Paris Hilton honored at Harvard? Now, we've seen it all. The sandy-haired celebutante was at the World's Greatest University yesterday, where she received the Woman of the Year award from the wags at the Harvard Lampoon.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine standing here," Hilton told a crowd of about 100 students. "It's really exciting and I've had such a great time."
What's to recommend Britney Spears's ex-buddy for such an accolade? Here's a hint: It's not the videotape she famously made with Rick Salomon.
"They're honoring me for being in business and my acting," Hilton explained to us. (The Lampoon "award" is also a not-so-subtle jab at the high-minded Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which is giving its Woman of the Year Award to Oscar-winner Charlize Theron today and honoring actor Christopher Walken next week.)
Hilton's visit touched off something of a bidding war among local hotels. Originally booked to stay two nights at the Four Seasons, Hilton and her entourage switched at the last minute to the Liberty Hotel, where she was put up in its $5,500-a-night presidential suite at no charge. (We're told the staff stocked her room with pink flowers, fancy bath balms, and her favorite soda:
"I like my mug shot. I think I have a really great mug shot," Hilton told us, laughing. "It looks like a magazine shoot." In fact, the pic was snapped after her 2006 drunk-driving arrest.
Though her trip to Boston was brief, Hilton made the most of her time. The heiress arrived in town late Monday, and promptly hit the Back Bay club Rumor with a bunch of her Harvard hosts.
"She jumped on the mike said, 'LA likes to party, but Boston is it,' " said club promoter Ace Gershfield.
With camera phones flashing, Paris also gave a post-mortem shout-out to the Patriots. (Pats Randall Gay and Eric Alexander happened to be in the house, as were NBA players Cuttino Mobley and Sam Cassell.) Paris and her posse stayed for awhile and then returned to Harvard for a private party with students.
Standing under a tent outside the Lampoon yesterday, Hilton couldn't contain her enthusiasm: "You guys are so hot! Harvard is so hot!"
Undergrads brought all sorts of items for the socialite to sign: student IDs, their Blackberrys, Harvard boxer shorts, the syllabus from a freshman sociology class, and Hilton's self-titled CD. Said junior Norman Goode, who got Paris to sign his math project. "I guess that's the quintessential Harvard experience."
Not one to sit still, Hilton was due out on the town again last night, hosting a party at Ed Kane's club The Estate.
"I'm having the time of my life," she said, talking about her busy schedule. "I'm having the best time ever."
Ostensibly, Hilton was in Boston to promote her new movie, "The Hottie & the Nottie," which opens Friday. Asked if she wants to be taken seriously as an actress, Hilton said yes, and mentioned Cameron Diaz as a role model. Hilton said she appeared in numerous school plays, playing the lead in "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Diary of Anne Frank." Anne Frank? "I wore a wig," she said.
Hilton, who finished high school but never attended college, said the role she'd really like is Harvard student. "I love this place," she said. "I think I'm going to apply."
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