Names Inspired by Colleges and Universities

Blog > Names Inspired by Colleges and Universities
Posted on: August 12th, 2017by Casey Anderson

It may be the middle of summer, (and if you’ve forgotten that the humidity will remind you!) but most college aged freshman have already settled on their schools and are thinking of moving in! Empty nest parents are wondering if it’s too late to have another baby, or maybe they can’t wait to turn Jr’s bedroom into a craft room. Right now, lots of people are thinking about college!

If you’re pregnant you’ve probably given it a thought too. Even in the womb parents are already thinking about their babies going to college and becoming successful adults. We tend to plan their whole future, millions of times. Is college something that’s important to you when it comes to your child? Maybe you should set them on the right track immediately and pick a name inspired by some of America’s great colleges and universities.

We thought that might be a good idea so we took the liberating of picking a few of them for you to look at. But you don’t have to stop here, or even in America. Search around for worldwide school names to inspire your future graduate.


Auburn This name is getting more popular. It means “red-brown” and is less common than names like Scarlet or Rose, we love those too. But this new color name is a good one! We get the inspiration from Auburn University in Alabama.

Berea Berea is a rare Biblical name that is known to mean “heavy, weighty.” It’s considered spiritually heavy, not physically. We love the uniqueness and the sound of it. The inspiration for this list comes from Berea College in Kentucky.

Tulane Ok, this is known more as a last name, but why? We love it as a first. It sounds pretty and has great nicknames, Tula, Laney etc. We get the inspiration from the University in New Orleans.

Alma This name has two popular meanings, “nourishing” and “the soul” which are both great ones! We love the vintage sound. The inspiration comes not from a school itself, but from alma mater.

Berkeley This name means “birch meadow” and sounds natural and pretty. I can picture young Berkeley twirling through the yard. We get the inspiration from the University of California Berkeley, also Berkeley College in NY.

Baylor This has multiple meanings, from “horse trainer” to “person who delivers goods” so, take your pick! It reminds us of Taylor, which is common. If you like that name but want something unique, this is a perfect choice. Inspired by Baylor University in Waco Texas.

Trinity This name means “three” and is commonly considered religious, for the Holy Trinity. Even so, it sounds kind of New Age and cutting edge. We got the name from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut.


Stanford The name actually means “stone ford” but most people have heard of the college and your son will automatically sound smart and sophisticated. It also has short versions if he’s afraid of living up to it, Stan and Ford. Inspired by Stanford University in California.

Emory Emory means “leader” and that’s what you want your boy to be right!? The name is also not unheard of for girls. It sounds charming and handsome to us. Emory University in Atlanta Georgia inspired us.

Oberlin This is an uncommon name with debated meanings, but most likely a clergyman. It’s seen more as a last name but we like the sound of it for a guy. It sounds exotic. We were inspired by Oberlin College in Ohio.

Charleston This one means “free man” and sounds powerful and liberating. Your boy could be called Charles or Chuck by his friends, but still have his professional sounding name to fall back on. Inspired by the University of Charleston in WV.

Cornell This name means “horn” and is a modern version of the name Cornelius. It sounds unique but not so different it feels like it’s not a name. Just don’t pick it if Cornell’s your last name too. This one’s inspired by Cornell University in Ithaca New York.

Duke Duke means “leader” and has the ability to sound both like the leader and like one of the guys. That’s what we like about its friendly nature. It’s hard not to like a guy named Duke! We get the name from Duke University in South Carolina.

Reed This name means “red haired” or refers to the slender plant that grows in a marsh. It’s a quick but memorable name that we’re a fan of. Reed sounds like a cool guy! We got the inspiration from Reed College of Portland Oregon.

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