The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising 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 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 account for seven of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution, the other two being Rutgers University and College of William & Mary.
Undergraduate enrollments 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. Total enrollments, including graduate students, range from approximately 6,100 at Dartmouth to over 20,000 at Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Penn. Ivy League financial endowments range from Brown's $3.2 billion to Harvard's $36.4 billion, the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world
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.
—Stanley Woodward, New York Tribune, October 14, 1933, describing the football season
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 sprea
Different fashion trends and styles have emerged from Ivy League campuses over time, and fashion trends such as Ivy League and Preppy are styles often associated with the Ivy League and its culture.
Ivy League style is a style of men's dress, popular during the late 1950s, believed to have originated on Ivy League campuses. The clothing stores J. Press and Brooks Brothers represent perhaps the quintessential Ivy League dress manner. The Ivy League style is said to be the predecessor to the preppy style of dress.
Preppy fashion started around 1912 to the late 1940s and 1950s as the Ivy League style of dress. J. Press represents the quintessential preppy clothing brand, stemming from the collegiate traditions that shaped the preppy subculture. In the mid-twentieth century J. Press and Brooks Brothers, both being pioneers in preppy fashion, had stores on Ivy League school campuses, including Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
Some typical preppy styles also reflect traditional upper class New England leisure activities, such as equestrian, sailing or yachting, hunting, fencing, rowing, lacrosse, tennis, golf, and rugby. Longtime New England outdoor outfitters, such as L.L. Bean, became part of conventional preppy style. This can be seen in sport stripes and colours, equestrian clothing, plaid shirts, field jackets and nautical-themed accessories. Vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida, long popular with the East Coast upper class, led to the emergence of bright colour combinations in leisure wear seen in some brands such as Lilly Pulitzer. By the 1980s, other brands such as Lacoste, Izod and Dooney & Bourke became associated with preppy style.'
Today, these styles continue to be popular on Ivy League campuses, throughout the U.S., and abroad, and are oftentimes labeled as "Classic American style" or "Traditional American style