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Ivy League

IVY LEAGUE

IVY LEAGUE was coined in 1937 by a newspaper columnist to describe football competition at ivy-covered northeastern universities. The term came to identify eight prestigious private American universities that admit less than 20 percent of their applicants and require an academically rigorous curriculum. Their alumni often enter highly influential and lucrative careers. Once overwhelmingly male, white, and Protestant, they now enroll a diverse student body by recruiting cultural, ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. Seven of the eight were established as colonial colleges: Harvard, Congregational, was established at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636; Yale, Congregational, was established in 1701 and relocated to New Haven in 1715; the College of New Jersey, Presbyterian, was established in 1746 and renamed Princeton University in 1896; Franklin's Academy in Philadelphia, nonsectarian, was established in 1749, chartered in 1754, and renamed the University of Pennsylvania in 1791; King's College, nonsectarian but Anglican-controlled, was established in New York City in 1754 and renamed Columbia College in 1784; Rhode Island College, Baptist, was established at Providence in 1764 and renamed Brown University in 1804; and Dartmouth College, Congregational, was established in 1769 and relocated to Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1770. The eighth, Cornell University, chartered in 1865 at Ithaca by the New York legislature, was endowed with federal land grants and by Ezra Cornell. Strong presidents and outstanding faculty transformed the institutions into national universities. Charles William Eliot (Harvard); James Rowland Angell (Yale); Nicholas Murray Butler (Columbia); Woodrow Wilson (Princeton); and Andrew Dickson White (Cornell).

The first Ivy Group Agreement on football in 1945 committed the eight universities to similar academic standards, eligibility rules, and need-based financial aid practices with no athletic scholarships. The Ivy League was officially founded in February 1954 by extending that agreement to all sports. Between 1956, the year of the first round-robin schedule in football, and 1995, Dartmouth won the most Ivy League championships, eight, and tied for another eight. In May 1974, five years after Princeton and Yale admitted women undergraduates, the Ivy Group inaugurated league championship competitions in women's sports.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bernstein, Mark F. Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.

Birmingham, Frederic Alexander. The Ivy League Today. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1961.

Goldstein, Richard. Ivy League Autumns: An Illustrated History of College Football's Grand Old Rivalries. New York: St Martin's Press, 1996.

Lillard, Dean, and Jennifer Gerner. "Getting to the Ivy League: How Family Composition Affects College Choice." Journal of Higher Education 70, no. 6 (NovemberDecember 1999): 706730.

McCallum, John. Ivy League Football Since 1872. New York: Stein and Day, 1977.

www.IvyLeagueSports.com, official Web site for Ivy League athletics.


Marcia G. Synnott

See also Brown University ; Columbia University ; Cornell University ; Dartmouth College ; Harvard University ; Princeton University ; University of Pennsylvania ; Yale University .

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Ivy League

Ivy League Group of eight long-established ne American colleges and universities. The members are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Cornell. They are organized as an intercollegiate track and field league.

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