Harvard Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old harvard quotes, harvard sayings, and harvard proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Everyone praises Harvard 'for the students.' But what makes Harvard's students so great is that they are, in many ways, a cross-section of the larger world. They are normal people who happen to be excellent, and this sets them apart. People who go to Yale go because they want to attend Yale. People who go to Harvard go because they can.     

Alexandra Petri

I went into Harvard one way and came out a different person... It's the air at Harvard; it's like a Renaissance court.     

Erich Segal

There's a rule they don't teach you at the Harvard Business School. It is, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing to excess.     

Edwin H. Land

I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.     

William F. Buckley, Jr.

I can always tell if someone's from Harvard because they trot out their vitae. I would die at Harvard.     

Junot Diaz

If Moses had gone to Harvard Law School and spent three years working on the Hill, he would have written the Ten Commandments with three exceptions and a saving clause.     

Charles Morgan

What's a good metaphor for a Harvard student? A talking, gold-plated pile of manure, wearing a fleece.     

David Fahrenthold

Harvard was an extraordinary window on the world.     

Pierre Trudeau

A Harvard education consists of what you learn at Harvard while you are not studying.      

James Bryant Conant

Harvard University, according to the directory of the American Society of Colleges and Universities, is a 'type of weevil.'     

Dave Barry

I'd say Harvard graduates leave here with a sense of the possible and the limit - and a sense that there are no limits to what humans can do and that you can always be pushing, whatever limit you think might be there.      

Drew Gilpin Faust

At Harvard, you don't major. You concentrate.      

Gram Parsons

Would physics at Geneva be as good as physics at Harvard? I think not. Rome? I think not. In Britain, I don't think there is one place, neither Cambridge nor Oxford, which can compare with Harvard.      

Sheldon Lee Glashow

Four years was enough of Harvard. I still had a lot to learn, but had been given the liberating notion that now I could teach myself.     

John Updike

I’m not the woman president of Harvard, I’m the president of Harvard.     

Drew Gilpin Faust

You are sadly mistaken if you view a Harvard education as primarily a gold-edged certificate to success.     

John U. Munro

Harvard makes mistakes too, you know. Kissinger taught there.     

Woody Allen

Here [at Harvard], if we are doing our job, you will be led to an intellectual abyss.     

Raphael Demos

I want to make as much of a contribution as I can, to Harvard, to higher education and hopefully, to education around the world.     

Jim Breyer

I know of no title that I deem more honorable than that of Professor of the Harvard Law School.     

Felix Frankfurter

At Harvard, people like to impart the idea that you are a mover and shaker.      

Alexandra Petri

In truth, I did enjoy the benefits of a Harvard connection.     

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

That said, there are a few clear factors that determine the potential of a university to reach the highest levels of excellence. In the case of Harvard University, it was true that by the time of its tercentenary (300th anniversary of its founding) in 1936, Harvard had already achieved a reputation as a world-class institution. Harvard did not have the stature that it does today.     

Henry Rosovsky

I too turned to Webster's Dictionary and it defined Harvard University as a season for gathering crops.     

Andy Samberg

I'm an ambitious person, and Harvard makes me feel successful, just having gotten in here. That's the ugly side of why I'm proud of being at Harvard Law School. Another reason is because there's a spirit of serious intellectual endeavor here.     

Scott Turow

The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.     

Larry Wall

It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree.     

John F. Kennedy

Harvard is the home of American ideas.     

P. J. O'Rourke

I picked Harvard because it was in a big city, and a lot of girls' schools were nearby. And I liked President Kennedy, who went to Harvard.     

Jack Canfield

If you're last in your class at Harvard, it doesn't feel like you're a good student, even though you really are. It's not smart for everyone to want to go to a great school.     

Malcolm Gladwell

I teach at Harvard that the world and the heavens, and the stars are all real, but not so damned real, you see.      

Josiah Royce

A rich poet from Harvard has no sense in his mind, except the aesthetic.     

Beatrice Wood

We’ve all started lifelong friendships here, and some of us even families. That’s why I’m so grateful to this place. Thanks, Harvard.     

Mark Zuckerberg

Not even a Harvard School of Business can make greed into a science.     

W.E.B. Du Bois

Part of being a big winner is the ability to be a big loser. There is no paradox involved. It is a distinctly Harvard thing to be able to turn any defeat into victory.     

Erich Segal

Every Harvard class should have one Democrat to rescue it from oblivion     

Will Rogers

Harvard produces leaders. People with Harvard degrees go on to become administrators in high-level positions in state educational departments and in public schools around the country.     

Christina Hoff Sommers

Harvard was a kind of luxurious afternoon.     

Lincoln Kirstein

The truth of the matter is, you die, all you do is die, and yet you live, yes you live, and that's no Harvard lie.     

Jack Kerouac

The only thing I ever learned was that some people are lucky and other people aren't and not even a graduate of the Harvard Business School can say why.     

Kurt Vonnegut

I don't believe I'll ever get credit for anything I do in foreign affairs, no matter how successful it is, because I didn't go to Harvard.     

Lyndon B. Johnson

We're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive. It's pretty dense kids who haven't figured that out by the time they're ten.... Most kids can't afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed.     

Kurt Vonnegut

If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back.     

Michael Ignatieff

Harvard has now de facto become a Chinese outpost.     

Thorsten J. Pattberg

A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.     

Herman Melville