To continue our series from Monday, here are the profiles of the women’s final clubs.
To date, Harvard has five female final clubs, the youngest of which was founded just two years ago. Although significantly newer than their male counterparts—not to mention with smaller endowments—these organizations nevertheless provide one kind of social outlet for women on campus. Given that most club representatives chose to remain tight-lipped when we contacted them for this feature, we instead combed through The Crimson’s archives for some basic facts.
Date founded: 1981
Location: 45 Dunster St.
Brief history: According to this 1998 Crimson article, the first iteration of the Bee was created during the Civil War, when a group of Cambridge women formed a sewing bee—a circle of women who would gather every week to sew and mend uniforms for the Union soldiers. Over a century later, when a group of women at Harvard wanted to create their own final club, they adopted the name "the Bee." "The ambition of the club is not be elitist," a member told The Crimson in 1998. "It's ambition is to be the exact opposite." A punch quoted in the same article, however, saw it as "an extension of a New York all-girls prep school." This year, though, the club decided to allow the friends of punches to attend gatherings, too.
Date founded: 2000
Location: Rented space in the Owl Club
Brief history: The Isis aims to bring Harvard women together "for the purpose of building friendships and a strong system of support on campus and in the world beyond," according to its mission statement. Not too long ago, the club became famous for accidentally making its e-mail archives accessible to the public, revealing information about its punch evaluations, dues, and other secrets.
Date founded: 2002
Brief history: The Pleiades, which The Crimson referred to as “neither final club nor sorority” in 2002, was named for the group of seven sisters who were known for their beauty. As the story goes, the hunter Orion was so smitten with the sisters that he asked Zeus for help in escaping his affection for them. Zeus obliged, turning the sisters into doves that flew into the sky and became a constellation of stars.
Date founded: 2002
Brief history: The Sablière is named for Marguerite de la Sablière, a 17th-century patron of La Fontaine, who turned her house into a meeting place for the literati from the court of Louis XIV. According to this Crimson article, the club focuses on taking advantage of the intellectual, cultural, and artistic aspects of Boston. “We’re not advocating a keg in a small basement, but rather cocktails on the Common or wine at the MFA,” co-founder Brooke L. Chavez '04 told The Crimson in 2002.
La Vie Club
Date founded: 2008
Brief history: In a Crimson article from this spring, Dara A. B. Johnson '10 recalled the creation of her organization: "On a cold winter day in January 2008, I decided that it was time to take an active step towards bridging the gender inequality gap that exists in the Harvard social scene." Johnson said that La Vie’s motto is the same as her own: “la vie en rose.”
Photo by Juan Cantu/The Harvard Crimson.