The Harvard Faculty Club broke with 78 years of tradition yesterday, announcing that it would open its doors to a new group of diners—students, who are now welcome to eat in the once-exclusive club.
The Quincy Street establishment intends to serve students who want to dine there with family—a move that the Club views as an “investment in the future” that may have long-term benefits, according to an e-mail from Susan Shefte, the director of special projects for the Office of the Vice President for Administration.
Permitting students to use the club will not immediately have “a huge effect on club finances,” but students may be more likely to become club members as alumni if they were involved with the club while on campus, Shefte wrote.
In the past, student forays to the Faculty Club have been limited to the company of professors or special events.
“Most faculty have, in fact, seemed to enjoy the collegiality and community of sharing the dining space with student guests,” Shefte wrote to The Crimson yesterday.
“Students are very much a part of Harvard. I have no idea why they should not be admitted to the Faculty Club,” said University Professor Stanley Hoffman who has been dining in the Faculty Club for 46 years. “It will be refreshing.” [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]
But the club does not anticipate an influx of student diners, given the other dining options available for students.
“It is unlikely that there will be many students who take advantage of this offer on any given day,” wrote Shefte.
Yesterday marked the first day students could dine in the club, but no students had made reservations as of mid-afternoon, according to a club receptionist.
Menu prices may deter students with a hankering for Faculty Club victuals. Though $13.70 will buy a lunch of grilled salmon filet served with a cup of soup or mixed greens salad, dinner is more expensive. “Prix Fixe” dinners of rosefish, lamb, goat cheese, and other dishes cost $57.
Students were informed about the change in policy though an email Wednesday night from Faculty Club General Manager Heinrich Lutjens. “No need to join—just come, celebrate, network, and relax,” the e-mail read. “We are uniquely Harvard!”
The e-mail also offered a link to a Faculty Club Facebook page, which had gathered 33 fans as of yesterday night. Apparently targeting a younger crowd, the Facebook page advertised dress as “casual.” But on the Faculty Club Web site, dress remains listed as “casual business.”
Former University President Abbot Lawrence Lowell and Dean of the Faculty Clifford Herschel Moore founded the Harvard Faculty Club in 1931 “to provide a shelter where male members of the Faculty could meet for conversation, university business and find food, drink and comfortable beds,” according to the Faculty Club’s Web site.
Another mission of the club was to initiate new faculty members to the “socially older” professoriate. In the Faculty Club, members “would be exposed to the civilizing traditions and values of Harvard University.”
But as the years passed, the club become more luxurious and opened its doors to more subsections of the Harvard community. Women gained entry to the Faculty Club’s main dining rooms in 1968. And now, students, too, will join the ranks of Club diners.
The April 17 news article "Faculty Club Opens To Student Body" misspelled the name of a University professor who has been dining in the Faculty Club for 46 years. His name is Stanley Hoffmann, not Hoffman.