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The people of Harvard

What makes Harvard special are our people. Through continued efforts in inclusion and belonging, Harvard has built a community comprising many backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.


Graduates wearing caps and gowns
  • 25,266

    undergraduate and graduate students

  • 19,639

    faculty and staff

  • 400k+

    alumni worldwide

  • Explore more data about our community with the Harvard Fact Book

Harvard leadership and governance is composed of four components:

Interim President

Alan Garber, Interim President

Deans and Officers

Leading Harvard’s 15 Schools and many offices

Harvard Corporation

The oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere

Board of Overseers

Alumni committed to Harvard’s missions and interests

The history of Harvard

Explore the history of our founding, our Nobel Prize winners, the honorary degrees we’ve awarded, and how our iconic shield was created.

Explore all of Harvard’s history

A sepia drawing of the original Harvard Campus.

On September 8, 1636, Harvard, the first college in the American colonies, was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard University was officially founded by a vote by the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Harvard’s endowment started with John Harvard’s initial donation of 400 books and half his estate, but in 1721, Thomas Hollis began the now standard practice of requiring that a donation be used for a specific purpose when he donated money for “a Divinity Professor, to read lectures in the Halls to the students.”

The greater Harvard community

Harvard is dedicated to being a good neighbor to the communities we reside within, whether in Massachusetts or at one of our locations abroad.

  • $3 million

    in Harvard funding provided in support of affordable homeownership in Allston-Brighton through the All Bright Homeownership Program.

  • 650,000

    visitors to Harvard museums each year

  • 22

    locations abroad that link Harvard faculty and students to local academic institutions, government organizations, businesses, and communities