UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2010, 2:09 a.m. Porcellian photo added.
In light of the recent release of “The Social Network” and the fact that we’re now in the middle of second round punch events, Harvard’s final club scene is bound to be on the minds of many sophomores and juniors. In order to shed some light on what can otherwise be a mysterious process, we decided to put together this series related to all things “punch.” Check back each day this week for new material on the subject.
Address: 1 Plympton St.
Date founded: 1836
Brief history: Originally a branch of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, it surrendered its charter in 1865. Although the club has occupied its current location since 1900, the City of Cambridge momentarily took possession of the club in March 2008, after it failed to pay over $41,000 in taxes.
Famous alumni: Benjamin C. Bradlee '43-'44
Address: 9 Linden St.
Date founded: 1848
Brief history: When J.P. Morgan, Jr., class of 1889, didn’t get into his club of choice, he, according to The Crimson, financed the creation of his own club—the Delphic—out of an existing frat, Delta Phi. Apparently, after its creation, there were only a few members, so the club would burn gas lights at all hours to show the world that yes, they were home. As a result, the club earned the nickname of “the Gas.”
Address: 2 Holyoke Pl.
Date founded: 1836
Brief history: Like the A.D., the Fly also traces its origins back to Harvard’s Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. While the A.D. was formed when it broke its ties with the national fraternity, the Fly is what’s left of the Alpha Delta Phi chapter created in 1836. In 2006, after Edward M. Kennedy '54-'56 renounced his membership in the Owl, Deval L. Patrick '78 said he quit the Fly in 1983.
Famous alumni: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Class of 1904; Deval L. Patrick '78; James B. Conant, class of 1914; A. Lawrence Lowell, Class of 1877; William F. Weld '66
Address: 44 JFK St.
Date founded: 1898
Brief history: Originally called the “Digamma Club,” the Fox became known as “the Fox” because the Greek letter “digamma” was seen as similar to the letter “F.”
Famous alumni: Bill Gates; Steve A. Ballmer '77; T.S. Eliot, Class of 1910
Address: 30 Holyoke St.
Date founded: 1896
Brief history: Founded in 1896 as “Αvλòζχαι’‘Εχπωμα,” Greek for Pipe and Mug, the Owl began as a secret society. In 1897, the club moved to a house at 97 Mt. Auburn Street, changed its name to Phi Delta Psi and abandoned its status as a secret society. The club moved into its current location in 1906 and changed its name to the Owl Club in 1916.
Famous alumni: Harry E. Widener, Class of 1907; Edward M. Kennedy '54-'56
Phoenix S.K. Club
Address: 72 Mt. Auburn St.
Date founded: 1897 (the founding of the Sphinx club)
Brief history: Formed from the mergers of the S K Club (which was, in turn, formed from the mergers of the Sphinx and Kalumet clubs) and the Phoenix Club, a predecessor to the Phoenix S.K. Club moved into its current building at 72 Mt. Auburn St. in 1916.
Famous alumni: Eduardo L. Saverin '05
Address: 1324 Mass. Ave.
Date Founded: 1791
Brief history: The Porcellian club, the oldest of Harvard’s final clubs, traces its roots back to “the Argonauts” which began meeting in 1791. In 1794, the group renamed itself “the Pig Club” after a pig was roast at a club gathering. The name was later changed to “Porcellian” (based on the Latin “porcus”) in order to make the club name sound more historical.
Famous alumni: Edward Everett, Class of 1811; Theodore Roosevelt, Class of 1880; Oliver W. Holmes Jr., Class of 1861
Address: 76 Mt. Auburn St.
Date Founded: 1852
Brief history: Originally founded in 1852 as the Rho Epsilon chapter of Zeta Psi, the club was later known as Z P. Over time, the club began to be known as the Spee. The Spee club is known for being the first club to accept an African-American member and for being one of the first clubs to accept Jewish and Catholic members.
Famous alumni: John F. Kennedy '40, Robert F. Kennedy '48
Photos by Bora Fezga and Sharon Kim/The Harvard Crimson and courtesy of Creative Commons.
This post has been revised to reflect the following clarification:
CLARIFICATION: October 7, 2010.
An earlier version of the Oct. 5 Flyby post "The Punch: The Men's Final Clubs" did not mention that J. P. Morgan, Jr., class of 1889, helped found the Delphic from Delta Phi, an existing fraternity. Although the Delphic did not exist in its current form before Morgan, the club still claims 1848, the founding date of Delta Phi, as its official founding date.