Thursday, June 8

The History Of the Ivy League Universities

The Ivy League, 
History and Interesting Facts 
About These Eight Stellar American Universities

Our daughter graduated from Cornell University's Agriculture and Life Sciences school  last week.  She was also a member of the NCAA Equestrian Team while at Cornell.  The four day graduation festivities prompted me to write this story about the history of the Ivy Leagues.  I did my research and pulled up some interesting facts, and these are points of reference as we proudly watch our daughter stand up and accept her degree. First, let's start with...

What is the Ivy League?
Ironically, today when we think of the Ivy League we think of stellar academia, but it all began with sports.  The "Ivy League" was born with the conception of the NCAA athletic Division I.   Although many of these schools opened their doors as early as the 1600 and began building their stellar reputation for generations to come, the Ivy League name wasn't introduced until 1954. There are eight universities included in this elite group -
University of Pennsylvania
Cornell's motto is all accepting 
“I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” Ezra Cornell

My opinion about Cornell:
Of all the Ivies,  Cornell is the University for all people, more attainable in some respects, yet it has this reputation that once you are in the school it is brutal and not an easy ride.  From the crazy weather, to the infamously difficult classes, Cornell seasons their students and prepares them for life. At Cornell, there is an infamous mandatory Swim Test that every student must pass to graduate.  There are other unusual traditions during sporting events as well (Cornell fans are known to throw fish on the ice at Harvard ice hockey games) Many of these rituals are rooted in the traditions of our country since these colleges' doors opened generations ago. 
Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island
14 Interesting Facts About The Ivies...
1. The Ivies did not accept women students back in the day
2. all 8 Ivies are located on the East Coast of the U.S.
3. The Ivies did not accept women back in the day
4. All 8 are located in the East Coast
5. The Ivies do not award athletic scholarships, keeping with their core values of investing in a first-class education with sports as a secondary goal.
6. Their nicknames are color-based; Cornell Big Red, Harvard Crimson and Dartmouth Big Green. 
 7. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the US, and by vote in 1636 by the Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
8. Brown was the first Ivy to accept students from all religious affiliations, showing their open philosophy at the university. 
9. Since its inception, Cornell made a commitment to sustaining farming and agriculture in the U.S. and has the only land grant college of the Ivies- CALS, Agriculture and Life Science School.  
10. During the British occupation of New York City in 1776, Columbia was used as a British military hospital.
11. Dartmouth's Film Society founded Telluride, a now famous annual film festival in Colorado allowing students to dive into into the world of film! 
12. After the third quarter of The Quaker football games at Pennsupporters throw toast and sing Drink a Highball. The Highball is the unofficial cocktail of the University.
13. A 140-year graduation tradition at Yale-- graduates receiving clay pipes with a packet of tobacco to smoke and crush after wards symbolizing the end of a legendary 4 year era.
14. In 1783, The Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall at Princeton, serving as the capitol of the US for approximately five months.
About women, 
many of these universities had sister colleges which merged with them, but fun to note that Cornell was technically the only one of the Ivies that accepted women from the inception...and, this is based upon their motto which notes  "any person can find instruction in any study"  at the school. 
Accepting Women Students:
Yale & Princeton: 1969
Cornell: technically 1872 (literally, 1970)
Brown: 1971
Dartmouth: 1972
Harvard: 1977
Columbia: 1981
Princeton made history in 1972 with graduating the first of three African American women.  Read the article about Vera Marcus, How History is MadePrinceton graduating class, 1972 (Vera Marcus top left)

Happy Nesting
XO Tamara