Party of Eight

The Society of Fellows: They are the brightest young minds in the world, lured to Harvard by a $45,000 salary, to research, think and enjoy gourmet meals

Across the street from the Holyoke Center, at 78 Mt. Auburn Street, sits a decrepit yellow house. The aging building with peeling paint is home to some of the most brilliant young minds in the country.

If Harvard had a stamp of certified brilliance, it would be membership in the 67-year-old Society of Fellows. Each year, the society gives eight very junior scholars--some of whom have not even completed their Ph.D.s--a hefty stipend and the opportunity to spend three years at Harvard.

During their time in Cambridge, fellows research, write and even take the occasional class.

And for all of this, they are asked to produce exactly nothing. Fellows need not publish one article and do not have to teach.

All that is expected of the exclusive group is that they attend an opulent, seven-course dinner served weekly in the Society's private dining room in Eliot House.

Not a bad life.

High Society

Founded in 1933 by former Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell, Class of 1877, the society has offered junior fellows academic freedom and the opportunity to take intellectual risks ever since.

"It's a fantastic opportunity," says Noah Feldman '92. "It gives you the chance to meet really exciting young scholars in different fields who are enthusiastic. You learn a great deal from talking to other fellows and the senior fellows are great people who are willing to talk to you and critique your work."

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