Our Mission:

Established in 1864, The Harvard Club of Philadelphia is one of the oldest alumni clubs in the country and serves the alumni, parents and students of Harvard University who live in the greater Philadelphia area. It offers opportunities for members to engage with the local Harvard community, keep up with events in Cambridge, positively impact the larger community, and support the University in the Philadelphia region.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Philadelphia is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization. To make a donation to the club's scholarship fund, click here or Prize book program, click here.

Community Expectations:

We strive to foster a spirit of community among Harvard alumni, students, their families, and guests, and to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for members from across generations with diverse interests and backgrounds.

We offer events, educational programs, ways to connect, network & socialize, and opportunities to serve both our local Philadelphia community and Harvard.

Harvard Club of Philadelphia programs and volunteer opportunities respect the rights, differences, and dignity of others.

All of those attending or taking part in HCP events and activities, including invitees and guests, are expected to demonstrate respect and civility in those activities.

Club History:

The Philadelphians who met in 1864, with the idea of forming a Harvard Club, had a clear notion of what their club should be.  Its purpose they stated, was “the cultivation of social feeling and a more intimate union among those graduates of Cambridge residing in Philadelphia and vicinity.”

"All persons," the statement added, "having a degree from the University of Cambridge, and of an unobjectionable character, shall have the right to become a member of this society.  The requirements have changed somewhat since then.  In particular, the requirement of an “unobjectionable character” was dropped – much to the relief of the membership committee.

Beginning in 1928, the Club has had club rooms at a number of different locations. Almost thirty years at the Bellevue were followed by short sojourns at the Belgrade and the St. James (until the ceiling caved in). For over a decade, the Club shared 1223 Locust Street with the Princeton and Yale Clubs. With those clubs, it moved to rooms in the Rittenhouse Club in 1978. After another short period at the Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square, it settled at the Acorn Club at 1515 Locust Street for an extended period. The Club now holds events at diverse venues around the city and surrounding suburbs.

Throughout the 150 years of its existence, the Club has remained firmly committed to a service function. The contribution in which our members take perhaps the greatest satisfaction is the work of the Schools Committee. This dedicated committee interviews all applicants to Harvard Radcliffe from this area and promotes communication between the Admissions Office and Philadelphia area schools. Other significant activities of the Club include: a series of luncheon programs with outstanding speakers, appropriate festivities before the Penn and Princeton games, sponsorship of undergraduate groups when they come to Philadelphia, receptions for newly-admitted students and/or applicants, and the Annual Dinner.

The Harvard Club of Philadelphia Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund established in the early 1900's and managed by the University, is supplemented by annual contributions from members. Income from these sources enables the University to provide scholarship support to undergraduates from the Philadelphia area.

The Radcliffe Club of Philadelphia was founded in 1905 with three chartered purposes: to raise funds for scholarships, to assist alumnae in maintaining contact with college activities and developments, and to provide regular meetings to foster friendships among alumnae. To these ends, the Club held scholarship benefits, supported an active Schools Committee, and provided programs on a wide variety of intellectual, social, and cultural topics.

In 1987, the Harvard and Radcliffe Clubs merged to from the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Philadelphia. In the intervening decade, the two Clubs' schools, scholarship and programs functions were combined and the unified Club was fortunate to enjoy excellent leadership by both Harvard and Radcliffe graduates.

On October 1, 1999, Radcliffe College and Harvard University officially merged with Radcliffe College evolving into the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In 2017, the Club reassumed the name "Harvard Club of Philadelphia" to reflect the merger of the two instiutions and clarify the its role as the club for all alumni of the University.

The dates in the club's logo recognize three milestones in the club's history - the initial founding of the Harvard Club of Philadelphia in 1864, the formation of the Radcliffe Club of Philadelphia, and the merger of the the two clubs in 1987.

Club Awards:

Nancy Beth Sheerr Service Award:

In 2023, we lost a beloved member of our alumni community here in Philadelphia when Nancy Beth Sheerr passed away far too soon. 

A Radcliffe class of 1971 graduate and past president of our club, Nancy Beth served on various educational boards, ultimately chairing the boards of trustees at two of her beloved alma maters – Radcliffe College and The Baldwin School.  As the last Chair of Radcliffe College, she was instrumental in the merger of Harvard and Radcliffe in 1999 and the formation of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she sat on the Dean’s Advisory Council until her death. Her dedication to Harvard was recognized by her receipt of the Harvard Medal in 2021, given to those who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the University and the Harvard Alumni Association Award in 2010, which recognizes outstanding service to the University through alumni activities.

Nancy Beth Sheerr was fond of saying of herself, she wasn’t someone who had the money to rename a dorm or endow a chair, but her contributions were her time, her talent and her energy, and in doing that she was unsurpassed.  And so when someone special like that is lost, we felt it appropriate to honor them and continue to pass the torch forward and recognize a member of the community who has embodied so many of the same ideals that Nancy Beth did.  

Award Recipients:

2024 David Chen, MAR '99, MAUD '99