Harvard Club of Chicago. Records of the Harvard Club of Chicago : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUD 3276.7000
C.W. Eliot; 1883
The Club; 1911
The Club; 1912, November 4
The Club; 1914
G.S. Forbes; 1964
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard Club of Chicago.
Title: Records of the Harvard Club of Chicago
Date(s): 1875-1996 (inclusive)
Quantity: 0.35 cubic feet (1 document boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Harvard Club of Chicago, founded in 1857, is the oldest of Harvard's alumni clubs
still in existence. The Club celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2007. The records
document the history, activities, and interests of the Club, and include general information,
a small amount of correspondence and minutes, and directories of members.
The Records of the Harvard Club of Chicago were first classified and described in
the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. In July 2008, Juliana Kuipers
re-processed the material. Re-processing included integrating and reorganizing the
records, re-housing materials in appropriate containers, establishing a series and
subseries hierarchy, and the creation of this inventory. All call numbers were simplified.
Some restrictions apply. Consult reference staff for details.
The Harvard Club of Chicago is the oldest of Harvard's alumni clubs still in existence.
It was founded in 1857 by five alumni living in Chicago: Samuel Sewell Greeley(AB
1844), Charles Gilman Smith (AB 1847), Frederick Pitkin Fisher (AB 1848), Edward Lorenzo Holmes (AB 1849), and Charles Augustus Gregory (AB 1955). The original members of the club
met for informal dinners from 1857-1861. Regular meetings did not resume until 1874,
having been disrupted first by the Civil War and later by the Great Fire of 1871.
The Club was officially organized on June 27, 1874 as the Harvard Association of
Chicago, and continued the earlier tradition of annual dinners and social gatherings.
The Association met at the University Club, which was founded in Chicago by representatives
of the local alumni associations of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the University of
Michigan. In 1881, the Association was re-named the Harvard Club of Chicago although
it did not incorporate under its new name until 1899.
During the 1880s, the Club developed a closer relationship with the University, with
visits to Chicago by President Eliot and faculty members. This relationship was furthered
with the election of George Everett Adams (AB 1860) to Harvard's Board of Overseers
in 1892: he was the first Harvard graduate from Chicago to hold that position. A year
later, the Club founded a scholarship for graduate study at Harvard, the second scholarship
ever offered by a Harvard Club. The Club founded a scholarship for undergraduate study
in 1903. The scholarship program remained an important part of the Club's mission,
along with the Schools Committee created to interview prospective high school seniors.
The Scholarships and Schools Committees were especially active in the early 1950s,
as they increased their efforts to support the expansion of Harvard admissions recruiting
throughout the country.
In 1897, the Club became a charter member of the Associated Harvard Clubs, along
with ten other clubs. The Club also developed relationships with other collegiate
alumni associations in the Chicago area, notably Yale and Princeton. Beyond meeting
at the University Club, and hosting joint smokers, in 1924 the Harvard Club of Chicago,
along with associations from Yale and Princeton, founded the Harvard-Yale-Princeton
Club. This club was organized to give younger graduations a social and athletic organization,
and featured both squash courts and bedrooms; however, the club was forced to close
in 1934, and officially dissolved in 1936.
The Club elected its first woman director, Margaret McGregor (Radcliffe AB 1928),
in 1954, and women were first invited to the annual dinner in 1956. The Club celebrated
its 100th anniversary in 1957, and membership reached 1,000 for the first time that
year. In an effort to increase interest in the club among younger alumni, the Decade
Group was established in 1957. The first annual awards dinner was held in March 1967;
the annual award was presented to an individual "who has made a distinguished contribution
to the greater Chicago community in some field other than his or her primary occupation."
Many of the covers of the awards dinner programs featured artwork by John Holabird,
Jr. (AB 1942).
In 2007, the Club celebrated its 150th anniversary, when an extensive history of
the club, edited by Walter Keats, was published. As of 2008, the Harvard Club of Chicago
remains one of the largest urban alumni clubs at Harvard, with a membership of over
- Keats, Walter L., ed. 150 years of the Harvard Club of Chicago, 1857-2007. Kenilworth, Ill.: Harvard Club of Chicago, c2007.
- Hamlin, Arthur T. The Harvard Club of Chicago: a centennial history. Chicago, 1958.
