The Ivy League of the South
Being Eight August Institutions founded in Colonial America South of the Mason-Dixon Line*


Davidson College
Founded 1837 · Davidson, North Carolina
Both the college and town of Davidson were named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War commander. The land for the college came from General Davidson's estate, and Davidson slowly grew into what is today one of the nation's most respected liberal-arts colleges.  In March 2007, Davidson announced that all students would have their demonstrated financial need met by grants and student employment; loans would no longer be a component of any Davidson financial aid package.  Today Davidson maintains its small size, selective admissions policy, and focus on undergraduate teaching.  |  www.davidson.edu

Duke University
Founded 1838 · Durham, North Carolina 
Thanks to a substantial endowment from tobacco baron James B. Duke, small Trinity College was transformed into Duke University in 1924, and renamed for his father Washington Duke--who had given Trinity a smaller gift in 1896, with the stipulation that the college "open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men." Duke today is notable for academic excellence across the board as well as its highly-ranked Medical, Business, and Law Schools.  And no description of Duke would be complete without mention of its Blue Devils sports teams, particularly basketball, which continue to engender fanatical devotion among students and alumni.  |   www.duke.edu

Emory University
Founded 1836 · Atlanta, Georgia
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, founded as Emory College in  Oxford, Georgia, which the University still maintains as a satellite campus.  Like many southern institutions, Emory found its buildings ruined and its endowment depleted by the Civil War and its aftermath.  Unlike many, Emory received a state grant to help finance its reconstruction.  In recent decades, largely as a result of the Woodruff Fund, Emory has advanced into the top rank of American higher education and owing largely to the growth in value of its Coca-Cola stock, Emory’s endowment now ranks ninth among all American universities.  |   www.emory.edu      

Georgetown University
Founded 1789 · Washington, D.C.
Founded by Jesuits in 1789, Georgetown University has become the nation's most prestigious Catholic institution of higher learning.  The university enjoys a scenic, 100-acre campus in Georgetown, the oldest part of the city of Washington.  Healy Hall (pictured), built in Flemish Romanesque style from 1877 to 1879, is a National Historic Landmark.  Today Georgetown is notable for its highly-regarded School of Medicine, its School of Foreign Service, and its School of Law. 
Georgetown offers many opportunities to study abroad, and 60% of undergraduates spend time at an institution overseas.  |   www.georgetown.edu  

Johns Hopkins University
Founded 1876 · Baltimore, Maryland
Although the youngest institution in this group, Johns Hopkins University has achieved leadership and international renown in both teaching and research. Eminent professors mentor top students in the arts and music, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, engineering, international studies, education, business and the health professions. Those same faculty members and their research colleagues have each year since 1979 won Johns Hopkins more federal research and development funding than any other university.   |   www.jhu.edu 

University of Virginia
Founded 1819 · Charlottesville, Virginia
The University of Virginia is a teaching and research institution established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. It is the only university in the United States to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an honor it shares with nearby Monticello. The University of Virginia has been consistently rated by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 or #2 state-supported university in the United States.  However, in recent years public support has waned to the point where UVA now receives only 6% of its operating expenditures from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Fortunately, consistent and outstanding private support has enabled the University to maintain its high standards and eminent status.  |   www.virginia.edu 

Washington & Lee University
Founded 1749 · Lexington, Virginia
Washington and Lee University is named for two of the most influential men in American history: George Washington, whose generous endowment in 1796 helped the fledgling school survive, and Robert E. Lee, whose presidency and innovative leadership brought the University into the national limelight.  Today W&L occupies a prominent position among the nation's leading liberal-arts colleges and maintains a respected and prestigious law school as well.  The average class size is 15 students, and nearly one-fourth of all classes have fewer than 10 students. The overall student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1.  |  www.wlu.edu

College of William & Mary
Founded 1693 · Williamsburg, Virginia
Chartered on February 8, 1693, by King William III and Queen Mary II of England, the College of William and Mary is the second-oldest college in America.  Formal ties with England were severed upon the American War of Independence in 1776, and William & Mary later became state-supported after its finances and enrollment suffered during Reconstruction. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's first academic fraternity, was founded here in 1776 and W&M boasts the nation's first Honor Code.  Today the College has 5,800 undergraduates and 1,925 graduate students hailing from all 50 states and 44 foreign countries.  |   www.wm.edu

* Selection criteria: the foremost institutions of higher education, located in the original colonies south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Honorable Mentions

1. Southern Colleges and Universities of comparable calibre but located outside the Original Colonies

Rice University
Vanderbilt University

2. Other Notable and Venerable Colleges and Universities within the Original Southern Colonies

Georgia Institute of Technology
Hampden-Sydney College
University of North Carolina
Saint John's College, Annapolis
United States Naval Academy
Wake Forest University

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