(Ivies, Ancient Eight)
|Division||Division I FCS|
|Sports fielded||33 (men's: 17; women's: 16)|
|Headquarters||Princeton, New Jersey|
|Commissioner||Robin Harris (since 2009)|
The Ivy League is an athletic conference composed of sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group. The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. The term Ivy League also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.
The term became official after the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference in 1954. The use of the phrase is no longer limited to athletics, and now represents an educational philosophy inherent to the nation's oldest schools. Seven of the eight schools were founded during the United States colonial period; the exception is Cornell, which was founded in 1865. Ivy League institutions, therefore, account for seven of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
Ivy League schools are viewed as some of the most prestigious, and are ranked among the best universities worldwide. All eight Ivy League institutions place within the top fifteen of the U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings, including the top four schools and six of the top ten. A member of the Ivy League has been the U.S. News number-one-ranked university in each of the past 12 years: Princeton University five times, Harvard University twice, and the two schools tied for first five times.
The Ivies are all in the Northeast region of the United States. Each school receives millions of dollars in research grants and other subsidies from federal and state government.
Undergraduate enrollments among the Ivy League schools range from about 4,000 to 14,000, making them larger than those of a typical private liberal arts college and smaller than a typical public state university. Overall enrollments range from approximately 6,100 in the case of Dartmouth to over 20,000 in the case of Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Penn. Ivy League university financial endowments range from Brown's $2.2 billion to Harvard's $32 billion, the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world.
|Institution||Location||Athletic nickname||Undergraduate enrollment||Graduate enrollment||Motto|
|Brown University||Providence, Rhode Island||Bears||6,316||2,333||In Deo Speramus
(In God We Hope)
|Columbia University||New York City, New York||Lions||7,160||15,760||In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen
(In Thy light shall we see the light)
|Cornell University||Ithaca, New York||Big Red||13,931||6,702||I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.|
|Dartmouth College||Hanover, New Hampshire||Big Green||4,248||1,893||Vox clamantis in deserto
(The voice of one crying in the wilderness)
|Harvard University||Cambridge, Massachusetts||Crimson||7,181||14,044||Veritas
|Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey||Tigers||5,113||2,479||Dei sub numine viget
(Under God's power she flourishes)
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Quakers||10,337||10,306||Leges sine moribus vanae
(Laws without morals are useless)
|Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut||Bulldogs||5,275||6,391||אורים ותומים
Lux et veritas
(Light and truth)
|Harvard University||1636 as New College||Calvinist (Congregationalist Puritans)|
|Yale University||1701 as Collegiate School||Calvinist (Congregationalist)|
|University of Pennsylvania||1740 as Unnamed Charity School ||Nonsectarian, founded by Church of England/Methodists members|
|Princeton University||1746 as College of New Jersey||Nonsectarian, founded by Calvinist Presbyterians|
|Columbia University||1754 as King's College||Church of England|
|Brown University||1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations||Baptist, founding charter promises "no religious tests" and "full liberty of conscience"|
|Dartmouth College||1769||Calvinist (Congregationalist)|
- Note: Six of the eight Ivy League universities consider their founding dates to be simply the date that they received their charters and thus became legal corporations with the authority to grant academic degrees. Harvard University uses the date that the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony formally allocated funds for the creation of a college. The University of Pennsylvania initially considered its founding date to be 1750; this is the year which appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime in Penn's early history, it began to refer to 1749 as its founding date; this year was used for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the university's Board of Trustees voted to change the founding date to 1740 (the creation date of an unnamed inactive educational trust that Penn assumed in 1750 when it acquired its first building), in order to make their institution appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746. Penn began operating as a secondary school in 1751 and commenced undergraduate education with the granting of a collegiate charter in 1755. "Religious affiliation" refers to financial sponsorship, formal association with, and promotion by, a religious denomination. All of the schools in the Ivy League are private and not currently associated with any religion.
Origin of the name
Students have long revered the ivied walls of older colleges. "Planting the ivy" was a customary class day ceremony at many colleges in the 1800s. In 1893 an alumnus told The Harvard Crimson, "In 1850, class day was placed upon the University Calendar.... the custom of planting the ivy, while the ivy oration was delivered, arose about this time." At Penn, graduating seniors started the custom of planting ivy at a university building each spring in 1873 and that practice was formally designated as "Ivy Day" in 1874. Ivy planting ceremonies are reported for Yale, Simmons, Bryn Mawr and many others. Princeton's "Ivy Club" was founded in 1879.
The first usage of Ivy in reference to a group of colleges is from sportswriter Stanley Woodward (1895–1965).
A proportion of our eastern ivy colleges are meeting little fellows another Saturday before plunging into the strife and the turmoil.
