A Lucky Toe

John Harvard, statue, Harvard, University, Cambridge, MassachusettsEvery wonder how Harvard University produces such prosperous scholars? The answer is simple, just check out the toe of John Harvard's statue.  It's a tradition that on Commencement Day as graduates file through Harvard Yard, past the statue, they rub his toe for "luck."

A closer look below shows the brightly buffed bronze toe. In full disclosure, in the 1990's tour guides began encouraging tourists to rub John's shoe for good luck too.

John Harvard, 1607-1638, was the original benefactor of Harvard College leaving in his will a bequest to the "schoale or Colledge" recently undertaken by the Massachu­setts Bay Colony.

Since no portraits of Harvard existed, the sculptor, Daniel French, used a Harvard student as the model for the statue. The statue was dedicated in 1884. French's other famous work is the Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.


statue, john harvard, harvard, university, cambridge, massachusetts
Photos: Doug Peabody
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