Hasty Pudding Club
Former location of the Hasty Pudding Club at 12 Holyoke Street
Location45 Dunster Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°22′19″N 71°07′10″W / 42.37194°N 71.11944°W / 42.37194; -71.11944
ArchitectPeabody and Stearns[1]
NRHP reference No.78000442
Added to NRHPJanuary 9. 1978

The Hasty Pudding Club, often referred to simply as the Pudding, is a social club at Harvard University, and one of three sub-organizations that comprise the Hasty Pudding - Institute of 1770.[2] The club's motto, Concordia Discors (discordant harmony), derives from the epistles of the Latin poet Horace.[3]

The year of founding for the club is usually given as 1795, when a group of undergraduates came together "to cherish feelings of friendship and patriotism,"[4] or as 1770, the founding year for the Institute of 1770, an organization that the Pudding absorbed in 1924.[5] By way of this amalgamation, the Pudding claims to be the oldest collegiate social club in the United States.[6]

Historically, the club has been noted for its "prestigious" reputation and viewed as "the first step towards final club membership."[7][8] An 1870 travel book listed the Hasty Pudding Club and the Porcellian Club as "the two lions of Harvard."[9]

The Hasty Pudding Club stage c. 1876


The society was founded on September 1, 1795, by a 15-year-old Harvard College student, Horace Binney, who called together a meeting of 21 juniors in the room of Nymphas Hatch. The club is named for hasty pudding, a traditional English dish popular at that time in America that the founding members ate at their first meeting. Each week two members, chosen in alphabetical order, had to provide a pot of hasty pudding for the club to enjoy.

Originally, the club engaged in holding mock trials, which became more elaborate over 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 room 11 of Hollis Hall, which began the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.[10]

Throughout its history, the Hasty Pudding Club has absorbed other organizations. In 1924, the Club absorbed the Institute of 1770, D.K.E.[5] In 2012, the Hasty Pudding Club, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and The Harvard Krokodiloes merged into a single entity: The Hasty Pudding - Institute of 1770.[11]

The Hasty Pudding Club is the only social club on campus that is coed and has members from all four years. Students gain membership in the club by attending a series of lunches, cocktail parties, and other gatherings—which are referred to as the punch process. The club 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 rooms with specific purposes—such as The Arena, the club's game room, which has no windows or openings to the outside.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Snyder, Nick (July 20, 2001). "Hubbub at Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club—The Hasty Pudding Club—undergraduate hangout of four US presidents—has given up its historic digs at 12 Holyoke Street. Is a 206-year-old tradition over for good?". The Boston Phoenix. Vol. 30, no. 29. pp. 1, 24–26 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "Hasty Pudding Institute Organizations". hastypudding.org/organizations. The Hasty Pudding - Institute of 1770, Inc. 2021-08-07. Retrieved 2021-08-07. The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 comprises the Hasty Pudding Club, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the Harvard Krokodiloes.
  3. ^ Orcutt, William (1892). The Harvard Club Book, 1892-93.
  4. ^ Sheldon, Henry (1901). Student Life and Customs. D. Appleton.
  5. ^ a b "CUTTING' OUT DEAD WOOD". The Harvard Crimson'. November 27, 1923.
  6. ^ "Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770". hastypudding.org. The Hasty Pudding - Institute of 1770, Inc. 2022-12-24. Retrieved 2022-12-22. As the oldest social club in the U.S., the Pudding has continued as a cornerstone of the Harvard experience for over two centuries. There is no other collegiate organization quite like it.
  7. ^ Michelman, Valerie; Price, Joseph; Zimmerman, Seth (2021-12-03). "Old Boys' Clubs and Upward Mobility Among the Educational Elite". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 137 (2): 845–909. doi:10.1093/qje/qjab047. Retrieved 2022-12-24.
  8. ^ "The Final Clubs: Little Bastions of Society in a University World that No Longer Cares". The Harvard Crimson'. November 22, 1958.
  9. ^ Rae, W. Fraser (1870). Westward by Rail: The New Route to the East. Longmans, Green, and Co. pp. 354–55 – via archive.org.
  10. ^ "ANCIENT HOLLIS Harvard Dormitory's 150th Anniversary Will Be Celebrated at Commencement - Occupants". Cambridge Tribune. Vol. XXXVI, no. 5. 1913-03-29. p. 11. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  11. ^ "Hasty Pudding Clubs to Merge into Single Entity | News | the Harvard Crimson".
  12. ^ "Faculty Will Take Control of Hasty Pudding Building | News | the Harvard Crimson".