8 Things About Harvard’s Porcellian Club

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

Princeton has the Ivy Club, Yale has Skull and Bones, and Harvard? They have the male-only Porcellian Club, also know the Porc or the P.C.. This elitist organization got some attention in 2010, with the release of the The Social Network. (In the film, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg strives desperately to try to get into the club, and the details from the movie came from an interesting source, actress Natalie Portman. Portman met with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and spilled the details on the secret society, she had dated a member.) So what is the deal with the Porcellain Club.

Here are 8 things you may not know:

1. Porc Members Are Guaranteed Millionaires

Well, sort of. There is a rumor that “if members of the Porcellian do not earn their first million before they turn 40, the club will give it to them.” Way to lay on the pressure!

2. Their M.O. Is “Let’s Live!”

The club’s motto is dum vivimus vivamus, which means “while we live, let’s live.”

3. They Have An Unlikely Mascot

The mascot of the club is a pig with members of the club occasionally wearing neckties or other accessories with pig or pig heads on it.

4.  Their History Is Lengthy, Rich, And (Yes!) It Too Includes Pigs

The club was founded in 1791. When they first met it they called themselves “the Argonauts,” then they were were referred to as “the Pig Club” (due to a roast pig feast that was the first assembly of the future club).  They settled on their final name in this manner: “in order to render historical the origin of the club, and also to give it a classic touch, they decided to call it the Porcellian from Latin “porcus.” In 1831, the society bearing the name of the “order of the knights of the square table” was joined to the Porcellian, as “the objects and interests of the two societies were identical.”

5. Ye’ Old Barn

Their clubhouse is known as the “Old Barn.” It is right across the street from the Harvard Yard, the club even donated the gate which features a limestone carving of a boar’s head.

6. Prestigious Porkies

Members are culled from the senior, junior and sophomore classes — sorry freshmen, you’re out of luck! — and there are about eight students picked from each class each year. And, according to a 1940 Time magazine article, past members include “James Russell Lowell, the two famed Oliver Wendell Holmeses (the author of Autocrat of the Breakfast Table and the Supreme Court Justice), Owen Wister, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, President Theodore Roosevelt (the Franklin Roosevelts go Fly Club). Among its living members are Massachusetts’ Governor Leverett Saltonstall, Congressman Hamilton Fish, Yachtsman Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, Poloist Thomas Hitchcock Jr., U. S. Ambassador to Italy William Phillips, Journalist Joseph Alsop, and Richard Whitney, now of Sing Sing Prison, of whom all good Porkies prefer not to speak. The Pore is very much a family affair. Upon its roster, generation after generation, appear the same proud Boston names—Adams, Ames, Amory, Cabot, Gushing, etc. (Two Years Before the Mast) Dana, Novelist Owen Wister, John Jay Chapman.” And, of course, the Winklevosses twins of Facebook/The Social Network fame.

7. Club Members Have A Preferred Drink

Yup; that’s right. So what is the fav drink of Porcelain Club members? A mixture of beer and gin.

Article Posted 7 years Ago

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