Harvard University- Did You Know These 9 Interesting Facts?

21K School · Oct 8, 2023 · 3 min read

Harvard University was established in 1636. At the time, it was called Harvard College. It was named after its first patron, Puritan Minister John Harvard. It is among the oldest higher education institutions in the US and ranks among the institutions with the highest prestige in the world.

Here is a list of 9 fun facts to know more about Harvard University. 

1.Harvard University is an Empire in itself.

Harvard University has 5,457 acres of property, equivalent to nearly four thousand football fields! However, it has not always been this enormous. Harvard began classes in the summer of 1638 in one frame house and a college yard. The main university campus accounts for just approximately 4% of overall land ownership.

2.Harvard University has a long history of producing exceptional achievers.

In the United States, Harvard University is commonly referred to as a “dream college” by students and their parents. It is because the institution has given the world some of the finest achievers, including 150 Nobel Prize winners. While people know George Bush and John F. Kennedy as legendary US presidents whom they heard about in history classrooms, Harvard University knows them as former students. The list of Presidents does not end there. Harvard University has also produced several surgeons, artists, poets, journalists, publishers, and historians.

3.Harvard University has grand libraries

The Widener Library in Harvard Yard serves as the hub of the Harvard library system. It is made up of 80 distinct libraries that have almost 20.4 million items. He decided to donate his collection to the University. Harvard Library is the oldest library in the United States of America, dating back 400 years. Harvard Library serves as a clearinghouse for academic libraries. Access, preservation, digital infrastructure, digital imaging, and discovery services are common services libraries provide.

4.Wedding in the Memorial Cathedral

Harvard students are permitted to marry at the Memorial Cathedral as long as they schedule their wedding dates before graduation.

5.The Football Legacy

Harvard is an Ivy League institution that was initially recognized for having extremely competitive sporting teams. As the teams received more financing, such universities increased their educational standards, and as a result, these institutions have become exclusive clubs producing remarkable graduates. Strangely, Harvard University attempted to ban football twice due to its violent and dangerous reputation. But, resistance from alumni and students has helped to protect Harvard’s football legacy. In 1903, the first stadium was finished. Their main rival is Yale which is another Ivy League School.

6.Lights and Cameras-  A Big No-No!

Can America’s most prominent institution afford to have its students diverted from their studies? Commercial filming on campus grounds is prohibited, and the campus has existed as a no-film zone since 1970. Movies like The Social Network (2010) and others identified a loophole; while set at Harvard, they were shot elsewhere to adhere to university regulations.

7.The Statue of Three Lies

There are several landmarks on the Harvard campus. The most prominent is known as The Statue of Three Lies. It’s termed such because of three flaws. According to the sculpture, it is of John Harvard, the founder of Harvard, and Harvard was founded in 1638. However, John Harvard was not the university’s founder; rather, he was its first significant benefactor. Second, Harvard was founded in 1636, not 1638. And third, the statue does not portray John Harvard but an unidentified student.

8.The Superstition of Johnson Gate

On campus, people can seldom see the Johnson Gate open. Many Harvard students believe that the only time students pass through the Johnson Gate is when they are admitted to the institution and again when they graduate. Any in-betweens are regarded as extremely inauspicious, especially when they are violating such a long-standing custom.

9.Pockets full of Money

Harvard is an Ivy League school with wealthy and powerful alumni. There is no doubt that Harvard University has a lot of money, but how much does it have? Harvard University has the world’s biggest academic endowment, at $40.9 billion as of 2021. This endowment’s interest alone can buy someone a private island.

So, these were some interesting facts about the prestigious Harvard University.

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