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Old 30 April 2009, 03:33 AM
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Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,660
Teacher William & Mary/Rutgers and the Ivy League

Comment: Hello,

There has been much talks and rumors about Rutgers (and William and Mary)
turning doing the Ivy League invite in the past.

Below is a post that I found of interest:

"Frankly, the story does not make much sense. Both Rutgers and William &
Mary (my wife, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I are W&M grads and my
son is a current student) are currently, and were at the time the Ivy
League was founded, public institutions and it is unlikely they would have
been invited. For one thing, their reliance on state support would have
made it impossible for them to go private and the Ivy League would not
have wanted to hurt its yield by offering them admission only to be turned
down. See? The Ivy League has been gaming the system right from the

Seriously, though, the myth seems based on W&M and Rutgers being two of
the nine Colonial Colleges - those founded before the American Revolution.
The other seven are all Ivies, so this common history could very easily be
the tiny seed of truth that often gives rise to an urban legend. Tie into
that that Rutgers and Princeton played what is considered to be the first
intercollegiate football game, and that Rutgers and William & Mary often
play non-league games with the Ivies, and you have yourselves an urban
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Old 10 September 2009, 05:51 PM
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Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,660

Comment: Have you ever heard the story that Rutgers University was invited
into the Ivy League years ago but turned down the offer? Everyone at
Rutgers swears it's true but I just read comments on other sites in which
people called it bogus.

There's even a supposed quote from the Star Ledger. "Rutgers University is
inarguably America's cockiest, smartest party school. The only school in
history who rejected their Ivy League invitation". However, I could never
find the story it was taken from.
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Old 03 October 2011, 10:59 PM
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Default Origins of Rutgers Ivy League Offer.

The President of the College of New Jersey (future Princeton University), John Witherspoon, persuaded the Trustees of the college to propose a merger of the two colleges with the Trustees of Queen's College (future Rutgers University); the Queen's Trustees rejected the offer. The year was 1792, if I am not mistaken; it is recorded in the Minutes of the Trustees of the College of New Jersey (which can be seen online at the Princeton University Seeley Mudd Library website, in Volume 1, Page 320). The website happens to be down at the moment so I cannot check the record.
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Old 20 October 2011, 07:20 AM
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Default Origin of Story of Rutgers Rejecting Ivy League.

In 1792, the President of the College of New Jersey, John Witherspoon, proposed a union of that college with Queen's College of New Brunswick, NJ. A committee of Princeton Trustees was formed to meet with the Trustees of Queen's College.

At the Princeton Trustees Meeting of December 18th, 1793, it was reported that the Trustees of Queen's College rejected the offer (pp. 319-320)

"Dr. Witherspoon reported that he had received a letter from Archibald Mercer Esqr. informing him that the Trustees of Queen's College had rejected the poropositions of the joint committees of that college & the college of New Jersey on the subject of a uion of the two institutions."

The College of New Jersey was the future Princeton University and Queen's College became Rutgers University.

The original Minutes of the Princeton Trustees may be viewed here:

The union was discussed in Volume 1 of the Trustees Minutes on pp. 316-320, beginning with the Trustees Meeting of August 26th 1793 (p. 316).

This in undoubtedly the origin of the Rutgers rejecting the Ivy League story. It might be added that one of Witherspoon's graduates, Ira Condict, served as vice-President of Rutgers and is credited with both saving with rejuvenating the college during troubles in the early 19th century.
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