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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the term Ivy League?

The eight universities known as Ivy League schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. The idea dates back to October 1933 when Stanley Woodward, a sports writer for the New York Herald Tribune, used the phrase "ivy colleges" to describe these schools, which had common athletic programs.

February 1954 is the accepted founding date of the Ivy League, but athletic competition between all eight schools did not formally begin until the 1956-57 season when the presidents of the universities adopted a round-robin schedule for football. The phrase is no longer limited to athletics, and now represents an educational philosophy inherent to the nation's oldest schools.

Related Sources

Ivy League Athletics web site

Leitch, Alexander. A Princeton Companion. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978). Also available online.

Stasia Karel (2003)

Last modified: Tuesday, 24-Apr-2012 14:05:38 EDT