A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 06, 2007
Harvard of the South (Rice University nickname)

Rice University is sometimes called the “Harvard of the South” or the “Harvard of the Southwest.” Rice is one of the best universities in the country and doesn’t really need the comparison.

There are other “Harvards of the South” ("HotS"), including Duke University, Emory University and Vanderbilt University.


Wikipedia: Rice University
William Marsh Rice University, commonly called Rice University and opened in 1912 as The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art, is a private, comprehensive research university located in Houston, Texas near the Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. Rice is particularly noted for its elite undergraduate division, as well as its strength in the applied sciences. The university has been a pioneer in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and space science. 

Wikipedia: Southern Ivy
“Southern Ivy” is a colloquialism that has been used in the U.S. to imply that a Southern college or university is comparable to the schools of the Ivy League in some way, usually in academic quality or in social prestige. Whereas the Ivy League is an eight-member athletic conference with a defined membership, the designation of “Southern Ivy” has no official meaning, and which schools make up the list is a matter of opinion. The term is used in casual conversation both among academics and in terms of the sports programs of the various universities.

Some Southern schools typically are ranked near the universities in the Ivy League: in the 2007 U.S. News and World Report rankings, Duke University, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, and Emory University rank in the top twenty major national universities, as do all the schools of the “Ancient Eight.” U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke at number 8, below four and above four Ivy League universities. Duke is the only Southern school ever to rank ahead of, or tie, one of the Big Three Northeastern universities, tying for third with Yale University.

The South includes four universities that Richard Moll listed in his book entitled The Public Ivys: America’s Flagship Undergraduate Colleges: The College of William and Mary, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia.

“Harvard of the South” is also a commonly used colloquialism, and one humorous essay asserts that “there are two dozen Harvards of the South distributed among the states that seceded to form the Confederacy.

27 December 1980, Chicago Daily Herald, sec. 1, pg. 6:
Rice University, Houston, Texas—“Rice is sometimes called the Harvard of the South. Rice is the foremost school in the south.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, March 06, 2007 • Permalink