A History of the Ivy League

Updated May 18, 2023 ยท 2 Min Read

Ivy League schools are primarily located in the Northeastern part of the country. There are eight total colleges that are considered to be

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Ivy League History

Ivy League schools are considered to be the most prestigious of all colleges in the United States. These schools are primarily located in the Northeastern part of the country. There are eight total colleges that are considered to be Ivy League. These schools are Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities and the University of Pennsylvania. Of all institutions of higher learning, these elite schools are considered to be the most outstanding and the most sought-after in terms of acceptance and graduation.

How the Ivy League Was Formed

The term "Ivy League" came about in 1954, when the NCAA athletic conference for Division I was formed. At the time, the elitism of these schools was really due to their prestige in the realm of sports like basketball. Although the term "Ivy League" was not created until the 1950s, many of these schools were in existence as far back as 1636, when John Harvard became the first benefactor of Harvard University. This school is located in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Yale was formed in 1702 by a benefactor by the name of Elihu Yale. Yale is located in the state of Connecticut in the town of New Haven. In 1746, the New Jersey school of Princeton was founded and was originally simply named the College of New Jersey. The fourth-oldest university in America is the University of Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1740 by famous founding father Benjamin Franklin. Brown University, founded in 1746, is located in Providence, Rhode Island. The smallest Ivy League school, Dartmouth, was established in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire. It received a large endowment of several billion dollars. In 1754, Columbia University began thanks to King George II of England. It is located in New York City. And finally, Cornell University got its start in 1865 thanks to two benefactors named Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. This school is located in Ithaca, New York.

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Although this group of elite schools is considered to be part of one big league of the elite, there have been plenty of internal rivalries over the years. Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania have been longtime basketball rivals. Cornell and Harvard have been hockey rivals for many years, and Harvard and Penn have been long time football rivals. Many other Ivy League schools have had serious sports rivalries as well. The Yale and Princeton rivalry is considered the country's second-oldest college rivalry behind Lehigh University and Lafayette College. The sports that these colleges play were so popular that some teams began playing games in New York City so spectators could come from far away and watch the games. The popularity of both the athletes who played and the college team rivalries brought in a good deal of attention to the schools as well as revenue from ticket sales. There have also been academic rivalries between schools. Mostly, these rivalries are a matter of opinion in terms of which school has the most honor graduates, which schools offer the most prestigious scholarships, and what famous graduates have come from each school.

Accomplishments and Cultural Impacts

Each Ivy League college has its own unique accomplishments that make it important. All carry a certain reputation with them, and each school has programs that excel primarily in the medical and law fields, making them some of the most sought-after schools in the world. Their admissions process is very selective, which helps the schools ensure that they only accept the best and brightest. Many famous people have graduated from Ivy League schools, including recent presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. This prestige leads many to believe that these colleges are only for the wealthy and elite. Often, companies look for Ivy League graduates as potential employees, usually preferred by law firms, medical facilities, and large corporations. It has long been coveted to have earned a degree from an Ivy League school. Today, there are other competitors that some claim to be just as good as their Ivy counterparts. Some of these well-known schools include Duke University, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Vanderbilt, and Georgetown University, to name a few. The Ivy League schools are still excellent in both academia and in sports, and they have left a legacy of higher education with an exceptional track record and reputation to go along with them.

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