-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sun, 18 Feb 2001 21:28:36 -0800

> Actually I think the term was coined quite a bit before 1939. The Ivy League
> was originally for the football league formed between a group of 8 schools:-
> Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, University of
> Pennsylvania. These universities are among the oldest institutes of higher
> learning in U.S. and are all located in the new england area. They are still
> pretty difficult to get into and tuition are incredibly expensive. I've
> attended a couple of them and drained my parents off of a lot of
> their money for
> doing so... 8(

The designation "Ivy League" is credited to Caswell Adams of the New York
Tribune in 1937. The tag, premature of any formal agreement, was immediately
adopted by the press as a foreshadowing of an eastern football league which, at
the time, was big news to everyone except the athletic directors involved. It
was officially identified as common usage and added to the Webster English
Dictionary in 1939.

Granted, the Ivy members already had been allied in leagues in basketball, ice
hockey, baseball and swimming for years prior to the establishment of the
football league. Further common competition was found in the Heptagonal Games
Association, which included Army and Navy, in the sports of baseball, track and
field, and swimming. Through these other scheduling arrangements, the Ivy
athletic directors were used to dealing with each other in matters of
administration or the exchange of calculated confidences. As a result of these
dealings, and through extensive presidential meetings and discussions, the first
Ivy Group Agreement addressing only football was signed in 1945.

February 1954 is the commonly accepted founding date for the Ivy League as we
know it. This was when the Ivy Group Agreement was reissued to extend its
jurisdiction to all sports. This resulted in a complete round-robin schedule in
football, beginning with the 1956 season.

> I wouldn't say they've lost a LOT of their prestige, as Harvard
> graduates still
> have quite a "WOW" factor. Also some of the graduate schools among these Ivy
> League schools are still excellent and maintain their prestige:-
> Harvard Medical
> School, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Harvard Business School, U. Penn.
> Business School (Wharton)...

Graduation from Harvard was once an absolute guarantee of professional
employment. If you weren't already one of the Elite, graduation would make you
one. The simple fact of having a degree made you eligible for the Social
Register in most major cities.

No modern institution has that kind of prestige, because it was dependent upon a
social class structure that's no longer recognized as valid by the mainstream


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