Sunday, July 12, 2020

[gynfthps] Hypothetical College, Harvard, Massachusetts

It's surprising that no one has founded a college in the town of Harvard, MA, a town which is distinct and far from the city of Cambridge, MA where (the main part of) Harvard University is located.

Obviously, the hypothetical college would have to avoid the word "Harvard" in its name and branding to avoid trademark lawsuits by Harvard University.  However, Harvard University (presumably) couldn't stop a graduate of the hypothetical college from putting "Hypothetical College, Harvard, MA" at the top of his or her resume, because including the location of one's school is standard practice on resumes.  Hypothetical College administrators could wink wink nudge nudge such a practice.  Such a line on a resume is made more confusing because many prestigious schools assign their students to "residential colleges" to which alumni often feel enough allegiance to include on their resume.  Harvard University (and Hogwarts) call their residential colleges "Houses", but Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, and others do call them "Colleges".

Hypothesize that the reason no one has founded a college in Harvard, MA is because Harvard University somehow credibly threatens lawsuits against anyone who tries.  What does Harvard University say to them?

Wildly speculate that there is a law in Massachusetts forbidding higher educational institutions from existing in Harvard, MA.  This seems like a sleazy kind of thing that Harvard University could have accomplished by lobbying state government.  One complicated long-term way to get around such a hypothetical possibility is to found a college just across the border in the neighboring town of Ayer, MA.  Then, get Ayer to disband its town, hoping that it gets absorbed into neighboring towns, with "Hypothetical College, Ayer, MA" becoming absorbed into Harvard, MA.  Getting Ayer to unincorporate might not be too difficult; it is currently one of the poorest towns in Massachusetts (weirdly in contrast to neighboring Harvard which is one of the richest), so getting Ayer to unincorporate could be as simple as just waiting.

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