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  #1  
Old 03 April 2009, 04:58 PM
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Teacher Ivy League

Comment: I heard that the Ivy League colleges were so named because there
were originally 4 of them (IV in Roman numerals). Is this true? I also
heard that they were given the name "Ivy" because of the ivy that grows on
the buildings? Is this true?
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  #2  
Old 03 April 2009, 05:39 PM
dewey dewey is offline
 
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The latter, not the former. The term actually origated in the 30s and referred to the sports league. There were 8 colleges in it then.

dewey
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Old 03 April 2009, 08:57 PM
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Not much ivy grows on the buildings, anyway. It's bad for the masonry.

Avril
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Old 04 April 2009, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey View Post
The latter, not the former. The term actually origated in the 30s and referred to the sports league. There were 8 colleges in it then.

dewey
There still are.
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  #5  
Old 04 April 2009, 03:12 AM
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Yeah, it's always referred to the sports league consisting of that group of universities. The use of the term "Ivy" for the league simply conveys that the colleges were some of the older ones in the US and had already been around for quite a while even at the time of the league's founding. It takes some time for ivy to creep up and take over a stone wall, so ivy covered buildings are generally not recent construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Not much ivy grows on the buildings, anyway. It's bad for the masonry.
It's not all that bad for sufficiently solid masonry. If there are cracks in the mortar, then it will get in there and cause damage. If it's improperly pruned it can damage a wall when it's removed. It was cultivated on stone walls not just for decoration but because it was a practical way to keep the interior cooler during the day, before air conditioning.

But ivy is no longer much more common at Ivy League schools than at others. It's a little too on-the-nose these days, since the term has evolved the way it has. You can find ivy covered walls even on modest state campuses these days.

Last edited by Errata; 04 April 2009 at 03:29 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04 April 2009, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey View Post
The term actually origated in the 30s and referred to the sports league.
You can't tell me it's coincidence that all eight schools are Division IV ...

-- Bonnie
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  #7  
Old 07 April 2009, 05:16 PM
dewey dewey is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
You can't tell me it's coincidence that all eight schools are Division IV ...

-- Bonnie
How could I have missed that. This is why you are the master (or should that be mistress?)

dewey
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Old 07 April 2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
You can't tell me it's coincidence that all eight schools are Division IV ...

-- Bonnie
Division IV in what? In NCAA basketball, they are Division I. Probably in a few other sports too.

Or am I just stepping all over the joke...
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  #9  
Old 08 April 2009, 11:26 PM
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Vanishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey View Post
How could I have missed that. This is why you are the master (or should that be mistress?)
Shucks, dewey, I don't know about that. I'm just grateful my post count is back down to I.

Bonnie "Louisville Cardinal Numbers fan" Taylor
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  #10  
Old 13 April 2009, 01:02 PM
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There is no NCAA Division IV, and never has been. Most of the Ivy League schools play Division I (or Division I-AA for football), anyway.

The term "Ivy League" was coined before it was an official sports league. It was first "The Ivy Colleges" (OED cite from 1933) and was quickly switched to "Ivy League." The second cite of the OED is informative:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OED
1939 Princeton Alumni Weekly 29 Sept., The ‘Ivy League’ is something which does not exist and is simply a term which has been increasingly used in recent years by sports writers, applied rather loosely to a group of eastern colleges.
So the term was just sportwriter's jargon for the eastern colleges (remember, too, the Ivy League schools were major football powers for some time). The actual Ivy League was officially founded in 1954, though the schools played each other regularly before that.
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  #11  
Old 18 April 2009, 04:01 AM
Recklessmess Recklessmess is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The term "Ivy League" was coined before it was an official sports league. It was first "The Ivy Colleges" (OED cite from 1933) and was quickly switched to "Ivy League." The second cite of the OED is informative:

So the term was just sportwriter's jargon for the eastern colleges (remember, too, the Ivy League schools were major football powers for some time). The actual Ivy League was officially founded in 1954, though the schools played each other regularly before that.
(slightly off topic)

Back in my days on the Old Raritan I remember hearing the legend that Rutgers was supposed to be, or was invited to join the Ivy League, but declined. Some of the reasons included giving up its public university status, or that they'd have to raise tuition, or whatever. The reason it's semi-plausible is because 1) Rutgers is in the heart of Ivy League territory, 2) Rutgers is the eighth oldest college in the US, and 3) before getting into major NCAA sports, Rutgers had a long standing rivalry with Princeton and other Ivy universities.

Sorry for the diversion.
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