The Haverford Loganian Society was a student-founded group established in 1834. The Loganian Society worked with the common goal of general academic advancement and exploration. Beyond academic pursuits, however, the group was also able to manage several projects that significantly improved daily life for the community at Haverford College. Though at times sporadic, the Loganian Society in general met several times a month. The original intention was that members be, “sensible of the great influence of sound learning in disciplining the mind and maturing the understanding; and desirous of cultivating in each other a correct taste in Literature, and a love for scientific pursuits.” This involved public speeches, exercises in elocution, debates, scientific experiments, original publications, and the formation of a Library and Museum.
The group was led by a student president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. These officers met and received reports from each of the subcommittees, the Curator, Gardener, Librarian, and Carpenter. Membership was approved by the entire committee during a specific period each meeting. Though not free, the society was in general open to all who wished to join. In the early stages, each member was required to participate in at least two academic committees, ranging from ornithology to literature. As the society evolved over time, the variety of projects expanded. The Loganian Society was responsible for establishing, funding, and managing a garden, a gymnasium, a museum, a library, and a carpenter shop, while simultaneously running their normal academically driven meetings and exercises.
The meetings were held within the committee privately, and at times only included officers, but the Loganian Society also held public presentations. They would distribute invitations throughout the community, and several members would be designated to read an original work or present a more classical work as an exercise of elocution. These were not critiqued at first, but later a critique was incorporated into the normal proceedings as a way to help members improve over time. After receiving positive feedback following public debate exercises, debates also became a standard exercise for Loganian public meetings. These were held both within the society itself, as well as with other institutions. Along with broadening their scope of activities, the Loganian Society also began to collaborate with faculty more, including professors like Hugh D. Vail around 1850.
The Loganian Society remained a part of Haverford’s community through to the 20th century, finally disbanding in after 1905.