The Power of the H-Bomb

Does it help or hinder the mack?

It’s 4 a.m. at Eastern Carolina University. Brendan M. Brogan ’03 is down south to visit a buddy. A girl joins him on the porch swing.

Small talk: She asks him what he’s studying there. He’s just visiting a friend, he says.

“So where do you go?” she asks.


“Her eyes lit up,” Brogan later recalls. “She said something like, ‘Wow, that’s must be smarter than anyone here.”

A few minutes later, the girl turned to him and said, “You know, I’ve always wanted to hook up with a Harvard man.”

“She moved in,” says Brogan delicately, “and the rest is history. I overheard her later saying that she had hooked up with the guy from Harvard. All of her friends were impressed.”

Welcome to the world of the H-Bomb, fabled weapon of the Harvard male: Tell a girl you go to Harvard, and she’ll fall at your feet. No matter who you were in high school, the myth goes, you’re a hot commodity once you manage to slip where you go to school into casual conversation.

“Being special means you get special attention,” declares Olugbenga T. Okusanya ’05. He knows from personal experience. “If you want it,” he laughs. “Not that I did.”

Last year, he and some friends from Harvard were hanging out at Northeastern. Ten or 15 Northeastern students and three Harvard guys congregated in Okusanya’s friend Jeff’s room.

“Guess where he goes to school,” Okusanya says Jeff told the women in the group. He grabbed Okusanya’s wallet, pulled out his Harvard ID, and held it up triumphantly.

“You could see it in every girl’s face” is how Okusanya describes the effect. “A girl will turn and pay more attention to you, because now you’re special.” Sure enough, less than an hour later, one of the girls took his friend Jeff aside and murmured something in his ear.

“That girl really wants to have sex with you,” Jeff announced, in her presence, upon returning.

Okusanya looked at her. “Are you hearing what he just said?”

She nodded. “Yeah.”