According to the book Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1988), author William Morris writes that Stanley Woodward actually took the term from fellow New York Tribune sportswriter Caswell Adams. Morris writes that during the 1930s, the Fordham University football team was running roughshod over all its opponents. One day in the sports room at the Tribune, the merits of Fordham's football team were being compared to those of Princeton and Columbia. Adams remarked disparagingly of the latter two, saying they were "only Ivy League." Woodward, the sports editor of the Tribune, picked up the term and printed the next day.
Note though that in the above quote Woodward used the term ivy college, not ivy league as Adams is said to have used, so there is a discrepancy in this theory, although it seems certain the term ivy college and shortly later Ivy League acquired its name from the sports world.
The first known instance of the term Ivy League being used appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on February 7, 1935. Several sportswriters and other journalists used the term shortly later to refer to the older colleges, those along the northeastern seaboard of the United States, chiefly the nine institutions with origins dating from the colonial era, together with the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Naval Academy, and a few others. These schools were known for their long-standing traditions in intercollegiate athletics, often being the first schools to participate in such activities. However, at this time, none of these institutions made efforts to form an athletic league.
The Ivy League universities are also called the "Ancient Eight" or simply the Ivies.
A common folk etymology attributes the name to the Roman numerals for four (IV), asserting that there was such a sports league originally with four members. The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins helped to perpetuate this belief. The supposed "IV League" was formed over a century ago and consisted of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and a 4th school that varies depending on who is telling the story. However, it is clear that Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia met on November 23, 1876 at the so-called Massasoit Convention to decide on uniform rules for the emerging game of American football, which rapidly spread.
Seven of the Ivy League schools were founded before the American Revolution; Cornell was founded just after the American Civil War. These seven were the primary colleges in the Northern and Middle Colonies, and their early faculties and founding boards were largely, therefore, drawn from other Ivy League institutions. There were also some British graduates from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, and elsewhere on their boards. Similarly, the founder of The College of William & Mary, in 1693, was a British graduate of the University of Edinburgh. Cornell provided Stanford University with its first president.
The influence of these institutions on the founding of other colleges and universities is notable. This included the Southern public college movement which blossomed in the first two decades of the 19th century when Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia established what became the flagship universities for each of these states. In 1801 a majority of the first board of trustees for what became the University of South Carolina were Princeton alumni. They appointed Jonathan Maxcy, a Brown graduate, as the university's first president. Thomas Cooper, an Oxford alumnus and University of Pennsylvania faculty member became the second president of the South Carolina college. The founders of the University of California came from Yale, hence the school colors of University of California are Yale Blue and California Gold.
Some of the Ivy League schools have identifiable Protestant roots, while others were founded as nonsectarian schools. Church of England King's College broke up during the Revolution and was reformed as public nonsectarian Columbia College. In the early nineteenth century, the specific purpose of training Calvinist ministers was handed off to theological seminaries, but a denominational tone and such relics as compulsory chapel often lasted well into the twentieth century. Penn and Brown were officially founded as nonsectarian schools. Brown's charter promised no religious tests and "full liberty of conscience", but placed control in the hands of a board of twenty-two Baptists, five Quakers, four Congregationalists, and five Episcopalians. Cornell has been strongly nonsectarian from its founding.
"Ivy League" is sometimes used as a way of referring to an elite class, even though institutions such as Cornell University were among the first in the United States to reject racial and gender discrimination in their admissions policies. This sense dates back to at least 1935. Novels and memoirs attest this sense, as a social elite; to some degree independent of the actual schools.
After the Second World War, the present Ivy League institutions slowly widened their selection of students. They had always had distinguished faculties; some of the first Americans with doctorates had taught for them; but they now decided that they could not both be world-class research institutions and be competitive in the highest ranks of American college sport; in addition, the schools experienced the scandals of any other big-time football programs, although more quietly.
History of the athletic league
The Ivies have been competing in sports as long as intercollegiate sports have existed in the United States. Rowing teams from Harvard and Yale met in the first sporting event held between students of two U.S. colleges on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, on August 3, 1852. Harvard's team, "The Oneida", won the race and was presented with trophy black walnut oars from then presidential nominee General Franklin Pierce.
The first formal athletic league involving eventual Ivy League schools (or any US colleges, for that matter) was created in 1870 with the formation of the Rowing Association of American Colleges. The RAAC hosted a de facto national championship in rowing during the period 1870–1894. In 1895, Cornell, Columbia, and Penn founded the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, which remains the oldest collegiate athletic organizing body in the US. To this day, the IRA Championship Regatta determines the national champion in rowing and all of the Ivies are regularly invited to compete. A basketball league was later created in 1902, when Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Princeton formed the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League; they were later joined by Penn and Dartmouth. In 1906, the organization that eventually became the National Collegiate Athletic Association was formed, primarily to formalize rules for the emerging sport of football. But of the 39 original member colleges in the NCAA, only two of them (Dartmouth and Penn) later became Ivies.
