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Last week, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced that the College likely offer a concentration in Theater, Design, and Media next fall. Though the addition of a new concentration is exciting, it’s not the first time it has happened—Harvard was not created with all 48 concentrations, but rather added them throughout the years. With the declaration date for sophomores looming on the metaphorical horizon (lookin’ at you, prospective English concentrators), FM has thoughtfully compiled a chronology of the addition of concentrations through the ages.
If you haven’t heard of Nathaniel Eaton, Harvard’s first head of school, it’s not because he’s one of the University’s buried treasures. Described by one student as “fitter to have been an officer in the inquisition, or master of an house of correction, than an instructer (sic) of Christian Youth,” Eaton’s disastrous year-and-a-half-long tenure, from 1638 to 1639, ended in a court case in which he was ordered to step down and pay a fine. The school closed down for the subsequent academic year. The affair was such a scandal that in 1940, some students argued that 1640 should be seen as the real founding year of Harvard College. Here are just a few things that made Nathaniel Eaton and his regime, well, shitty.
In 1692, there was a tide in the affairs of the Mathers. Increase Mather, the family patriarch, had just reluctantly accepted his appointment as Harvard’s seventh president. His son, Cotton, was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young minister who fully immersed himself in all things Protestant. Neither had much to do with the other’s business, until something wicked came their way.
John the Orange Man began selling fruit in Harvard Square in 1858, about a decade after he immigrated to Cambridge to escape the Irish potato famine. He worked in the Square until his death following an operation in 1906, and during that period, saw the erection of 26 university buildings, and made the acquaintance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1891, the Boston Daily Globe dubbed him “the most popular man at Harvard.”
A MEETING of the Harvard Nine was held on Friday, January 16, to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of their Captain, Mr. White, for Europe. The meeting resulted in the choice of Mr. C. T. Tyler, '74, as Captain, and of Mr. A. G. Hodges, '74, as Secretary.
SCENE: THE LIBRARY. (Curious Freshman removes a catalogue-card from its proper place). NOAH. Look here, sir! Don't you know it's against the rule to take those cards from the drawer? CURIOUS FRESH. But I suppose it's no matter, as I did it insensibly. NOAH (excited). Yes, but it is! You will incense Sibley, if you are not careful!
Long before there were grab and go lunches and weekly pub trivia nights, slot machines and pianos filled the basement of Memorial Hall. The lucky gamblers and musicians were not students or faculty, but pigeons.
The oldest college periodical is essentially a gossip rag. Plus a dream journal. And an exposé of the "Spy Club."
1637: John Harvard moves from England to Massachusetts Bay Colony. He dies later that year, leaving money to New College, which is later renamed for its greatest benefactor. Harvard develops plans to build a brewery on its campus. Legend has it that Harvard learned the art of beer brewing from family friend William Shakespeare. One could say that the College’s on-campus brewery used recipes directly from the “First Folio.”
In light of the Venezuelan President's recent threat of legal action against a Harvard professor, here's a trip down the Harvard Faculty's extensive memory lane of lawsuits, threats, and accusations.
A young Holyoke of the Class of 1746 chronicled the happenings at Harvard College before his admission: “1742, June 2. Foundation of the Chapel Laid Some part of ye begin’g of this month. [sic]” Thus he recorded the beginning of a symbolic change in the Harvard Yard: the construction of its first chapel. Despite the many religious commitments of Harvard men, who read the Scriptures multiple times in a day and practiced the teachings of the Bible, a century went by until Holden was built.
The Z-list inhabits an especially remote cranny in the cave of Harvard lore. The core of the Z-list intrigue is exclusivity. As admission rates have plummeted, mystery has increased.
It was easy to get in then. No personal essays required, just a series of entrance examinations. 73 percent of applicants were admitted. Admittedly, there are lots of reasons to discount these numbers. The exams required special preparation available only at a few elite prep schools. There was no Common App, no female students, and only 937 people applied.
Though Final Clubs, fraternities, and sororities are long-standing staples of the Harvard social scene, their presence is anything but static. Last year, sorority Alpha Phi set down its roots in Cambridge, while fraternity Kappa Sigma reinstated its Harvard chapter last week after an eighty-year hiatus. FM digs into the archives to create a chronology of Harvard’s dynamic Greek life.