The Ivy League is an athletic conference of eight private universities in the Northeast. They are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), and Yale. Seven of the eight were chartered before the American Revolution, with the other being Cornell, founded in 1865.
The term is now used for the group considered academically as well as athletically. The origin of the term can be traced to sportswriters in the early 1930`s, at a time when "ivy" was applied to older colleges where ivy was planted frequently on the campuses.
Graduated of the Ivy League have played a disproportionate role in American politics from the time of the Revolution.