Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

1 min read
  • May 12, 1638 – By order of the Great and General Court, “Newetowne” is renamed “Cambrige” (Cambridge). 
  • May 1638 – The College Yard expands as the Town of Cambridge grants the College a lot of land that today includes Harvard, Hollis, Stoughton, and Holworthy halls. 
  • May 13, 1847 – The Harvard Corporation votes to establish “an advanced school of instruction in theoretical and practical science and in the other usual branches of academic learning, to be called The Scientific School of the University at Cambridge.” In June, when Abbott Lawrence gives $50,000 to endow the new school, the enterprise is promptly redubbed “the Lawrence Scientific School in the University at Cambridge.” About half the gift goes into the building of Lawrence Hall (1850, which burns down in 1970 on the site of today’s Science Center). The remainder supports professorships in engineering and geology. 
  • May 1855 – Led by Charles W. Eliot (Harvard’s future 21st President) and Edward H. Ammidown, a Harvard Club of Boston is formed. It goes bankrupt in 1857, however, and a Boston club does not re-emerge until 1908.- From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower