Harvard was founded in 1636 by a vote in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It was originally called “New College,” but was renamed Harvard College after John Harvard, who gave the college his library of 400 books as well as half of his estate after his death.
2. The Not-Harvard Statue
After his generous donation, a bronze statue was erected in John Harvard’s honor in Harvard Yard. The only problem was that very little was known about John Harvard, including what he looked like. Because of this, a student, Sherman Hoar, sat in as inspiration for the sculptor.
3. Presidential Stopping Ground
Harvard has the most U.S.presidents as alumni. President Adams, Quincy Adams, T Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy all received their bachelor degrees from the university. President George W. Bush attended the university’s business school, and President Barack Obama attended the university’s law school. Harvard’s seven presidential alumni beat out Yale, which boasts five.
4. Work Hard, Play Hard
Harvard isn’t just an academic powerhouse. The university has 42 varsity sports teams as of 2013, making it the nation’s leader. Their 21 varsity sports for women also lead the nation. The school celebrates an intense rivalry with fellow Ivy League school Yale. The two teams, however, drop their feud every other year, as they join forces in a track meet against Oxford and Cambridge University out of the United Kingdom.
5. Movie Hot Spot?
If you have watched a movie that “took place” at Harvard in the past 40 years, chances are you didn’t actually see Harvard. In 1969 the film Love Story was filmed on the university campus. After the mess they caused, followed by another filming fiasco of a 1970s film A Small Circle Of Friends, Harvard became very careful about who they allowed to film on campus. Schools like Wheaton College in Norton, or Wheelock College in Boston have been used as stand-ins for the Ivy League university.
Bobby Driscoll is a student at Franklin Pierce University. He is currently interning at CBS Boston for the Summer of 2013.