Big Ten Membership History
June 11, 2010
February 8, 1896: One faculty representative from each of seven institutions met at The Palmer House in Chicago, Ill., to establish standards and machinery for regulation and administration of intercollegiate athletics. They designated themselves as the "Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives." The organization eventually was labeled popularly the "Big Ten" or "Western Conference," although the original title remained the official name until the Conference was incorporated in 1987. Original use of the word "conference" has been applied to any group of institutions for similar purposes. The seven original members of the conference were: University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin.
December 1, 1899: Indiana University and State University of Iowa admitted to membership.
January 14, 1908: University of Michigan withdrew from the conference.
April 6, 1912: Ohio State University admitted to membership.
June 9, 1917: University of Michigan invited to return.
November 20, 1917: University of Michigan resumed membership in the conference.
March 8, 1946: University of Chicago formally withdrew from the conference due to inability to "provide reasonable equality of competition as of June 30, 1946."
May 20, 1949: Michigan State College admitted to membership. It was voted that conference competition by Michigan State College would begin with the 1950-51 academic year and, in the case of football, at the expiration of schedules heretofore drawn. (At the December, 1948 meeting, conference football schedules had been drawn through the 1952 season.)
June 4, 1990: Council of Ten voted to confirm the earlier decision to integrate Pennsylvania State University into conference membership. There was agreement that Penn State's integration as a member of the conference should proceed in the most expeditious manner possible in all sports.
June 11, 2010: Council of Presidents/Chancellors voted to accept application from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for membership in the Big Ten Conference, effective July 1, 2011.