Much of the Harvard Badminton Club's early history is unknown. What is known is that the beginnings of the Harvard Badminton Club trace back to the fall of 1987, when Michael Flexer '89 co-founded the club with another fellow undergraduate (whose name is unfortunately unknown to us). At the time, the club consisted of only a handful of members who were mostly interested in just finding a regular place to play. However, the club quickly expanded to about a dozen members the following year, which also marked the first intercollegiate match between the clubs at Harvard and Boston University. Little is known about the state of the club in subsequent years until 1994, when the current incarnation of the Harvard Badminton Club was brought into existence and officially recognized by the University. Jonathan Wu presided over the club, which had court time reserved every Friday evening and Sunday morning.

1994-1995 (Barbara Whitlock & David Wong)

The season started slowly with only 3 new members showing up regularly: Barbara Whitlock, Jan, and Nishi Rajakarvna. David Wong came a little later in the fall. They concluded that there were people at Harvard who wanted to play badminton at the club but were discouraged when they came out to find no one else playing. So, they decided to get organized. The leadership of the club was taken over by the military junta of Sgt. David Wong and Gen. Barbara Whitlock in a dastardly but bloodless coup. The group decided that someone had to show up at the beginning of every practice. Barbara took on the task of calling potential players every Thursday night to persuade them to play. David started collecting a list of names and email addresses of everyone who showed up to play. Skirmishes with the basketball players for court space and time gradually became easier - a battle that would still go on today. The membership grew and the club emerged from the dark ages to go in directions previously undreamt of.

1995-1996 (Barbara Whitlock & David Wong)

Satisfied that the club was now thriving, the group began to look beyond Harvard Square for signs of intelligent life. Many clubs were found in the metropolitan Boston area and a list of contacts was gradually assembled. This list would become instrumental in the reincarnation of the Massachusetts Badminton Association (nicknamed MadBadAss by Barbara). Barbara and David attended the first meeting, establishing a Harvard presence in the MBA. The aforementioned list also led to the beginning of badminton on the web, with updates sent to Stan Bischof's Badminton Page (no longer in existence).

1996-1997 (Barbara Whitlock & David Wong)

The first Harvard Badminton T-shirts were produced, featuring an altered Harvard logo (ve-ry-fast instead of ve-ri-tas) on the front and a politically-correct picture of 3 players (1 woman, 1 right-handed guy, 1 left-handed guy) on the back.

1997-1998 (Peter Simon '00 & Vinay Kashyap)

Summer badminton was instituted for the first time at QRAC - Harvard was now playing year round! The lack of air conditioning and the incredibly humid conditions inspired Frank Yang to donate Icebert and Pitcherbert - respectively a cooler and pitcher for pop and Gatorade.

1998-1999 (Peter Simon '00 & Elaine Yu '99)

Harvard started to get serious about improving. Andy Chong, former singles player for Malaysia and then the #1 US mixed doubles player, was brought in for a few formal coaching sessions over the summer.

2003-2007 (Cathy Cheng '07)

When Cathy first assumed leadership of the HBC as a freshman, she was simultaneously the only officer and every officer, assuming responsibilities of the President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Chair, and webmaster/e-mail manager. As a former 3-time State badminton singles contender, she was not satisfied with the status quo of the HBC and felt the need to satiate her thirst for competitive (as well as recreational) badminton; she immediately embarked on a mission to completely revamp the HBC, succeeding in carrying out the following accomplishments:

2008-2010 (Abraham Lin '10 & Lauren Schumacher '10)

With the dissolution of the NIBL at the end of the 2007-2008 school year, Presidents Abraham and Lauren sought to re-shape the club with a greater focus on community involvement. To this end, formerly closed practice sessions were opened to the greater Harvard community, with instruction provided by club officers at each session. Additional emphasis was also placed on building community off the courts, with regular social outings arranged throughout the course of the year.

2010-2012 (Edward Li '12)

2012-2014 (Kathy Wang '14 & William Chen '14)

Coming soon!

The Harvard Badminton Club is a student-run organization at Harvard College. The Harvard name is a trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College and is used with permission from Harvard University.