Visiting the Ivy League in Massachusetts: Colleges and Universities in Cambridge

Visiting Cambridge Massachusetts is much more than a stroll around the quaint streets and the banks of Charles river. It’s walking along in historic times along with the brightest minds of the US, and the world. This time we visited Ivy League schools in Massachusetts.

harvard square in ivy league colleges and universities
Harvard Square

I have to gloat a little. My baby brother five years ago had a dilemma: he had to decide which University to get his PhD in on a full scholarship – MIT or Harvard. Not sure where I got my DNA from, since I barely made it out of school with a C average. But this was what his issue was, not a bad problem to have.

MIT Phd University
The Graduate and his Nephews

He chose MIT, since he was a Satellite and Communication Engineer major. This year he graduated. We got a grand tour of MIT, but enjoyed an evening at Harvard as well.

Future MIT Graduates

MIT University
Future MIT graduate
kid at ivy league colleges in massachusetts
The Real Graduate of MIT

Visiting the Ivy League Colleges in Massachusetts

MIT Dome
MIT Dome

Fun Facts About MIT Cambridge, MA

  • MIT first admitted students in 1865.

  • Although the Civil War impeded Rogers’ plan, construction of MIT’s first building began in 1863, in a landfill area of the Back Bay, in the estuary of the Charles River.

  • Infinite Corridor – The long hallway connecting many of the buildings of the main campus. It is one-sixth of a mile long. It was always rumored that the only pedestrian tunnel systems in the world longer than the collection of hallways and tunnels at MIT existed at the Kremlin and the Pentagon.

Infinite Corridor, MIT University, Ma
Infinite Corridor
  • MIT is predominantly an engineering school.

  • The name of that traditional MIT hymn is “The Engineer’s Drinking Song”.

  • Kofi Annan earned an MIT degree

  • The first Computer was invented at MIT in 1928
  • The actor James Woods attended MIT in the late 60’s, but he didn’t graduate.

  • John Nash, the Nobel Laureate immortalized in the book “A Beautiful Mind” by Sylvia Nasar and by the movie of the same name, was a professor at MIT.

  • MIT offers a pirate certificate to students who complete four physical education classes: pistol, archery, sailing, and fencing.

  • Everything at MIT is numbered. Seriously, everything. MIT students pretty much speak in code: Rather than using names for buildings or courses, they use a system of numbers understood only by their species.

MIT university, Ivy leagues universities and colleges

Admissions Facts of MIT:

Selected undergraduate admissions statistics for 2012

Applicants: 18,109

Admits: 1,620

Percentage admitted: 8.9%

Selected graduate admissions statistics for 2012:

Applications for graduate study were received from 22,588 candidates.

Admission was offered to 3,504 candidates

Dr. Seuss Building, MIT Ivy League in MA
Dr. Seuss Building, MIT Ivy League

Fun Facts About Harvard University

Harvard University is open to the public. Anyone can come on in and enjoy the historic grounds and the original buildings and park, along with all the new additions.

Harvard University, Boston, MA
Main Entrance – Harvard University
  • Harvard University was founded in 1636 by John Harvard.

  • In 1764 Original Harvard Hall burns, destroying some 5,000 volumes and all but one of John Harvard’s books.

  • In 1780 The Massachusetts Constitution went into effect and officially recognized Harvard as a university.

Harvard University, Historic Landmark
Original Building in Harvard
  • When Harvard University was originally founded it was run by the state, which was also run by the Church. However, in 1830 Harvard University was privatized, which allowed it to prosper financially during this time period.

  • In 1914 Professor Theodore William Richards wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the determination of atomic weights; he is the first of 28 Harvard Nobel laureates.

  • In 1940 John F. Kennedy graduates. Later on Harvard Kennedy School was created in his honor, where students are equipped with the conceptual framework and the specific skills they will need to be successful leaders in public service.

  • In 1959 Fidel Castro was a guest of Law School Forum.

  • In 1997 Mary Fasano became the oldest person ever to earn a Harvard degree when she graduated from the Extension School at the age of 89.

  • 2011 Harvard celebrates its 375th anniversary.

