John Harvard Statue
Located in the Old Yard is a statue of the university's
first benefactor, John Harvard. This monument is a frequent
target of pranks, hacks, and humorous decorations, such as
the colorful lei shown.
All across campus, students refer to this monument
as “the statue of three lies”.
When the statue was created, there were no pictures of
John Harvard known toexist. A student named Sherman Hoar was
chosen randomly by French and dressed in the style of the
seventeenth century so he could model for the statue. So,
this is not a statue of the late John Harvard; secondly,
John Harvard was not the founder of the college. The
Massachusetts Bay Colony had established the college. It
was only later named after John Harvard, who had been an
early financial contributor to the college.. The 3rd lie is
that the college was actually founded in 1636 not 1638 as
the inscription claims.