-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sat, 17 Feb 2001 15:18:21 -0800

> Ivy League? Am that a school made out of elephant tusks???!!

Elephant tusks are made of ivory, a hard creamy-white modified dentine. Ivy is
a widely cultivated ornamental climbing or prostrate or sometimes shrubby
chiefly Eurasian vine (Hedera helix) of the ginseng family with evergreen
leaves, small yellowish flowers and black berries.

The term "Ivy League" was coined circa 1939 to describe a group of
long-established eastern U.S. colleges widely regarded as high in scholastic and
social prestige -- generally Harvard, Princeton and Yale. The term derives from
the common architecture or these schools, which consisted of castle-like brick
buildings with ivy-covered halls modeled after the great British universities
such as Cambridge, Eton and Oxford. The term "ivy" had already been applied to
Academia in general circa 1933 and, by 1943, students at or graduates of these
prestigious schools were called Ivy Leaguers. The Ivy League became associated
with the rich and powerful, who formed their "Old Boy Networks" from among their
college classmates.

The Ivy League schools lost a lot of their prestige after World War II, when a
college education became available to more and more people of lesser and lesser
means, thanks in part to the G.I. Bill and the post-War emphasis on technology,
which made MIT and Stanford the new schools of choice.


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