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Big Ten Conference History

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Seven Midwest university presidents met on January 11, 1895 at the Palmer House in Chicago to discuss the regulation and control of intercollegiate athletics. Those seven men, behind the leadership of James H. Smart, president of Purdue University, established the principles for which the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, more popularly known as the Big Ten Conference, would be founded on the next year 1896. Those seven universities at the 1895 meeting were: University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Lake Forest College, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin. Lake Forest was not at the 1896 meeting that established the Conference, and it was replaced by the University of Michigan.

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