The 7 Most Interesting Facts About Harvard University

most interesting facts about Harvard university

Written by Pareeshti Rao

It all started with an impulsive urge to befriend Enid Blyton and be a part of the famous five! Writing since then has been my magic wand and I've used it to sprinkle words like fairy dust and express myself thereat.

April 29, 2021

When I think of the best study abroad universities, Harvard university somehow always tops my list. While it’s true that the university is known for its top-notch education and its worldwide reputation, I think this university has an added charm to it that carves a place in your hearts as you learn more about it. There’s so much more to it than what you hear and while you may probably need a book full of facts and information to cover its glory, I will share some of the most interesting facts about Harvard university in my opinion. You can then resonate with my thoughts and understand how this university somehow always falls into the limelight and actually steals the show. 

Things You Didn’t Know About Harvard University

most interesting facts about Harvard university

# 1 The Story Behind The Widener Library

You must have read about some fun facts about Harvard University regarding the library collection at Harvard is the oldest in the country. There are over 3.5 million books so much so that there are four floors underground due to the need for expansion. Why do I consider this to be one of the most interesting facts about Harvard University? The library collection in Harvard belonged to a gentleman – Harry Widener who perished due to the Titanic boat sinking incident. He was a Harvard graduate who went on to become a businessman and a book collector. He decided to leave his collection with the University. 

most interesting facts about Harvard university

Source: Harvard Library

# 2 Harvard University Produces Future Presidents

While we recognize George Bush and John F Kennedy as famous US presidents whom we learned about in our history classes, Harvard University recognizes them as their once upon a time students. The president list doesn’t just stop at them. Once you read the list of Harvard alumni turned presidents below, you will see why we have included this among our most interesting facts about Harvard university:

  • Barack Obama
  • Rutherford Hayes
  • George W. Bush
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • John Quincy Adams, and 
  • John Adams

most interesting facts about Harvard university

Now you see why I mentioned earlier that Harvard University produces future presidents?
Also Read: Guide On Ways To Survive In University

# 3 Dents On The Campus Sidewalks?

That was my reaction too when I first read about it. What makes these dents a part of our most interesting facts about Harvard University is due the history behind how they were caused. Back then, when the big US revolution was happening, cannonballs were a popular destructive tool. So these dents on the campus sidewalks are believed to be created as a result of throwing cannonballs from the windows of the dorm rooms.

# 4 The Johnson Gate Superstition

You will rarely find the Johnson Gate on the campus open. Many believe this as a hardcore Harvard superstition that the only times you pass through the Johnson Gate is when you’re getting into the university, and then again when you’re graduating. Any in-betweens are considered as a huge bad luck especially when you’re breaking such a long lived tradition. When you go to Harvard University, make sure you find out the story behind this and add on to our most interesting facts about Harvard university.
If you’re an international student, after you’ve filled and submitted your application,  I recommend you read about WES/EP evaluation for a better understanding of how your grades will be compared.

most interesting facts about Harvard university

# 5 Commercial Filming Is A Big No No

Remember watching ‘The Social Network’ the other day? No, that movie was not filmed at Harvard university even though the movie sets showed differently. Harvard University has banned commercial filming in its premises seeing it as a major distraction to its students. This no-filming rule started in 1970 and holds good even today keeping the students best interests in mind.
Planning to study in the US? You must check out the scholarships to study in the US.

# 6 Is It The John Harvard Statue Or The Statue Of Three Lies?

Harvard University’s most prominent feature is the tall standing John Harvard statue. But did you know that it is also known as the statue of three lies? Many students who go to the university and see the statue have seen it and validated it to be among the most interesting facts about Harvard University. What does the statue state?

  1. It states that John Harvard was the founder but he was the first benefactor
  2.  It states that it was founded in 1638 but it was founded in 1636
  3. The statue is not of John Harvard but a random student model used by the sculptor

most interesting facts about Harvard university

# 7 An Empire, Not A University

Classes at Harvard first began in a single frame house and a college yard. Harvard University has come a long way since then. It now holds real estate totalling 5,457 acres of land, the size of over 4000 football fields!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog on the most interesting facts about Harvard University. If you need hacks for surviving in your university, here are some blogs that might be of interest:

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