Before the formal establishment of the Ivy League, there was an "unwritten and unspoken agreement among certain Eastern colleges on athletic relations". In 1935, the Associated Press reported on an example of collaboration between the schools:
The athletic authorities of the so-called "Ivy League" are considering drastic measures to curb the increasing tendency toward riotous attacks on goal posts and other encroachments by spectators on playing fields.—The Associated Press, The New York Times
Despite such collaboration, the universities did not seem to consider the formation of the league as imminent. Romeyn Berry, Cornell's manager of athletics, reported the situation in January 1936 as follows:
I can say with certainty that in the last five years—and markedly in the last three months—there has been a strong drift among the eight or ten universities of the East which see a good deal of one another in sport toward a closer bond of confidence and cooperation and toward the formation of a common front against the threat of a breakdown in the ideals of amateur sport in the interests of supposed expediency. Please do not regard that statement as implying the organization of an Eastern conference or even a poetic "Ivy League". That sort of thing does not seem to be in the cards at the moment.
Within a year of this statement and having held month-long discussions about the proposal, on December 3, 1936, the idea of "the formation of an Ivy League" gained enough traction among the undergraduate bodies of the universities that the Columbia Daily Spectator, The Cornell Daily Sun, The Dartmouth, The Harvard Crimson, The Daily Pennsylvanian, The Daily Princetonian and the Yale Daily News would simultaneously run an editorial entitled "Now Is the Time", encouraging the seven universities to form the league in an effort to preserve the ideals of athletics. Part of the editorial read as follows:
The Ivy League exists already in the minds of a good many of those connected with football, and we fail to see why the seven schools concerned should be satisfied to let it exist as a purely nebulous entity where there are so many practical benefits which would be possible under definite organized association. The seven colleges involved fall naturally together by reason of their common interests and similar general standards and by dint of their established national reputation they are in a particularly advantageous position to assume leadership for the preservation of the ideals of intercollegiate athletics.
The proposal did not succeed—on January 11, 1937, the athletic authorities at the schools rejected the "possibility of a heptagonal league in football such as these institutions maintain in basketball, baseball and track." However, they noted that the league "has such promising possibilities that it may not be dismissed and must be the subject of further consideration."
In 1945 the presidents of the eight schools signed the first Ivy Group Agreement, which set academic, financial, and athletic standards for the football teams. The principles established reiterated those put forward in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Presidents' Agreement of 1916. The Ivy Group Agreement established the core tenet that an applicant's ability to play on a team would not influence admissions decisions:
In 1954, the date generally accepted as the birth of the Ivy League, the presidents extended the Ivy Group Agreement to all intercollegiate sports effective with the 1955-56 basketball season. As part of the transition, Brown, the only Ivy that hadn't joined the EIBL, did so for the 1954-55 season. A year later, the Ivy League absorbed the EIBL. The Ivy League claims the EIBL's history as its own. Through the EIBL, it is the oldest basketball conference in Division I.
As late as the 1960s many of the Ivy League universities' undergraduate programs remained open only to men, with Cornell the only one to have been coeducational from its founding (1865) and Columbia being the last (1983) to become coeducational. Before they became coeducational, many of the Ivy schools maintained extensive social ties with nearby Seven Sisters women's colleges, including weekend visits, dances and parties inviting Ivy and Seven Sisters students to mingle. This was the case not only at Barnard College and Radcliffe College, which are adjacent to Columbia and Harvard, but at more distant institutions as well. The movie Animal House includes a satiric version of the formerly common visits by Dartmouth men to Massachusetts to meet Smith and Mount Holyoke women, a drive of more than two hours. As noted by Irene Harwarth, Mindi Maline, and Elizabeth DeBra, "The 'Seven Sisters' was the name given to Barnard, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, and Radcliffe, because of their parallel to the Ivy League men’s colleges."
In 1983, following the admission of women to Columbia College, Columbia University and Barnard College entered into an athletic consortium agreement by which students from both schools compete together on Columbia University women's athletic teams, which replaced the women's teams previously sponsored by Barnard.
Cohesion of the group
The Ivy League schools are highly selective, with acceptance rates ranging from 6 to 16 percent.
These universities compete in many ways, as illustrated by Yale's aggressive reaction to an incident in 2002. A Princeton admissions staffer mentioned at a joint meeting of all eight Ivy admissions departments that he and others from his office had logged onto the Yale admissions website to see how their system to notify applicants worked. At the time, Princeton and many other colleges were considering a transition from using mailed letters to website notification, a process which Yale had already completed. No immediate reaction from the group resulted at the initial meeting, as was the case when the same individual brought up the subject again at a subsequent conference one month later. He told the others present that he and his colleagues had used the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of some Princeton applicants who might have also applied to Yale. In particular, the Princeton representative brought up the topic because he was surprised to find that Yale had used no password besides a Social Security number. Despite the fact that the Princeton staffer had proactively volunteered the information and Yale officials at both meetings had voiced no objection, the Yale administration examined its computer records and called the FBI to complain that its computers had been "hacked," then issued a press release to that effect. After this apparent attempt to embarrass Princeton publicly, the admissions official at the center of the controversy was moved to a different department and the university's dean of admissions Fred Hargadon retired at the end of the academic year, though Princeton president Shirley Tilghman said that the dean's decision to retire was unconnected to the incident. In 2007, Princeton honored the dean by naming a new campus dormitory after him.
