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Facts About Harvard University You Should Know

Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the dream universities in the world. It has a rich history, world-class academic and research programmes and a remarkable alumni base. In fact, it has become a status symbol among students, especially in India where I come from. If you get admission to Harvard, you are considered to be amongst the brightest lot there is. Harvard University has been ranked No. 4 in the world in the Top 500 Global Universities, according to the CEOWORLD magazine University Ranking 2019, compared to last year when it was placed at sixth. 

You might have heard of a lot of things about this world-class institution, but I have a few more things to tell which you might not know. It will be fun to look into what makes Harvard University more interesting than we think it is.

Here are 8 facts about Harvard University you should know:

  1. John Harvard Was Not The Founder
    This might come as a surprise to you, but this is as true as it is. John Harvard, a University of Cambridge alumnus, whose statue stands in the Harvard Yard and on which the inscription reads that he is the founder, was actually not the founder of the University. In reality, he offered monetary assistance to Harvard University which was ultimately named after him. You should know that this very statue is called “the Statute of Lies” for reasons not hard to figure out now.
  2. The Statue of Three Lies: John Harvard’s statue is the fourth most photographed statue in the United States in 2018, according to the CEOWORLD magazine and Truthfulworld Hotels – luxury hospitality group for business travelers. The Number 1 most photographed statue in the United States in 2018 is the Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.); #2 is Mount Rushmore (Keystone, South Dakota); #3 is The Statue of Liberty (New York); #4 is John Harvard’s statue (Cambridge, MA); #5th is Christ of the Ozarks (Eureka Springs, Arkansas); and #5th is Atlas statue in front of Rockefeller Center (New York).
    Students call it the “statue of three lies” because:
    1. John Harvard didn’t found Harvard.
    2. The university was founded in 1636 (not 1638).
    3. The statue is not of John Harvard – no one knows how John Harvard really looks like.
  3. The Oldest Institution In the Country
    The University was established in 1936, and this makes it the oldest higher education institution in the United States. So, if you happen to be around the Statue of Lies, you should know that year inscribed on it, which reads 1938, is actually false.
  4. Largest Private Library System
    Being the oldest and one of the most respected educational institutions in the world means that it has achieved extraordinary feats. One such achievement is that it houses the largest private library system in the entire world—which means about 20.4 million volumes and shelving running to 55 miles. Imagine the wealth of knowledge that exists here at Harvard, and how fortunate its students must be!
  5. Harvard University Belongs To Ivy League
    There is a chance that you might have heard of Ivy League and the amount of awe it attracts in the international educational system. Ivy League refers to a tradition dating back to the 19th century in which students used to plant ivy at the commencement of school year. At some schools, speeches were also delivered. Ivy League refers to a range of universities in the United States such as Cornell University, Columbia University, and Yale University which are known for exemplary academic records and international exposure. Harvard University is one of the Ivy League colleges.
  6. Massive Alumni Base
    This fact surprises me the most because it will just blow your mind. Harvard University has had seen many great students come and leave. Today, it has about 370k and more alumni spread across the globe. Its international reach is amazing, as it presently has about 59k students from outside the US.
    How amazing is that!
  7.  Harvard Is Resourceful
    Harvard has many brilliant academic programmes, and you might wonder how it keeps itself floated. Well, I should tell you that it receives massive funding, which is around $36 billion, making it the only educational institution with funding at this mammoth scale.
  8. The Staff
    Considering the expanse of the University and the number of programmes it runs, it maintains a huge staff which ensures that it functions smoothly.Presently, it has around 2.4k faculty members and about 10k other academic members which are part of its affiliated hospitals. About 800 people are involved in the maintenance of its massive library system. So, you know that the University has as many hands as it needs to ensure that it remains the kind of institution it is.
  9. Yale!
    Once you get inside this University and become a part of it, you will immediately sense the rivalry it has with another prestigious institution in the country, Yale University. The rivalry reaches its peak at the time of The Game, which is a football match between Harvard (Harvard Crimson football) and Yale (Yale Bulldogs football). The popularity of this match is nation-wide and is simply something you should not miss out. As of November 2018, 135 games have been played. Yale has 67 wins and Harvard has 60 wins (8 games ended as ties). 
  10. Eight is a Magical Number:
    Of Harvard’s long list of past alumni are eight who have signed the Declaration of Independence including John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, William Ellery, William Williams, William Hooper, Elbridge Gerry, and Robert Treat Paine. Eight seems like a magical number because eight Harvard alumni have also served as United States presidents including John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Rutherford Hayes, and of course, Barack Obama.

Have you read?

# Top 500 Best Universities In The World For 2019.
# World’s Top 50 Universities For Medicine And Health Science Degrees, 2019.
# World’s Top 50 Universities For Life Science Degrees, 2019.
# World’s Top 50 Universities For Physical Science Degrees, 2019.
# World’s Top 50 Universities For Psychology Degrees, 2019.

Ayushi Kushwaha
Ayushi Kushwaha, Staff Writer for the CEOWORLD magazine. She’s spent more than a decade working for various magazines, newspapers, and digital publications and is now a Staff Writer at The CEOWORLD magazine. She writes news stories and executive profiles for the magazine’s print and online editions. Obsessed with unlocking high-impact choices to accelerate meaningful progress, she helps individuals and organizations stand out and get noticed. She can be reached on email