Harvard University

Harvard University information

Boston , USA
Massachusetts Ave
Getting there
Bostont: Harvard
More information
tours free
Opening hours
tours hourly 10am-3pm Mon-Sat
Something wrong?
Submit a correction

Founded in 1636 to educate men for the ministry, Harvard is America’s oldest college. The original Ivy League school has eight graduates who went on to be US presidents, not to mention dozens of Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. It educates 6500 undergraduates and about 12,000 graduates yearly in 10 professional schools. The geographic heart of Harvard University – where red-brick buildings and leaf-covered paths exude academia – is Harvard Yard.

Flanking Johnston Gate are the two oldest buildings on campus. South of the gate, Massachusetts Hall houses the offices of the President of the University. Dating to 1720, it is the oldest building at Harvard and the oldest academic building in the country. North is Harvard Hall , which dates to 1766 and originally housed the library.

The focal point of the yard is the John Harvard statue, where every Harvard hopeful has a photo taken (and touches the statue’s shiny shoe for good luck). Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, inscribed 'John Harvard, Founder of Harvard College, 1638,' is known as the statue of three lies: it does not actually depict Harvard (since no image of him exists), but a random student; John Harvard was not the founder of the college, but its first benefactor in 1638; and the college was actually founded two years earlier in 1636. The Harvard symbol hardly lives up to the university’s motto, Veritas, or ‘truth.’