Gober Family Uncommon Fare Dinners

Connect with faculty over dinner

The Uncommon Fare program is designed to give first-year students a chance to meet outstanding members of the Harvard community, to meet one another, and to see what is truly special about the College. This program is made possible by a generous gift from the Gober family, and includes sixteen dinners during the academic year.

Program Goals

  • Connect with your community: Meet a small group of students that you might not know yet
  • Learn from our guests: Ask questions ranging from the professional to personal
  • Explore your intellectual interests: Learn about topics that excite you, even if they aren't subjects you are currently studying
  • Share life lessons: Discover how guests built their careers

Featured Guests

We invite members of the Harvard community who are leaders in their fields. Past guests have included:

  • Members of the faculty from FAS, SEAS, HBS, HLS, GSE, and HDS
  • Administrators, including University President Larry Bacow, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, and Dean of Students Katie O'Dair
  • Faculty deans
  • Museum directors
  • Coaches
  • Fellows of the Harvard Corporation

 If you'd like to recommend someone as a guest, please email the Director of Faculty-Student Initiatives at firstyearfacstu@fas.harvard.edu.

View upcoming Uncommon Fare dinners


Dinner Format 

Each dinner is attended by 10 first-year students, who are selected to represent a mix of students across the Yard and the world. A dean or administrator from the First-Year Experience Office attends to host the dinner, and to make introductions between students and the featured guest. The guest will often open their remarks with a brief story or reflection, but after that the conversation is driven by the students who attend. You're encouraged to come with questions for the guest, and to share about yourself and your interests.

Uncommon Fare dinners are held in the Harvard Faculty Club, and suggested dress is business casual.

Application Process and Logistics

If you're interested in attending, you must complete a brief application explaining your interest in the featured guest. Often students will have a passion in common with the guest, but other times it may be that you're curious about their field or something they've written. Applications are reviewed by the Director of Faculty-Student Initiatives, who contacts those who've been selected to attend. Keep in mind:

  • Because each dinner is limited to 10 students, you may only attend one dinner per term.
  • Out of respect for the guest and other students who attend, you must be able to attend the full dinner, which runs roughly two hours.
  • As part of the application, you'll specify your entree choice and highlight any dietary restrictions or allergies.