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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.
However, it is clear that Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia met on November 23, 1876 at the so-called Massasoit Convention to decide on uniform rules for the emerging game of American football, which rapidly spread.In 1899, Penn's board of trustees formally adopted a third founding date of 1740, in response to a petition from Penn's General Alumni Society.Penn was chartered in 1755, the same year collegiate classes began.While the term was in use as early as 1933, it became official only after the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference in 1954. News has named a member of the Ivy League as the best national university in each of the past seventeen years ending with the 2017 rankings: Princeton ten times, Harvard twice, and the two schools tied for first five times.Seven of the eight schools were founded during the United States colonial period; Cornell was founded in 1865. Undergraduate enrollments range from about 4,000 to 14,000, making them larger than those of a typical private liberal arts college and smaller than a typical public state university.