Our History

It has been 14 years since The Harvard Shop joined the family of businesses that make up Harvard Student Agencies, the largest student run company in the world. Since then, it has grown to become the largest among them and has established itself as the go-to destination for Harvard apparel and souvenirs both on campus and online.

Paul Corcoran who ran a department store in Harvard Square first opened the Shop in 1983. Nestled in its corner on 52 JFK Street, The Harvard Shop provided shirts, sweaters and other Harvard apparel to both students and visitors. The Harvard Shop maintained its business for thirty years thanks to a devoted team of managers, even opening a store for a brief period in Copley, downtown Boston.

In 2000, with his retirement nearing, Paul Corcoran wished to hand off the store and his legacy to a new team of managers that he could trust to carry the Harvard name. Most importantly however, he needed a team that would show the same devotion he did in dedicating a portion of his profits to financial aid at Harvard. Brian Clay, then Vice President of HSA, approached Corcoran in 2001 with the idea of acquiring the shop for the company. Conveniently, Corcoran was on already on the board of HSA and immediately saw the natural fit.

Over the past fourteen years, the Harvard Shop has grown remarkably, opening two new stores in the Smith Campus Center in 2008 and at 65. Mt Auburn Street in 2013. After the recent closure of the Smith Campus location due to university renovations, the company opened its newest store in The Garage. Today, the shop is entirely run by Harvard students, including 8 managers and over 80 web, stock, and sales associates year-round, proving its dedication to HSA’s mission of providing financial assistance to as many students as possible.

We hope that by becoming one of our customers, you will also become part of the rich history of Harvard Student Agencies and the Harvard Shop, going back almost 60 years to 14 students who wanted to make the Harvard education more affordable for those who deserved it. 



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