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Harvard University uses the date that the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony formally allocated funds for the creation of a college.Harvard was chartered in 1650, although classes had been conducted for approximately a decade by then.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." 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."Religious affiliation" refers to financial sponsorship, formal association with, and promotion by, a religious denomination.All of the schools in the Ivy League are private and not currently associated with any religion.
Similarly, the founder of The College of William & Mary, in 1693, was a British graduate of the University of Edinburgh.
Ivy League universities have some of the largest university financial endowments in the world, which allows the universities to provide many resources for their academic programs and research endeavors.
As of 2017Note: Six of the eight Ivy League universities consider their founding dates to be simply the date that they received their charters and thus became legal corporations with the authority to grant academic degrees.
However, at this time, none of these institutions made efforts to form an athletic league.
A common folk etymology attributes the name to the Roman numeral for four (IV), asserting that there was such a sports league originally with four members.This included the Southern public college movement which blossomed in the decades surrounding the turn of the 19th century when Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia established what became the flagship universities for each of these states.