This website will be hosting a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of formal Ivy League competition, featuring special articles every weekday through the end of May 2007.
Although some League rivalries predate the Civil War, and the term 'Ivy League' was used in newspapers as early as the mid-1930s, the Ivy League began formally with the Ivy Presidents' agreement of 1954, and the first year of formal competition was 1956-57.
The first formal Ivy League contest -- on Sept. 29, 1956, when the Columbia Lions' football team hosted the Brown Bears at Baker Field in upper Manhattan -- will be commemorated at that same site (now Wien Stadium) with a ceremony on Saturday, September 30, when Columbia hosts the Princeton Tigers.
Since that first contest, more than 75,000 Ivy athletes have played under a unique model of college sports, sharing a remarkably consistent goal: to provide successful athletics as an integral part of the full undergraduate experience -- combining the values and lessons of athletics with those of the classroom and laboratory, the campus and the community -- to produce leaders in every walk of life.
The 50th Celebration is not intended as a formal or complete history of each era, sport or school in the last half century. There's simply too much history to be able do that -- although the online Ivy League Record Book provides a wealth of information about Ivy League standings and All-Ivy teams, national successes in every sport, and individual athletic and academic achievements.
Rather, the Celebration will ask more than 200 former Ivy League athletes to tell the story of Ivy athletics through an almost-daily series of interview-based profiles. Combined with more comprehensive theme-based features (such as the Ivy League's long Olympic history), these profiles will cover every part of these 50 years at all eight schools -- all of the more than 30 Ivy women's and men's championship sports (the broadest collegiate athletic participation in the country) -- and the incredibly diverse backgrounds and careers of Ivy athletes.
Some of these alumni were stars or champions. Others -- like most athletes at every level of competition -- played more anonymously or with only modest team success. In their combined athletic and academic Ivy League experiences, however, each of them found values and habits that led to later success, whether in global arenas or in their own families and neighborhoods.
Special aspects of the Celebration will include:
We welcome reprinting of all stories, with appropriate credit, in public media, and in all institutional media (including websites, weekly bulletins and calendars, game programs, and alumni magazines).
The Ivy League 50th Celebration will be Co-Edited by Ivy League Associate Director Brett Hoover and by Stephen Eschenbach, a long-time contributor to each of the Ivy alumni magazines who also will be Senior Writer. Other contributing writers will include two-time Olympian and 1990 Harvard graduate Meredith Rainey Valmon; former Ivy Public Information Assistants Josi Carlson and E.J. Crawford; current Ivy Public Information Assistants Wes Harris and Bethany Karantonis; and Ivy League Executive Director Jeff Orleans and Associate Director Chuck Yrigoyen.
We hope you will enjoy this special year-long Ivy feature, and we look forward to reading your comments and answering your questions, which can be sent to Hoover.
Council of Ivy Group Presidents
228 Alexander Street
Princeton, N.J. 08544
For questions or comments regarding the Ivy50 website, please contact Brett Hoover