“Harvard gave me a canvas on which to reinvent myself. I loved every second of it.”
These are the words of Andrew Farkas who speaks fondly of his experience in Harvard. Andrew spent most of his memorable times with the Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club. To show his admiration and love for the old club and his late father, he built the newly standing Farkas hall for the university. The club started way back in the late 1700’s which required its members to bring pots of grain puddings to its meetings and has housed five presidents of U.S till date from John Adams to John F. Kennedy. The old 1888 property has now been totally revamped in the form of the vibrant Farkas Hall at 12 Holyoke St.
The now coveted six-story complex, built under a span of two years now boasts of a complex 270-seat theater with state of the art lighting and sounds system, a mobile stage, dance studio, classrooms and offices for art related student groups. The place still hosts its traditional entryway for its previous alumni’s to remember it the way it was before the new construction. The construction is a tribute to the prestigious old club by Andrew and his wife Sandi. The brick building now showcases the club’s pivotal role at Harvard through its posters, photographs, and plaque displayed in the elegant Hasty Pudding Club.
Andrew Farkas’ academic exploits include writing an economic thesis for the late Otto Eckstein, Warburg Professor of Economics. Apart from academics, Andrew spent his time in the A.D. final club and the Hasty Pudding Clubs. He speaks fondly of his father Robin Farkas, a Harvard alumnus himself. Andrew speaks highly of him saying that his father was his mentor, best friend, and role model. It was Andrew’s father who had initially persuaded his son to join the esteemed university. Andrew Farkas recalls his time at Harvard saying that he had arrived at Harvard as an awkward, insecure person with great ambition and modest direction and the place helped him reinvent his current self and that he loved spending every minute at the university.
Andrew Farkas today is chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group which is a real-estate-oriented private equity firm while Sandi is a playwright, screenwriter and the founder of Playwrights of New York. Since Andrew, many generations of Farkas’ have been part of the university and the club’s legacy which has now been firmly etched in Farkas Hall.