Behind the Curtain: What Public Records Can Tell Us About Final Clubs

Harvard’s eight all-male final clubs are notoriously secretive about their operations. But thankfully, the city of Cambridge, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the federal tax code pose a limit on just how much the clubs can hide from public view. Cambridge makes publicly available the assessed value of all properties within the city, meaning that we can find out the value of the clubs’ huge buildings in the square (The Crimson previously compiled a list of  the clubhouses’ values last year; the numbers have since been updated, and those in this post are more recent).

Massachusetts requires all corporations to submit paperwork listing the membership of their corporate boards; that means that, with the exception of the Delphic, the membership of the clubs’ powerful alumni “grad boards” is public, as is, in the case of the Porcellian and Spee, their undergraduate leadership. And because every club but the Phoenix-SK and the Porcellian is organized as a nonprofit for federal tax purposes, their federal tax filings — which list their yearly revenues (and the sources of those revenues), their expenditure levels, their asset holdings, and so forth — are publicly available too. There are some caveats to this (the Fly lost its tax-exempt status this year, and the Delphic appears to only use its nonprofit for limited purposes) but one can generally get a sense of the clubs’ finances from the forms.

Here are the highlights from all three sources, by club:

A.D.

Clubhouse price: $3,742,700

Grad board (as of April 7, 2011):

President – Kenneth Gilbert Bartels

Treasurer – Oscar Kelley Anderson III

Clerk – Benjamin William Hall

Vice President – E. Anthony McAuliffe

Director – Elisha Flagg Lee

Director – Andres Alberto Vivas

Director – Roy M. Roberts

Director – Joseph McGheein

Director – Stephen Mead Jr.

Director – Scott D. Malkin

Director – William N. Thorndike

Director – Christopher A. Heckscher

Director – Lowell Thomas

Director – Barry R. Sloane

Revenue (from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2007): $180,198

Membership fees: $33,511

Rental income: $59,977

“Restaurant sales”: $59,998

Dividends and interest on investments: $24,869

Other: $1,843

Expenditures: $529,032

Federal excise tax: $269,793

Employee compensation: $115,422

Insurance: $23,242

Food and beverages: $22,963

Restaurant operations: $13,599

Punching: $9,876

Investment advisory: $6,294

Foreign taxes paid: $141

Assets: $1,726,829

Land/buildings and capital surplus: $1,360,683

Capital funds: $390,542

Other: -$24,396

Delphic

Clubhouse price: $1,964,200

Grad board: No information available.

Revenue (from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010): $125,575

Investments: $103,103

Expenditures: $110,851

Real-estate taxes: $32,127

Investment-related: $25,178

Water/sewer charges: $21,979

Insurance: $16,620

Assets: $799,777

Land/buildings: $556,059

Securities: $223,777

Other savings: $16,216

Fly

Clubhouse price: $2,239,900

Grad board (as of August 23, 2011):

President – John L. Powers

Vice President – Mitchell L. Dong

Treasurer – John R. Bryant III

Secretary – David R. Morse

Directors:

Charles D. Atkinson III

John R. Bryant III

Mitchell L. Dong

Charles J. Egan, Jr.

Dale Aubrey Jenkins

David H. Morse

Todd C. Ostrow

Jason Perri

Richard Porteous

Joel S. Post

John L. Powers

Eric E. Vogt

William S. Youngman

Tax status: The Fly had its tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS this year. Its last filing is from 1998, and can be accessed here.

Fox

Clubhouse price: $1,573,600

Grad board (as of May 23, 2011):

President – Douglas W. Sears

Treasurer – Griffin Schroeder

Secretary – Matthew Kishlansky

Directors – Sears, Schroeder, Kishlansky

Property managers – Sears, Schoeder, Kishlansky

Revenue (from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010): $100,696

Membership fees – $95,142

Expenditures: $101,046

Events – $74,600

Dinners – $8,334

Assets (all in cash): $14,070

Owl

Clubhouse price: $1,822,000

Grad board (as of December 17, 2007):

President – Ian H. Santoro

Treasurer – Todd F. Bourell

Clerk – Shawn A. Hayden

Director – John W. Boynton

Director – Gordon L. Freeman Jr.

Director – Shawn A. Hayden

Leaders of “Owl Club Capital Management Inc.” (as of February 4, 2009):

President – Michael C. Kempner

Treasurer – Todd F. Bourell

Clerk – Todd F. Bourell

Assistant Clerk / Vice President – John Crocker

Director – Michael C. Kempner

Director – John Crocker

Director – Todd F. Bourell

Director – Richard F. Conway

Director – Kim Davis

Director – Robert J. Berry

Director – Daniel Stern

Revenue (for year of 2009): $348,416

Membership dues: $288,183

Other contributions: $30,159

Rental income: $26,508

Expenditures: $312,854

Employee compensation: $99,975

Food & beverage costs: $26,509

Event costs: $20,963

Assets: $327,251

Land/buildings: $150,852

Cash: $46,482

Accounts receivable: $121,031

Phoenix-SK

Clubhouse price: $1,275,100

Grad board (as of March 15, 2009):

President – Andrew S. Birsh

Treasurer – George R. Sprague

Clerk – Daryk Pengelly

Director – B. Devereux Barker III

Revenue/Expenditures: Phoenix-SK is organized as a corporation, and not subject to nonprofit disclosure rules; therefore, we can’t access their revenue/expenditure information.

Porcellian

Clubhouse price: $3,092,800

Grad board:

President (Grand Marshal) – Alexander Tilt

Honorary Librarian – Robert M. Pennoyer II

Honorary Treasurer - Heberden W. Ryan

Secretary (Honorary Secretary) – Peter C. Erichsen

Undergraduate leadership (as of February 14, 2011):

Deputy Marshal – Mark A. Pacult

Librarian – George E. Toothman

Treasurer – Alexander C. Auerbach

Corresponding and Recording Secretary – Michael R. Polino

Directors:

Arthur C. Hodges

H. Phipps Hoffstot

William A. Nitze

Alexander Tilt

Robert M. Pennoyer II

Heberden W. Ryan

Revenue/Expenditures: Like Phoenix-SK, the Porcellian is incorporated (as Porcellian Club Inc.) and not subject to nonprofit disclosure rules.

Spee

Clubhouse price: $1,604,200

Undergraduate leaders (as of March 3, 2011):

President – Alexander R. Gerson

Treasurer – Nicholas D. Cuse

Clerk – Matteo D. Zevi

Assistant Clerk – Frederick C. Childs

Director: Alexander R. Gerson

Grad board (as of November 9, 2010):

Graduate President – Arthur C. Anton, Jr.

Graduate Treasurer – Frederick C. Childs

Graduate Clerk – Mark S. Hruby

Revenue (from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010; note that unlike other clubs, this covers six months, rather than a year): $127,101

Membership dues: $88,610

Contributions: $27,237

“Program service revenue”: $11,254

Expenditures: $135,331

Employee compensation: $65,281

Cost of restaurant: $35,205

Assets: -$28,767

“Furniture and fixtures”: $28,203

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