NRHP Reference #
Added to NRHP
January 9. 1978
12 Holyoke Street Cambridge, Massachusetts
Harvard University, 12 Holyoke St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Porcellian Club, Harvard Square, Harvard Yard, Memorial Hall, Lowell House
The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 is a social club for Harvard students.
The Hasty Pudding Club was originally established to bring together undergraduates in friendship, conversation, and camaraderie.
The society was founded on September 1, 1795, by Horace Binney, who was then 15, by calling together a meeting of 21 juniors in the room of Nymphas Hatch. The club is named for the traditional American dish that the founding members ate at their first meeting. Each week two members in alphabetical order had to provide a pot of hasty pudding for the Club to enjoy.
It is the oldest collegiate social club in America. Originally, the Club engaged in holding mock trials, which became more elaborate throughout time. This culminated in a member, Lemuel Hayward, secretly planning to stage a musical on the night he was to host the Club's meeting. On December 13, 1844, Hayward and other members staged Bombastes Furioso in Hollis 11, which began the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
Throughout its history, the Hasty Pudding Club absorbed many others, such as the DKE and the Med Fac. In 1925, the Hasty Pudding Club absorbed the Institute of 1770, which was a similar social club. The Institute name is now part of the club's official title.
The Pudding is currently the only social club on campus that is coed and has members from all four years. Membership to the social club is gained through a series of lunches, cocktail parties, and other gatherings, which are referred to as the "punch process." The Pudding holds its social activities in a clubhouse near Harvard Square. These include weekly "Members' Nights", dinner and cocktail parties, as well as its elaborate theme parties, such as "Leather and Lace".
The current clubhouse contains multiple rooms with specific purposes. Among these rooms is "The Arena", which is a room with no windows or openings to the outside world. "The Arena" is designated as the club's game room.
The club counts five U.S. Presidents (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy) among its noteworthy members.
Conan O'Brien has great disdain for the Hasty Pudding Club.