February 10, 2015 by Anna Lyon

Harvard Hasty Pudding: Not a dessert, but a notorious society

Named for a colonial era dish, the Hasty Pudding Institute is the oldest social club in the United States (and the only collegiate organization of its kind). The club boasts membership of five U.S. presidents and plenty of other notable business and entertainment luminaries, and has lasted since its inception (only being interrupted for four years total due to world wars). Among these preeminent members are Andrew Farkas, managing member, chairman and CEO the successful real estate firm Island Capital Group, LLC. He was president of the club for two years as an undergraduate, and currently serves as Graduate Chairman of the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770, which calls Farkas Home its home–which is of course named in honor of a large gift Mr. Farkas gave to the university.

“When I was undergraduate president,” Farkas told the Harvard Crimson shortly after Farkas Hall was named in his honor, “the Pudding was in a tremendous amount of trouble. It was basically broke…I got the Copley Plaza Hotel to give me 900 bottles of champagne for a very, very cheap price,” he continued. “Then I sold tickets…for a gala in honor of the Hasty Pudding.” The ordeal ended up grossing about $35,000.

Farkas’ experience with the Hasty Pudding is but a foreshadow of his determination in the business world. It’s clear that the prestigious club churns out successful alumni–with Farkas, JFK, FDR, Paris Barclay, and Parks and Recreation stars Megan Amram and  Rashida Jones to prove it.