HARVARD UNIVERSITY Tour Boston Massachusetts USA – Summer 2015
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established 1636, whose history, influence and wealth have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for John Harvard (its first benefactor), Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning, and the Harvard Corporation (formally, the President and Fellows of Harvard College) is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard was a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College.
The University is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre (85 ha) main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge, approximately 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Boston; the business school and athletics facilities, including Harvard Stadium, are located across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and the medical, dental, and public health schools are in the Longwood Medical Area. Harvard has the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world, standing at $36.4 billion.
Harvard is a large, highly residential research university. The nominal cost of attendance is high, but the University’s large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages. It operates several arts, cultural, and scientific museums, alongside the Harvard Library, which is the world’s largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries with over 18 million volumes. Harvard’s alumni include eight U.S. presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 335 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. To date, some 150 Nobel laureates and 5 Fields Medalists (when awarded) have been affiliated as students, faculty, or staff.
Harvard University is a private institution that was founded in 1636. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,694, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 5,076 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Harvard University’s ranking in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 2. Its tuition and fees are $45,278 (2015-16).
Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside ofBoston. Harvard’s extensive library system houses the oldest collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world. There is more to the school than endless stacks, though: Harvard’s athletic teams compete in the Ivy League, and every football season ends with “The Game,” an annual matchup between storied rivals Harvard and Yale. At Harvard, on-campus residential housing is an integral part of student life. Freshmen live around the Harvard Yard at the center of campus, after which they are placed in one of 12 undergraduate houses for their remaining three years. Although they are no longer recognized by the university as official student groups, the eight all-male “final clubs” serve as social organizations for some undergraduate students; Harvard also has five female clubs.
In addition to the College, Harvard is made up of 13 other schools and institutes, including the top-ranked Business School andMedical School and the highly ranked Graduate Education School,School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School and John F. Kennedy School of Government. Eight U.S. presidents graduated from Harvard College, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Other notable alumni include Henry David Thoreau, Helen Keller, Yo-Yo Ma and Tommy Lee Jones. In 1977, Harvard signed an agreement with sister institute Radcliffe College, uniting them in an educational partnership serving male and female students, although they did not officially merge until 1999. Harvard also has the largest endowment of any school in the world.