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Tour of Harvard

We’ll begin at the front gate. A school emblem above the gate has been weathered until you can barely make out the remnants of “Ve”, “Ri”, “Tas”. Beyond it, a courtyard opens up, admitting us to the Freshman Quad, all Harvard freshmen are required to live on campus. Past the Quad, I could just barely make out the golden feet of an otherwise bronzed statue of “John Harvard”.

Later as we return on an admissions tour, the tour guide explains, there are three lies regarding the statue of “John Harvard” and this school itself:

  • It was founded in 1766 not 1768
  • It was not founded by John Harvard
  • And the statue in the courtyard is not even John Harvard!

It turns out that in 1768, when John Harvard passed away, he had left half his estate to the then-Cambridge University. In his honor, the school renamed itself Harvard University. A similar case can be observed with Yale. Originally dubbed the Collegiate School, it was quickly renamed Yale after its founding president. After all, who would want their school motto to be, “For God, for country, and for Collegiate”. In fact, many of the famous universities are almost never named after their founders, but after those who had made enormous contributions to the school during its developing years.

A quick tour of the campus fully demonstrated the close-knit feeling of community at Harvard. The campus, measured in Smoots (explanation provided later), is only 54612.5373 square Smoots. As compared to Stanford (20937926.687 square Smoots!) it offers a much different feeling that allows one to feel at home. Is this the beginning of a new dream?

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