In the winter of 1879-1880, eleven men, juniors from the class of 1881, walked down Mercer Street and entered the east front room of Ivy Hall. Sitting together around a long wooden table, they were served by Henry Campbell, Ivy’s first steward.
By joining fifteen seniors from the class of 1880 who took their meals in the west front room of the simple brick building, the first permanent Princeton eating club was born. Since 1879, Ivy has occupied three sites – the 100th anniversary of the current clubhouse at 43 Prospect Avenue was celebrated in 1998.
The Ivy Club today is represented by a current membership of 135 Princeton juniors and seniors. The club became coeducational with the Section of 1991. Ivy continues to draw a vibrant mix of students to its venerable Dining Room for three meals each day. The graduate membership exceeds 2000 Princetonians who frequent the club on their visits to campus. The traditions of the bold forebears of 1879 are the inspiration for the Ivy Club today. New traditions have been welcomed and embraced.
Through each academic year’s progression of study, meals, sporting events, educational programs and spontaneous moments, the Ivy Club flowers are a source of tradition and unique energy in the Princeton garden.
More About The Ivy Club
- New Wing: A new part of the club, opened in 2009. With its high ceilings, massive windows and large spaces, the “New Wing” is a wonderful place to study, hangout or snag a nap before an afternoon class. Library: Perhaps the most famous and elegant room of the club. The library houses thousands of books from past members and serves as a great place for study and tranquility. Tap Room: A glorious and robust expanse of a room. The Ivy tap room doubles as a dance floor and haven for fun and revelry. Green Room: Better off experiencing this refined locale, firsthand.
- Ivy hosts lots of events in the academic year. In addition to being open Thursday and Saturday night, there are formal events, special musical guests and even patio parties. There is merriment galore at the Ivy Club, and you also get to eat every meal there too.
- The food varies day by day (vegetarians don’t despair, there is also a “veggie” option.) For the picky eaters among us, there is always grilled chicken, salad bar, bagels, cereal, and PB&Js. Beyond that, meals are decided by the meticulous palate and expertise of Chef Jean. Except for Burger Thursday, there is always Burger Thursday.
- The Ivy Club is the oldest eating club at Princeton University. It was founded in 1879 with Arthur Hawley Scribner as its first head. The first clubhouse was Ivy Hall, a brownstone building on Mercer Street in Princeton that still stands. It had been constructed by Richard Stockton Field in 1847 as the home for the Princeton Law School, a short-lived venture that lasted from 1847 to 1852. From the time of its founding until its incorporation in 1883, the Club was generally known as the “Ivy Hall Eating Club.”In 1883 the Club purchased an empty lot on Prospect Avenue, which was a country dirt road at the time. Ivy erected a shingle-style clubhouse in 1884 on what is today the site of Colonial Club. The clubhouse was remodeled and extended in 1887-88. Following Ivy’s move to new quarters across Prospect Avenue some ten years later, its second clubhouse was used by Colonial before being sold and moved to Plainsboro Township, New Jersey.
- Notable alumni include: Hobey Baker, Woodrow Wilson, Michael Lewis, Coleman Crutchfield and many others!
Joining the Club
Ivy bicker consists of 10 conversations with members whom you do not already know. Conversations range from 20 to 45 minutes. In order to account for conversations that might run long, as well as the downtime between conversations, you will have a total of 7.5 hours allotted over the course of the three days of bicker (Sunday-Tuesday). Many of you will not need all this time—you might finish your 10 conversations in just two days.
Our Bicker Process takes place over the course of three days, Sunday February 4th to Tuesday February 6th. On Sunday, 12pm-2:00pm and 2:15pm-4:15pm; Monday, 7:30pm-9pm and 9:15pm-10:45pm; and Tuesday, 7:30pm- 9:00pm and 9:15-10:45.
In order to find out your Bicker group (orange or black), which tells you specifically what time you’ll need to be at the club, you’ll need to sign up for Ivy Bicker at icc.princeton.edu.
When you arrive, you will fill out a short sheet with some basic information about yourself that we will use to keep track of your 10 conversations. There will be snacks at the club on all three days, but feel free to bring your own to eat in your down time. If one of your bicker sessions is occurring during dinner time (ORANGE session on Monday, BLACK session on Tuesday), we highly recommend you eat beforehand or bring something to eat.
If you have any questions about Ivy bicker or you’re unable to attend your session for any reason, please contact Bicker Chair Jack Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or President Mimi Asom at email@example.com.