Intercollegiate Prohibition Association (IPA)

The Intercollegiate Prohibition Association (IPA) was part of the World League Against Alcoholism. The League’s name referred to alcoholism. Not to alcohol or drinking. That’s because it saw alcohol, drinking and alcoholism as equivalent. The IPA shared this view. It was formed in Chicago in 1901. By 1903 it was reported to be the third largest college organization in the U.S. It published  a magazine, The Intercollegiate Statesman.

The IPA made ‘an inquiry’ among 158 colleges and universities in 1923. It reported that 136 were in favor of Prohibition. Eight were opposed to it. Fourteen were “undetermined.” It additionally reported that at 80 out of the 136 institutions in favor of prohibition, support was either by an overwhelming majority or was unanimous.

A leader of the Intercollegiate Prohibition Association was Harry S. Warner. He wrote  Prohibition: An Adventure in Freedom. In it he argued that reducing personal liberty actually increases personal liberty. He asserted that personal liberty is ‘greater where drink goes out, even with the heavy hand of law, than it is where drink remains.’

Intercollegiate Prohibition Association

Mark R. Shaw

Another leader of the IPA was Mark Shaw. During his leadership it was the second-largest college student group in the US. Later Mark Shaw was the Prohibition Party candidate for a number of public offices.

In 1934, the  year after the repeal of Prohibition, the Intercollegiate Prohibition Association’s name was changed. It became the Intercollegiate Association for the Study of Alcohol. In 1976 it ceased to exist.


Intercollegiate Prohibition Association. Student Opinion Expressing Itself on Law Observance, Prohibition and the Ideals back of It.   Washington, D.C. : The Association, 1925.

Odegard, P.H. Pressure Politics. NY: Columbia U. Press, 1928.

The third largest college organization in America is the Inter-collegiate Prohibition Association. Torch & Witt Today (Wittenberg U.), February 1, 1903, p. 203.

Rose, K.D. American Women and the Repeal of Prohibition. NY: New York U. Press, 1996.

Warner, H.S. Social Welfare and the Liquor Problem. Chicago: IPA, 1916.

Warner, H.S. Does Alcohol Aid Creative Ability? Washington, DC: IASA, 1942