Collaboration between the member schools is illustrated by the student-led Ivy Council that meets in the fall and spring of each year, with representatives from every Ivy League school.
The phrase Ivy League historically has been perceived as connected not only with academic excellence, but also with social elitism. In 1936, sportswriter John Kieran noted that student editors at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Penn were advocating the formation of an athletic association. In urging them to consider "Army and Navy and Georgetown and Fordham and Syracuse and Brown and Pitt" as candidates for membership, he exhorted:
It would be well for the proponents of the Ivy League to make it clear (to themselves especially) that the proposed group would be inclusive but not "exclusive" as this term is used with a slight up-tilting of the tip of the nose.
The Ivy League has sometimes been associated with the WASP community. Phrases such as "Ivy League snobbery" are ubiquitous in nonfiction and fiction writing of the twentieth century. A Louis Auchincloss character dreads "the aridity of snobbery which he knew infected the Ivy League colleges". A business writer, warning in 2001 against discriminatory hiring, presented a cautionary example of an attitude to avoid (the bracketed phrase is his):
We Ivy Leaguers [read: mostly white and Anglo] know that an Ivy League degree is a mark of the kind of person who is likely to succeed in this organization.
Aspects of Ivy stereotyping were illustrated during the 1988 presidential election, when George H. W. Bush (Yale '48) derided Michael Dukakis (graduate of Harvard Law School) for having "foreign-policy views born in Harvard Yard's boutique." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd asked "Wasn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle elite?" Bush explained however that, unlike Harvard, Yale's reputation was "so diffuse, there isn't a symbol, I don't think, in the Yale situation, any symbolism in it.... Harvard boutique to me has the connotation of liberalism and elitism" and said Harvard in his remark was intended to represent "a philosophical enclave" and not a statement about class. Columnist Russell Baker opined that "Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets." Still, the last four presidents have all attended Ivy League schools for at least part of their education—George H.W. Bush (Yale undergrad), Bill Clinton (Yale Law School), George W. Bush (Yale undergrad, Harvard Business School), and Barack Obama (Columbia undergrad, Harvard Law School).
Up until recently, seven of the eight schools (Harvard excluded) participated in the Borrow Direct interlibrary loan program, making a total of 88 million items available to participants with a waiting period of four working days. This ILL program is not affiliated with the formal Ivy arrangement. Harvard and MIT joined the Direct Borrow partnership in January 2011, together contributing over 70 million books to the existing collection.
The governing body of the Ivy League is the Council of Ivy Group Presidents. During meetings, the presidents often discuss common procedures and initiatives.
Competition and athletics
Ivy champions are recognized in sixteen men's and sixteen women's sports. In some sports, Ivy teams actually compete as members of another league, the Ivy championship being decided by isolating the members' records in play against each other; for example, the six league members who participate in ice hockey do so as members of ECAC Hockey, but an Ivy champion is extrapolated each year. Unlike all other Division I basketball conferences, the Ivy League has no tournament for the league title; the school with the best conference record represents the conference in the Division I NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament (with a playoff, or playoffs, in the case of a tie). Since its inception, an Ivy League school has yet to win either the men's or women's Division I NCAA Basketball Tournament.
On average, each Ivy school has more than 35 varsity teams. All eight are in the top 20 for number of sports offered for both men and women among Division I schools. Unlike most Division I athletic conferences, the Ivy League prohibits the granting of athletic scholarships; all scholarships awarded are need-based (financial aid). Ivy League teams' non-league games are often against the members of the Patriot League, which have similar academic standards and athletic scholarship policies.
In the time before recruiting for college sports became dominated by those offering athletic scholarships and lowered academic standards for athletes, the Ivy League was successful in many sports relative to other universities in the country. In particular, Princeton won 26 recognized national championships in college football (last in 1935), and Yale won 18 (last in 1927). Both of these totals are considerably higher than those of other historically strong programs such as Alabama, which has won 13, Notre Dame, which has won 12, and USC, which has won 11. Yale, whose coach Walter Camp was the "Father of American Football," held on to its place as the all-time wins leader in college football throughout the entire 20th century, but was finally passed by Michigan on November 10, 2001. Currently Dartmouth holds the record for most Ivy League football titles, with 17.
Beginning with the 1982 football season, the Ivy League has competed in Division I-AA (renamed FCS in 2006). The Ivy League teams are eligible for the FCS tournament held to determine the national champion, and the league champion receives an automatic bid (and any other team may qualify for an at-large selection) from the NCAA. Through the 2009 season, all eligible teams have declined the invitation, citing rules governing the league's academic concerns posed by the extended December schedule. The Ivy League plays a strict 10 game schedule, compared to other FCS members' schedules of 11 or 12 regular season games, plus post-season, which was expanded in 2010 to five rounds with 20 teams, with a bye week for the top 12 teams. Football is the only sport in which the Ivy League declines to compete for a national title.
