2004). "Taking up the Challenge: The Origins of Radcliffe". In Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (ed.). Yards and Gates: Gender in Harvard and Radcliffe History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 87–115. ISBN 1-4039-6098-4. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ Radcliffe Enters Historic Merger With Harvard. The Harvard Crimson (Report). Retrieved May 6, 2016.  ^ Thompson, Daphne (1 April 2015). "Harvard Accepts Record-Low 5.3 Percent of Applicants to Class of 2019". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ Jan, Tracy (30 March 2009). "Harvard admission rate dips to 7 percent". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 April 2011.  ^ Yield Holds Steady For 2013 – Harvard News Office ^ A record pool leads to a record-low admissions rate Archived 2008-05-03 at the Wayback Machine. – Harvard News Office ^ Menz, Petey. "The Real 1%: Harvard Admits 15 Transfer Students". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 7 March 2015.  ^ Lewis, Harry R. (2007). Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future?. PublicAffairs. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-58648-537-5.  ^ Perez-Pena, Richard (February 1, 2013). "Students Disciplined in Harvard Scandal". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2013.  ^ Patel, Dev A.; Watros, Steven R. (May 7, 2014). "Faculty Approves College's First Honor Code, Likely Effective Fall 2015". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved August 10, 2015. "Likely beginning in the fall of 2015, all College students will be required to make a regular affirmation of integrity, the nature and frequency of which will be determined next year"...  ^ Harrington, Rebecca (September 14, 2012). "Song of the Cheaters". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2013. "...an honor code, a system ... Harvard has long resisted  ^ a b "Cost of Attendance". Harvard University. Retrieved August 10, 2015.  ^ "Harvard increases financial aid to low-income students". The Harvard Gazette. September 1, 2011.  ^ Harvard College
Harvard College
Office of Residential Life (2008). "History of the House System". Retrieved 2008-04-20. [permanent dead link] ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot (1936). Three Centuries of Harvard: 1636–1936. pp. 476–478.  ^ a b c Bethell, John (1998). Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University
Harvard University
Press. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-674-37733-2.  ^ "Gifts - 1928-1929" (Press release). Harvard University
Harvard University
News Office. June 20, 1929. HU 37.5, Harvard University
Harvard University
Archives, Cambridge, Mass. "This figure [of gifts and legacies received during the year] includes $5,444,000 received from E. S. Harkness to defray the expenses of constructing the first Harvard houses." ^ John B. Fox, Jr. (2007). The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, 1686–1933. President and Fellows of Harvard College. p. 142.  ^ "Harkness and History". Harvard Magazine. November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2015.  ^ Lowe, Charles U. "The Forbes Story of the Harvard Riverside Associates: How Harvard Acquired the Land on which Lowell House
Lowell House
was Built," February 20, 2002.lowell.harvard.edu Archived 2010-04-09 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sacks, Benjamin J. "Harvard's 'Constructed Utopia' and the Culture of Deception: the Expansion toward the Charles River, 1902-1932," The New England Quarterly 84.2 (June 2011): 286–317.[1] ^ Sofen, Adam A. "Radcliffe Enters Historic Merger With Harvard, April 21, 1999.[2] ^ Marc Horger, "A Victim of Reform: Why Basketball Failed at Harvard, 1900-1909," New England Quarterly 2005 78(1): 49-76, ^ "Student Organization List". osl.fas.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-13.  ^ Khurana, Rakesh. "Letter concerning membership in unrecognized single-gender social organizations" (PDF).  ^ Stephanie Saul. (2016) Harvard Restrictions Could Reshape Exclusive Student Clubs The New York Times, May 6, 2016 ^ Thomas S. Kuhn
Thomas S. Kuhn
(2000) The Road since Structure, edited by James Conant and John Haugeland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Further reading[edit]

Gookin, Daniel, Historical Collections, 53: Railton, "Vineyard's First Harvard Men," 91-112. King, Moses, Harvard and its surroundings, Cambridge, Massachusetts : Moses King, 1884 Monaghan, E. J. (2005). Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America University of Massachusetts
Press. Boston: MA Sibley's Harvard Graduates

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harvard University.

has the text of the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica
(9th ed.) article Harvard College.

Harvard College Harvard University List of Harvard BA Graduates Class from 1642 to 1782 List of Harvard BA Graduates Class from 1783 to 1886

Coordinates: 42°22′26″N 71°07′01″W / 42.374°N 71.117°W / 42.374; -71.117

v t e

Harvard University

History John Harvard


President Drew Gilpin Faust Board of Overseers President and Fellows of Harvard College Provost Alan M. Garber The Harvard Library

Arts and Sciences

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith


Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana Radcliffe College

Freshman dormitories Upperclass houses

Adams Cabot Currier Dudley Dunster Eliot Kirkland Leverett Lowell Mather Pforzheimer Quincy Winthrop

Undergraduate organizations The Harvard Crimson The Harvard Lampoon The Harvard Advocate The Harvard Independent

Athletics: Harvard Crimson Ivy League Harvard Stadium Yale
football rivalry Lavietes Pavilion Bright Hockey Center Cornell hockey rivalry Men's squash Men's soccer Men's basketball Beanpot Weld Boathouse Newall Boathouse

Continuing Education

Division of Continuing Education Dean Huntington D. Lambert Extension School Summer School History of Harvard Extension School

Eng. & Appl. Sciences

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Francis J. Doyle III Lyman Laboratory of Physics

Graduate School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Xiao-Li Meng


Cabot Harvard-Yenching Houghton

Harvard Review

Lamont Pusey Widener

Harry Widener Eleanor Elkins Widener


Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts Center for Hellenic Studies Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Institute for Quantitative Social Science Nieman Foundation for Journalism Ukrainian Research Institute Villa I Tatti W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois


Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria Harvard Business Publishing

Harvard Business Press Harvard Business Review

Baker Library/Bloomberg Center Spangler Center


Harvard Graduate School of Design Dean Mohsen Mostafavi Harvard Design Magazine Joint Center for Housing Studies


Harvard Divinity School Dean David N. Hempton


Harvard Graduate School of Education


John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
School of Government Dean Douglas Elmendorf Institute of Politics Shorenstein Center


Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning Harvard Law Review Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Harvard Law Record Harvard International Law Journal Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review Harvard Journal on Legislation Berkman Klein Center


Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Scott Flier Broad Institute Countway Library Center for the History of Medicine

Warren Anatomical Museum

Schepens Eye Research Institute


Harvard School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce Donoff

Public health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Ann Williams


Harvard Art Museums

Arthur M. Sackler Fogg Museum Busch-Reisinger

Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Museum of Natural History

Glass Flowers Mineralogical Museum Herbaria Comparative Zoology

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Semitic Museum General Artemas Ward House

Cambridge campus

Memorial Hall Science Center Smith Campus Center Peabody Terrace Harvard Graduate Center Harvard Hall University Hall Memorial Church


Harvard Yard Johnston Gate Boylston Hall Massachusetts

Centers and Institutes

Dumbarton Oaks Harvard Forest Health Science and Technology Institute for Advanced Theater Training Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Schlesinger Library

Real Colegio Complutense Rowland Institute for Science Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering


Commencement traditions

Academic regalia

Heraldry Tercentenary celebration Harvard University
Harvard University
Professor Harvard Magazine Harvard Gazette Harvard University
Harvard University
Press Society of Fellows Lionel de Je