Historic Harvard
Original Water Pump First Students Used
  • It was the first college in the United States.

  • Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Harvard’s nickname is Crimson. Therefore, they are called the Harvard Crimson.

  • During the Revolutionary War, Harvard’s buildings housed soldiers; classes were relocated to Concord.

  • They are a member of the Ivy League.

  • Seventy-five Nobel Peace Prize winners are affiliated with Harvard.

  • Eight Harvard alumni sign the Declaration of Independence.

  • Harvard has about 3,000 courses

  • A few of former presidents graduated from Harvard, including Obama.

  • Widener Library’s 10 floors (four of which are underground) make it the second-largest library in the U.S.

Harvard Library, MA
Harvard’s Library
  • Most of the classes only have ten students per professor.

Admissions Facts for Harvard

Applicants 34,303

Admitted 2,076

Only 2% of students throughout its history have flunked out of Harvard

Harvard rejects literally hundreds of candidates with 1400-plus SAT scores and 4.0 GPA’s in favor of students with lesser academic achievements.  The truly brilliant students are almost always admitted, but the other 90% of each class is comprised of students who meet a combination of factors.

What do you do after touring the two schools holding the brightest and innovative minds, it was time to get some eats.

Where to Eat After Touring the Ivy Leagues Schools in MA

How about the hipster hang-out and delicious restaurant – Friendly Toast.

the friendly toast in cambridge ma

This is the place to be when chilling, living and studying in Cambridge, MA.

inside friendly toast at boston

When you first enter the place, it looks like a vintage, 1950’s diner with a bar area at the entrance and a huge eating area towards the back.

friendly toast boston ma
Bar area
Main Eating Area at friendly toast in boston
Main Eating Area

Hipsters seem to be the only ones permitted to work here. With cool tattoos and dreadlocks, the waiter’s funky style definitely adds to the atmosphere.

The Friendly Toast restaurant is best known for breakfast, and you can order it all day long. Which was the consensus at our table.

Breakfast for Champions from the friendly toast boston ma
Breakfast for Champions

However, they serve up other tasty dishes as well.

shrimp tacos at friendly toast
Shrimp Tacos

My Take On Ivy League Schools in Massachusetts

  • The portions were absolute massive
  • The price is extremely affordable less than $10 a platter.
  • You can pick a ton of different beers, mainly from New England Area’s microbreweries, one of the best in the United States.
  • The one thing I didn’t enjoy was everything came with a kick to it. Honestly, it was only me who wasn’t into it. I can’t eat anything spicy at all. It ruins the flavor for me. No one else, including my three and nine year old complained. But it would have been good to mention it and to be told I can order everything extra mild. Who would have thought you’d need to worry in a breakfast joint.

Ivy League Colleges and Universities in Cambridge

Last Updated on September 27, 2023

6 thoughts on “Visiting the Ivy League in Massachusetts: Colleges and Universities in Cambridge

  1. Very interesting facts Marina! Fidel Castro, I would never have thought he would be invited to MIT!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. hey Frank,

      Fidel Castro is a genius, in my mind, and that seems to have no boundaries 🙂

      Plus MIT prides itself on being a bit left winged and controversial – meaning they don’t care for politics at all.

  2. It’s amazing to read about these schools and the accomplishments of their rather extraordinary graduates as well as to gain a little insight into their admissions criteria. I can’t help but ponder the nature vs nurture argument and in turn to wonder how much of an impact attending Harvard and MIT has on their characters? As a side note, the Dr. Seuss building is incredible!

    1. Having a brother that went to MIT I can tell you it has nothing to do with Nurture since we are both from the same parents, and my grades were not even close and honestly, I have no interest at all in attending such schools.

      It’s very much nature!

  3. Lol I can sort of relate… My dad is a genius physicist, and he raised a free-spirited writer/travel junkie. Family is funny! MIT is fab — and Harvard looks gorgeous!! So strange that I’ve never been…

    1. Hey Abby,

      I hope my brother keep his genius and have a free – spirit to give his kids. Although, my brother is super fun you’d never think he was this smarty pants.

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