Although no longer as successful nationally as they once were in many of the more popular college sports, the Ivy League is still competitive in others. One such example is rowing. All of the Ivies have historically been among the top crews in the nation, and most continue to be so today. Cornell's 38 national championships in men's rowing makes that program perhaps the most decorated varsity athletic program in the country in any sport. Most recently, on the men's side, Harvard won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in 2003, 2004, 2005, and on the women's side Brown won the team championship in 2007, 2008 and 2011 NCAA Rowing Championships and Yale won the NCAA title for the I-eight event (the most elite event) in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Additionally, Cornell's men's lightweight team won back to back to back IRA National Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Ivy League schools are also very competitive in men's lacrosse and both men's and women's hockey.
|Swimming & Diving||
|Track and Field (Indoor)||
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||
|Institution||Ivy League Championships||NCAA Team Championships|
|Princeton University Tigers||414||10|
|Harvard University Crimson||361||4|
|Cornell University Big Red||208||5|
|University of Pennsylvania Quakers||195||3|
|Yale University Bulldogs||181||3|
|Dartmouth College Big Green||130||3|
|Brown University Bears||119||7|
|Columbia University Lions||88||9|
The table above includes team championships won from the beginning of official Ivy League competition in the 1956-57 academic year through 2011-12. Princeton and Harvard have on occasion won ten or more Ivy League titles in a year, an achievement accomplished six times by Harvard and 21 times by Princeton, including a conference-record 15 championships in 2010-11. Only once has one of the other six schools earned more than eight titles in a single academic year (Cornell with nine in 2005-06). In the 33 academic years beginning 1979-80, Princeton has averaged 11 championships per year, one-third of the conference total of 33 sponsored sports.
In the seven academic years beginning 2005-06, Harvard has won Ivy titles in 22 different sports, two-thirds of the league total, and Princeton has won championships in 31 different sports, all except wrestling and men's tennis.
Rivalries run deep in the Ivy League. For instance, Princeton and Penn are longstanding men's basketball rivals; "Puck Frinceton", and "Pennetrate the Puss" t-shirts are worn by Quaker fans at games. In only ten instances in the history of Ivy League basketball, and in only six seasons since Yale's 1962 title, has neither Penn nor Princeton won at least a share of the Ivy League title in basketball, with Princeton champion or co-champion 26 times and Penn 25 times. Penn has won 21 outright, Princeton 19 outright. Princeton has been a co-champion 7 times, sharing 4 of those titles with Penn (these 4 seasons represent the only times Penn has been co-champion). Harvard won its first title of either variety in 2011, losing a dramatic play-off game to Princeton for the NCAA tournament bid, then rebounded to win an outright championship in 2012.
Rivalries exist between other Ivy league teams in other sports, including Cornell and Harvard in hockey, Harvard and Princeton in swimming, and Harvard and Penn in football (Penn and Harvard have each had two unbeaten seasons since 2001). In men's lacrosse, Cornell and Princeton are perennial rivals, and they are the only two Ivy League teams to have won the NCAA tournament. In 2009, the Big Red and Tigers met for their 70th game in the NCAA tournament. No team other than Harvard or Princeton has won the men's swimming conference title outright since 1972, although Yale, Columbia, and Cornell have shared the title with Harvard and Princeton during this time. Similarly, no program other than Princeton and Harvard has won the women's swimming championship since Brown's 1999 title. Princeton or Cornell has won every indoor and outdoor track and field championship, both men's and women's, every year since 2002-03, with one exception (Columbia women won indoor championship in 2012). Harvard and Yale are football and crew rivals although the competition has become unbalanced; Harvard has won all but one of the last 11 football games and all but one of the last 13 crew races.
|Teams||Name||Trophy||First met||Games played||Series record|
|Columbia-Cornell||Empire State Bowl||Empire Cup||1889||98 games||35–60–3|
|Cornell-Penn||None||Trustee's Cup||1893||118 games||45–68–5|
|Dartmouth-Princeton||None||Sawhorse Dollar||1897||90 games||43–43–4|
|Harvard-Yale||The Game||None||1875||129 games||56–65–8|
The Yale-Princeton series is the nation's second longest, exceeded only by "The Rivalry" between Lehigh and Lafayette, which began later in 1884 but included two or three games in each of 17 early seasons. For the first three decades of the Yale-Princeton rivalry, the two played their season-ending game at a neutral site, usually New York City, and with one exception (1890: Harvard), the winner of the game also won at least a share of the national championship that year, covering the period 1869 through 1903. This phenomenon of a finale contest at a neutral site for the national title created a social occasion for the society elite of the metropolitan area akin to a Super Bowl in the era prior to the establishment of the NFL in 1920. These football games were also financially profitable for the two universities, so much that they began to play baseball games in New York City as well, drawing record crowds for that sport also, largely from the same social demographic. In a period when the only professional sports were fledgling baseball leagues, these high profile early contests between Princeton and Yale played a role in popularizing spectator sports, demonstrating their financial potential and raising public awareness of Ivy universities at a time when few people attended college.
