Yale's secret societies often seem shrouded in complete mystery. They are bastions of influence and intrigue that hold among their members some of the world's most powerful people.
But some information about secret societies isn't as clandestine as some might think. Yale's "landed societies" — those that meet in tombs or halls — are registered with the IRS as charitable organizations. (One of the societies on our list, Elizabethan Club, is not a "secret society" per se but an elite social club that owns a house on campus.)
These landed societies are legally obligated to file public tax information since they are 501(c)(3) organizations.
Not all of Yale's societies meet in tombs or have relatively sizeable wealth. At last count, Yale had 41 secret societies, and the vast majority are not considered landed societies.
We were able to dig up tax forms for seven "landed societies" from 2014. These seven landed societies have considerable wealth, the majority of which was garnered through the society's original endowments and has been maintained through voluntary donations by members.
Check out the list, ranked by total assets.
8. St. Elmo — $90,472
Filed under St. Elmo Society Incorporated.
St. Elmo was founded in 1889. Its notable alumni include HBO's "Girls" actress Allison Williams and US Attorney General John Ashcroft.
7. Berzelius — $1,945,346
Filed under Colony Foundation.
Berzelius was founded in 1848. Its notable alumni includes Bill DeWitt III, the president of the St. Louis Cardinals.
6. Skull and Bones — $4,129,936
Filed under RTA Incorporated.
Skull and Bones was founded in 1832. Its notable alumni include George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John Kerry.
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