- General information
- ___Programs from annual dinners
- ___Directories and yearbooks
The records document the history, activities, and interests of the Harvard Club of
Chicago, with a particular emphasis on the Club's annual dinners and lists of members.
Documents include ephemera, newsclippings, a small amount of minutes and correspondence,
This document last updated 2008 August 5.
- Series: General information, 1875-1996 (inclusive) 30 folders
Date: 1875-1996 (inclusive)
Formerly classified as HUD 3276.7175 and HUD 3276.7729.
- [History of] the Harvard Club of Chicago, by Samuel S. Greeley, June 1903 9 pages
Date: June 1903
Photocopy of an article written by Greeley in the Harvard Graduates' Magazine, Vol. XI, No. 44, June 1903.
- Newsclippings, 1907-1911, 1957, and 1970-1971 3 folders
Scope and content: The newsclippings series chiefly documents the Club's annual dinners, anniversaries,
and other events, such as the 1971 annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association
held in Chicago to honor former President Nathan Pusey and Henry Kissinger.
Processing information: Acidic newsclippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper.
- Newsclippings, 1907-1911
- Newsclippings, 1957
- Newsclippings, 1970-1971
- Programs, 1875-1996 (inclusive) 16 folders
Date: 1875-1996 (inclusive)
Scope and content: The programs series primarily documents the Club's annual dinners; programs typically
include the menu, speakers, songs, and current Club officers. Other programs in the
series document special events, such as the dinner held in 1882 to honor President
Charles William Eliot, the 100th anniversary dinner, the Club's annual award dinner,
and a dinner held at the Chicago Club in 1996.
- Program from annual dinner, 1875
- Book of songs from dinner to honor President Charles William Eliot, 1882
- Program from annual dinner, 1888
- Program from annual dinner, 1893
- Program from annual dinner, 1896-1897 2 folders
- Program from annual dinner, 1901
- Program from annual dinner, 1903
- Program from annual dinner, 1909-1910 2 folders
- Program from annual dinner, 1914-1915 2 folders
- Program from dinner in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the
Harvard Club of Chicago, 1957
- Program from annual award dinner, 1986
- Program, 1996 (3 copies)
Formerly classified as HUD 3276.7996.36
- Ephemera, 1890-1969 and undated 11 folders
Scope and content
: The ephemera series further documents activities of the Club, including annual dinners
and other sponsored events such as smokers (parties) held jointly with Yale and Princeton
alumni organizations, as well as administrative details such as elections, dues, and
amendments to the Club constitution.
Documents include mailings to members, membership blanks, flyers, song books, invitations,
- Scholarships, 1952 and 1961-1968
Conditions Governing Access: 80 year restriction applies to this folder.
Scope and content: This folder documents the work of the Scholarship and Schools Committee to interview
potential Harvard College students in the Chicago area. Documents include mailings
to members of the Club with reports from the Committees. Reports include biographical
sketches of new students from the Chicago area.
- Series: Minutes, 1912 1 folders
Scope and content: Typewritten minutes from the annual meeting of October 8, 1912, and from the meeting
of officers and directors of October 18, 1912.
Formerly classified as HUD 3276.7500
- Series: Correspondence, 1884, 1897, 1910-1912, and 1949-1951 4 folders
Scope and content
: Early outgoing and incoming correspondence primarily documents the Club's relationship
with the Harvard College Library and donations of Club material to the library's collection.
This correspondence also documents annual meetings.
Later correspondence from the early 1950s, both outgoing and incoming, primarily
documents efforts by Club members to recruit students from Illinois to apply to Harvard
College, and includes documentation of interviews held with prospective students,
with a particular emphasis on scholarships.
Formerly classified as HUD 3276.7505
- Correspondence, 1884
- Correspondence, 1897
- Correspondence, 1910-1912
- Correspondence, 1949-1951
- Series: Publications
For specific holdings of these titles in the University Archives and other Harvard
libraries, see HOLLIS.
- Reports, 
- HUD 3276.7629. Report to the Harvard Club of Chicago on the proposed extension of university franchise,
"Report to the Harvard Club of Chicago of its Special Committee appointed at the annual
meeting, November 20, 1895, to recommend appropriate action by the Club on the proposition
that the right to vote for Overseers of Harvard University be extended to graduates
of the scientific and professional schools" -- [p.1].