Marketing groups, journalists, and some educators sometimes promote other colleges as "Ivies," as in Little Ivies (colloquialism referring to a group of small, selective American liberal arts colleges), Public Ivies or Southern Ivies. These uses of Ivy are intended to promote the other schools by comparing them to the Ivy League. For example, in the 2007 edition of Newsweek's How to Get Into College Now, the editors designated twenty-five schools as "New Ivies."
The term "Ivy Plus" is sometimes used to refer to the Ancient Eight plus several other schools for purposes of alumni associations, university affiliations, or endowment comparisons. In his book Untangling the Ivy League, Zawel writes, "The inclusion of non-Ivy League schools under this term is commonplace for some schools and extremely rare for others. Among these other schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University are almost always included. The University of Chicago and Duke University are often included as well."
- Little Three—three liberal arts colleges in New England (Amherst, Wesleyan, and Williams), in contrast to the Big Three (a term used to refer to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton) of the Ivy League
- List of Ivy League medical schools—schools of the Ivy League universities that offer medical education (both MDs and PhDs).
- List of Ivy League law schools—schools of the Ivy League universities that offer various law degrees.
- List of Ivy League business schools—schools of the Ivy League universities that offer various business degrees, especially the MBA.
- Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence
- Jesuit Ivy—complementary use of Ivy to characterize Boston College.
- Black Ivy League—informal list of colleges that attracted top African American students prior to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
- Public Ivy—is a term coined by Richard Moll to refer to universities which "provide an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price."
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- "Factsheet – Statistical Summary of Yale University". Yale.edu. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- The institution, though founded in 1636, did not receive its name until 1639. It was nameless for its first two years
- See University of Pennsylvania for details of the circumstances of Penn's origin. Penn considered its founding date to be 1749 for over a century. In 1895, elite universities in the United States agreed that henceforth formal academic processions would place visiting dignitaries and other officials in the order of their institution's founding dates. Penn's periodical "The Alumni Register," published by the General Alumni Society, then began a grassroots campaign to retroactively revise the university's founding date to 1740, in order to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746. In 1899, the Board of Trustees acceded to the alumni initiative and voted to change the founding date to 1740. The rationale offered in 1899 was that, in 1750, founder Benjamin Franklin and his original board of trustees purchased a completed but unused building and assumed an unnamed trust from a group which had hoped to begin a church and charity school in Philadelphia. This edifice was commonly called the "New Building" by local citizens and was referred to by such name in Franklin's memoirs as well as the legal bill of sale in Penn's archives. No name is stated or known for the associated educational trust, hence "Unnamed Charity School" serves as a placeholder to refer to the trust which is the premise for Penn's association with a founding date of 1740. The first named entity in Penn's early history was the 1751 secondary school for boys and charity school for indigent children called "Academy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania." Undergraduate education began in 1755 and the organization then changed its name to "College, Academy and Charity School of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania." Operation of the charity school was discontinued a few years later.
- Penn's website, like other sources, makes an important point of Penn's heritage being nonsectarian, associated with Benjamin Franklin and the Academy of Philadelphia's nonsectarian board of trustees: "The goal of Franklin's nonsectarian, practical plan would be the education of a business and governing class rather than of clergymen.". Jencks and Riesman (2001) write "The Anglicans who founded the University of Pennsylvania, however, were evidently anxious not to alienate Philadelphia's Quakers, and they made their new college officially nonsectarian." In Franklin's 1749 founding Proposals relating to the education of youth in Pensilvania (page images), religion is not mentioned directly as a subject of study, but he states in a footnote that the study of "History will also afford frequent Opportunities of showing the Necessity of a Publick Religion, from its Usefulness to the Publicks; the Advantage of a Religious Character among private Persons; the Mischiefs of Superstition, &c. and the Excellency of the CHRISTIAN RELIGION above all others antient or modern." Starting in 1751, the same trustees also operated a Charity School for Boys, whose curriculum combined "general principles of Christianity" with practical instruction leading toward careers in business and the "mechanical arts." , and thus might be described as "non-denominational Christian." The charity school was originally planned and a trust was organized on paper in 1740 by followers of travelling evangelist George Whitefield. The school was to have operated inside a church supported by the same group of adherents. But the organizers ran short of financing and, although the frame of the building was raised, the interior was left unfinished. The founders of the Academy of Philadelphia purchased the unused building in 1750 for their new venture and, in the process, assumed the original trust. Since 1899, Penn has claimed a founding date of 1740, based on the organizational date of the charity school and the premise that it had institutional identity with the Academy of Philadelphia. Whitefield was a firebrand Methodist associated with The Great Awakening; since the Methodists did not formally break from the Church of England until 1784, Whitefield in 1740 would be labelled Episcopalian, and in fact Brown University, emphasizing its own pioneering nonsectarianism, refers to Penn's origin as "Episcopalian". Penn is sometimes assumed to have Quaker ties (its athletic teams are called "Quakers," and the cross-registration alliance between Penn, Haverford, Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr is known as the "Quaker Consortium.") But Penn's website does not assert any formal affiliation with Quakerism, historic or otherwise, and Haverford College implicitly asserts a non-Quaker origin for Penn when it states that "Founded in 1833, Haverford is the oldest institution of higher learning with Quaker roots in North America."
