Student Groups

From 'Cliffe to Crimson

She is the daughter of a shoemaker and so knows enough to wear a sturdy pair of loafers for the long trek from Brockton to Cambridge, Mass. She knows, too, that her request to study intensive Latin, Greek, and English at Harvard may be rejected. But it is 1878, and Abby Leach knows, above all, that she and other women now deserve to know more.


Celebrities in Dorms

I am not the only one whose dorm has been graced by an up-and-coming star. Throughout Harvard’s history, budding actors, politicians, computer geniuses, authors, and other luminaries have slept (sometimes) and studied (occasionally) in the same spaces that students occupy today.


Retrospection: President Lowell's Quotas

A history of discriminatory quotas and policies.


Theses That Foreshadowed Influence

“Who here wrote a thesis?” Conan C. O'Brien ’85 asked the Class of 2000 during his Class Day address. “A lot of hard work, a lot of your blood went into that thesis,” he said. “And no one is ever going to care.”


FM Imagines: Ye Olde Yardefeste, 1873

It’s a semester and a half into your freshman year at Harvard: You’ve given up on three start-ups, stopped going to the gym, and come to the realization that this school has enough sausage to stimulate Upton Sinclair’s journalistic appetite. But Upton Sinclair hasn’t been born yet and the absence of females in your life isn’t the product of spitting bad game or being denied into the Fly.

Student Life

Retro Romance: A Harvard-Radcliffe Affair

Elizabeth A. Beverly-Whittemore ’70 considers her relationship with Dr. Robert D. Whittemore II ’69 an anomaly. When Beverly-Whittemore and Whittemore studied in Cambridge, Harvard men normally looked outside the Yard for potential love interests.


Retrospection: The First Snowpocalypse

The roads are plowed, the students have stopped hibernating and started shuffling back to class, and so our latest “Snowpocalypse” is officially behind us. As dire as that name might sound, last Tuesday, Jan. 27, was in fact Harvard’s third closure due to inclement weather in three consecutive years. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and winter storm Nemo in 2013, it’s easy to imagine this becoming another of the College’s many traditions. But before 2012, it required nothing less than an actual apocalypse—“an act of God, such as the end of the world,” former Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III declared in 1977—for the University to close.


Campus Speech, Interrupted

FM investigates past events at which speakers on campus have been given a less-than-warm welcome.


History of Pranks at Harvard

Pranks and hoaxes are an important part of Harvard’s history.

Food and Drink

The Better Butter Book

A 1766 satire of the Bible catalogued a Harvard butter rebellion.

Around Town

Their Fair City: “Car Talk” and Cambridge

Looking back at Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s “Car Talk” and its Harvard Square home.

On Campus

This is Primary Source

Before he published two books or starred in The Office as Ryan Howard, B.J. Novak ’01 reviewed an imaginary band for FM.


The History of Comp

Comp, a uniquely Harvard undertaking, fills a series of different roles for undergraduates seeking to join student groups on campus. It ensures that new members fit into the organization, indoctrinates them in the functions of the club, and teaches them new skills. Whether it’s over in a couple of weeks or fills up the entire semester, whether it’s a straightforward checklist or a highly challenging competition, comping is an investment of time, energy, and effort to demonstrate one’s willingness and ability to actively commit.


Concentration Timeline

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.


In The School of Tyrannus

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.