Fly Club

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The Fly Club's clubhouse.

The Fly Club is a male-only final club at Harvard University, founded in 1836.

Both the Fly and A.D. Club, another Harvard final club, trace their beginnings to the Harvard chapters of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. The A.D. surrendered its chapter credentials in 1865 and broke off from the national fraternity to become a Harvard-only final club in the mid nineteenth century. The Alpha Delta Phi was reconstituted in 1879 after remaining dormant for 14 years. This entity subsequently surrendered its national chapter credentials and became the Fly Club.

The clubhouse is located at 2 Holyoke Place, near Harvard Square in the "Gold Coast" area.[1] It is situated in front of Lowell House, across Mt. Auburn St. from the Harvard Lampoon building.

The club's name was derived by combining the PH from "Alpha," the l from "Delta," and the i from "Phi," to get "Phli,"; "Fly" as it is pronounced.[2]

Fly Club Gate[edit]

The Fly Club Gate is located along the exterior of Winthrop House. An English Baroque structure, the gate was built in 1914 by a grant from members of the Fly Club. The "Kitty" symbol of the Fly is centered within the ironwork above the entry, and inscribed is the following dedication: "For Friendships Made in College the Fly Club in Gratitude has Built this Gate."[3]

Notable members[edit]

Deval Patrick controversy[edit]

In August of 2006, then Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial candidate (now Governor) Deval Patrick came under fire for his membership in the Fly Club.[13] Critics viewed Patrick's membership in the club as contradictory to his image as a so-called champion of civil rights. Patrick countered that he had left the club in the early 1980s when he realized that it contradicted his values, although the club itself had Patrick's name on its roster as late as 2006.


  1. ^ Cambridge Historical Commission, "City of Cambridge, Landmarks and Other Protected Properties", 2009.
  2. ^ Shand-Tucci, Douglass (2001). Harvard University. Princeton University Press. ISBN 1-56898-280-1.  p. 101[1]
  3. ^ "The Architecture", Winthrop House (Facilities & History)
  4. ^ a b "Facts on Final Clubs", The Harvard Crimson, March 3, 1999
  5. ^ "The Final Club Scene", Harvard Magazine, May 1997. "...says former D.U. graduate president Louis Kane '53..."
  6. ^ Yeomans, Henry (1977). Abbott Lawrence Lowell. Arno Press. ISBN 0-405-10009-4. p.38. "He tried to avoid what he considered Wilson's mistake in alienating them at Princeton; and he himself accepted honorary membership in the Fly in 1904."
  7. ^ "Patrick says he quit The Fly Club in 1983". The Boston Globe. 2006-08-03. 
  8. ^ "Harvard Journal: All-Male Club Opens Its Doors Warily," New York Times 9 October, 1993. LexisNexis Academic.
  9. ^ "Franklin D. Roosevelt Center", American Heritage Center Inc. website[2]: "Returning to Cambridge, he found he had made both the Institute and the Dickey. Then came the blow... he was not among the eight sophomores elected to the Porcellian.... FDR settled for membership in the next most prestigious club, Alpha Delta Phi, also known as the Fly Club."
  10. ^ FDR Library, biography of James Roosevelt[3]: "He was a member of the Signet Society, the Fly Club, Institute of 1770 and Hasty Pudding Club"
  11. ^ Gardner, Martin (1995). The Annotated Casey at the Bat: A Collection of Ballads about the Mighty Casey/Third, Revised Edition. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-28598-7.  p. 1[4]
  12. ^ Edlich, Alexander R (1993): Harvard 'final club' to may become first to admit women, The Dartmouth Online, October 19, 1993[5]: "According to The Crimson, Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who graduated from Harvard and was a member of the Fly Club, wrote the club in 1987 urging it to admit women."
  13. ^ "Patrick says he quit The Fly Club in 1983 - The Boston Globe". 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2011-10-17.