- "Protestant Episcopal Church – LoveToKnow 1911". 1911encyclopedia.org. 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Brown Admission: Our History". Brown.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- University Chapel: Orange Key Virtual Tour of Princeton University[dead link]
- Brown's website characterizes it as "the Baptist answer to Congregationalist Yale and Harvard; Presbyterian Princeton; and Episcopalian Penn and Columbia," but adds that at the time it was "the only one that welcomed students of all religious persuasions." Brown's charter stated that "into this liberal and catholic institution shall never be admitted any religious tests, but on the contrary, all the members hereof shall forever enjoy full, free, absolute, and uninterrupted liberty of conscience." The charter called for twenty-two of the thirty-six trustees to be Baptists, but required that the remainder be "five Friends, four Congregationalists, and five Episcopalians."
- Hughes, Samuel (2002). "Whiskey, Loose Women, and Fig Leaves: The University's seal has a curious history". Pennsylvania Gazette 100 (3).
- "Class Day, New and Old".
- "Penn: Ivy day and Ivy Stones, a Penn Tradition".
- Boston Daily Globe, Jun 27, 1882, p. 4: "CLASS DAY.: Yale Seniors Plant the Ivy, Sing "Blage," and Entertain the Beauty of New Haven;"
- Boston Evening Transcript, Jun 11, 1912, p. 12, "Simmons Seniors Hosts Class Day Exercises Late in Afternoon, Planting of the Ivy will be One of the Features;
- "Play a Romance and Plant Ivy, Pretty Class Day Exercises of the Women's College". The Gazette Times. June 9, 1907. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "The Ivy Club: History".
- "Yale Book of Quotations" (2006) Yale University Press edited by Fred R. Shapiro
- "The Yale Book of Quotations" (2006) Yale University Press, edited by Fred R. Shapiro
- Oxford English Dictionary entry for "Ivy League"
- Ivy League Sports[dead link]
- The Chicago Public Library reports the "IV League" explanation, [dead link] sourced only from the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins.
- Various Ask Ezra student columns report the "IV League" explanation, apparently relying on the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins as the sole source:   
- "The Penn Current / October 17, 2002 / Ask Benny". Upenn.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "This according to the Penn history of varsity football". Archives.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Resource: Student history". Resource.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Epstein, Joseph (2003). Snobbery: The American Version. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-34073-4. p. 55, "by WASP Baltzell meant something much more specific; he intended to cover a select group of people who passed through a congeries of elite American institutions: certain eastern prep schools, the Ivy League colleges, and the Episcopal Church among them."
- Auchincloss, Louis (2004). East Side Story. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-45244-3. p. 179, "he dreaded the aridity of snobbery which he knew infected the Ivy League colleges"
- McDonald, Janet (2000). Project Girl. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22345-4. p. 163 "Newsweek is a morass of incest, nepotism, elitism, racism and utter classic white male patriarchal corruption.... It is completely Ivy League — a Vassar/Columbia J-School dumping ground... I will always be excluded, regardless of how many Ivy League degrees I acquire, because of the next level of hurdles: family connections and money."
- scandals: James Axtell, The Making of Princeton University (2006), p.274; quoting a former executive director of the Ivy League
- "Colleges Searching for Check On Trend to Goal Post Riots". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1935-12-06. p. 33.
- Robert F. Kelley (1936-01-17). "Cornell Club Here Welcomes Lynah". The New York Times. p. 22.
- "Immediate Formation of Ivy League Advocated at Seven Eastern Colleges". The New York Times. 1936-12-03. p. 33.
- "The Harvard Crimson :: News :: AN EDITORIAL". Thecrimson.com. 1936-12-03. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Plea for an Ivy Football League Rejected by College Authorities". The New York Times. 1937-01-12. p. 26.
