For many people the time they spend in college is some of the most meaningful and impactful years of their lives. So when they find themselves financially stable they give back to their college. Harvard graduate Andrew L. Farkas is one of those people. A member of the class of 1982, Farkas spent memorable times during his undergraduate years as a member of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club. When there arose an opportunity recently to help the Hasty Pudding Club, Farkas jumped at it. He donated the money to renovate and expand the club’s home which it has occupied since 1888.
Farkas’ gift is a gesture of appreciation to Harvard, the Hasty Pudding Club and his father who graduated from Harvard in 1954. The old home of the Hasty Pudding Club has now been transformed into a six-story complex. It boasts a 270-seat theater that has a moveable stage, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and other modern amenities. The building also has classrooms, a dance studio, classrooms and office space for student groups involved in the arts. The social organization that’s long been a major part of Harvard’s social and creative life is now a stunning performance art space.
The renovation began in 2005 and was completed in 2007. Initially called the New College Theatre, the space was renamed Farkas Hall in October 2011. While it is largely a brand new building, the lobby still showcases information and artifacts from Hasty Pudding’s almost 130 year history there. The brick building which has long held the Hasty Pudding Club as well as Hasty Pudding Theatricals now showcases the Hasty Pudding Club’s important role at Harvard with plaques, posters and photographs. So the building has been both refreshed and preserved.
Andrew Farkas was the club’s president for two years. He explained that Harvard allowed him to reinvent himself and informed the man he has become. The Hasty Pudding Club is America’s oldest collegiate social organization. Five presidents including John Adams and John F. Kennedy were members of the club. The building is Hasty Pudding’s historic home and he loved every second of his time there Farias explained. That why when he made his fortune as a New York real estate investor he was glad to give back to the school and the social club.
Members of the Farkas have attended Harvard since 1913. The new building makes them a part of its future.