Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 1636 Society?

The Harvard College Fund established the 1636 Society to recognize and thank loyal donors to the Harvard College Fund (HCF) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

How does one become a member of the Society?

Two consecutive yearly gifts to Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and university priorities establish membership. These gifts can be outright gifts, pledge payments, or multiyear pledges.

When was the Society founded?

The Fund launched the 1636 Society in January 2008. Inaugural members had made five or more (three or more, in the case of recent graduates) consecutive yearly gifts through June 30, 2007.

What is a “yearly gift”?

The 1636 Society recognizes gifts made to FAS and university priorities in a fiscal year (July 1–June 30) or credited to a particular drive year (the July-June year the donor receives HCF class credit for the gift). Gift categories include outright gifts, pledge payments, and the establishment of a pledge due over multiple years.

What kinds of gifts qualify?

Outright gifts, pledges, and pledge payments to FAS and university priorities qualify. A student’s gift to his/her class’s Senior Gift campaign counts toward membership. Matching gifts do not apply.

Does the dollar amount of a gift matter?

No. All gifts make a difference. Harvard relies on consistent annual giving to meet the needs of critical programs and take advantage of emerging opportunities. All gifts help advance our goals, and annual gifts arguably are of the utmost importance because they enable the dean to count on steady funding. Furthermore, participation in annual giving to the Harvard College Fund and GSAS—no matter the amount—demonstrates that alumni care about the institution and endeavor to keep it strong.

How do College alumni who are partners or married qualify?

As long as at least one spouse/partner has made a gift, pledge, or pledge payment to FAS or university priorities in a particular year, that year counts in the membership calculation for both alumni, regardless of how long they have been married or have been domestic partners.