- Gwertzman, Bernard M. (1956-10-13). "The Harvard Crimson ''Ivy League: Formalizing the Fact'' Saturday, October 13, 1956". Thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- “Ivy Group”, Sports-reference.com
- “Division I Conference Alignment History” in the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Record Book, p. 221, http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/BK09.pdf
- "Archived: Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges". Ed.gov. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "National University Rankings". U.S.News & World Report LP. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- "Princeton removes LeMenager from admission office for violations". The Daily Princetonian. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Kieran, John (1936), "Sports of the Times", The New York Times, December 4, 1936, p. 36. "There will now be a little test of the "the power of the press" in intercollegiate circles since the student editors at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and Penn are coming out in a group for the formation of an Ivy League in football. The idea isn't new.... It would be well for the proponents of the Ivy League to make it clear (to themselves especially) that the proposed group would be inclusive but not "exclusive" as this term is used with a slight up-tilting of the tip of the nose." He recommended the consideration of "plenty of institutions covered with home-grown ivy that are not included in the proposed group. [such as ] Army and Navy and Georgetown and Fordham and Syracuse and Brown and Pitt, just to offer a few examples that come to mind" and noted that "Pitt and Georgetown and Brown and Bowdoin and Rutgers were old when Cornell was shining new, and Fordham and Holy Cross had some building draped in ivy before the plaster was dry in the walls that now tower high about Cayuga's waters."
- Epstein, Joseph (2003). Snobbery: The American Version. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-34073-4. p. 55, "by WASP Baltzell meant something much more specific; he intended to cover a select group of people who passed through a congeries of elite American institutions: certain eastern prep schools, the Ivy League colleges, and the Episcopal Church among them." and Wolff, Robert Paul (1992). The Ideal of the University. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-603-X. p. viii: "My genial, aristocratic contempt for Clark Kerr's celebration of the University of California was as much an expression of Ivy League snobbery as it was of radical social critique."
- Wolff, Robert Paul (1992). The Ideal of the University. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-603-X. p. viii: "My genial, aristocratic contempt for Clark Kerr's celebration of the University of California was as much an expression of Ivy League snobbery as it was of radical social critique."
- Williams, Mark (2001). The 10 Lenses: your guide to living and working in a multicultural world. Capital Books., p. 85
- Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin. "George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography: Chapter XXII Bush Takes The Presidency". Webster G. Tarpley. Retrieved 2006-12-17.
- Dowd, Maureen (1998), "Bush Traces How Yale Differs From Harvard." The New York Times, June 11, 1998, p. 10
- Baker, Russell (1998), "The Ivy Hayseed." The New York Times, June 15, 1988, p. A31
- Columbia's Borrow Direct website
- "» Harvard and MIT Libraries Join Borrow Direct – 20 Million Additional Books Available to Brown Borrowers Brown University Library News". Blogs.brown.edu. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- May The Madness Begin by Mark Starr Newsweek.com; March 14, 2002. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- "Yale basketball shares Ivy League title". Yale Daily News. 2002-03-06. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
- Ivy League Sports[dead link]
- New York Times – 2006-11-17
- "The game: the tables are turned – Penn hoops travel to Jadwin tonight for premier rivalry of Ivy League basketball". The Daily Princetonian. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "The rivalry? Not with Penn's paltry performance this season". The Daily Princetonian. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Ivy League Basketball[dead link]
- Ivy League Football[dead link]
- New wrinkle in the Cornell Princeton lacrosse rivalry, The Ithaca Journal, May 16, 2009.
- "The Rivalry: Lehigh vs. Lafayette". LehigSports.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Wallace, William N. (16 November 1997). "A Woeful Yale Loses To Princeton". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Hyland, Tim. "College Football National Champions: The Complete List". About.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Colman, Dan (23 February 2012). "Princeton v. Yale, 1903: The Oldest College Football Game on Film". OpenCulture.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "1903 College Football National Championship". TipTop25.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "Princeton Beats Yale". The New York Times. 19 June 1904. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "Ivy Facilities". Archived from the original on March 18, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
- "Rhodes Field – PennAthletics.com—The Official Website of University of Pennsylvania Athletics". Pennathletics.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- "America's 25 New Elite 'Ivies'". Newsweek.com. 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Babbit, Nory (Fall 2005). "Yale Hosts Ivy Plus Conference". The Blue Print. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
- Zawel, Marc (September 1, 2005). "Defining the Ivy League". Untangling the Ivy League. College Prowler. p. 9. ISBN 1-59658-500-5.
- "Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group". Yale. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "ivy plus annual fund". harvard. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "Ivy + Alumni Relations Conference". Princeton. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- Weisman, Robert (November 2, 2007). "Risk pays off for endowments". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- PERLOFF-GILES, ALEXANDRA (March 11, 2008). "Columbia, MIT Fall Into Line on Aid". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- Bianco, Anthony (November 29, 2007,). "The Dangerous Wealth of the Ivy League". Businessweek. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Lerner, Josh; Antoinette Schoar, and Jialan Wang (Summer 2008). "Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success". Journal of Economic Perspectives (Nashville, TN: The American Economic Association) 22 (3): 207–22. doi:10.1257/jep.22.3.207. ISSN 0895-3309. OCLC 16474127.