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How to choose a baby name to honor your alma mater

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Many colleges and universities have long traditions of alumni giving their children campus-inspired baby names. If this appeals to you but you're having trouble getting started, we have a few ideas for how to choose a baby name that honors your alma mater.

If you and your partner met in college, giving your child a name rooted in that part of your history can be a meaningful gift. But where to get started? Let's take a walk around campus for all the spots your baby's name might be hiding.

Baby names inspired by places on campus


Everything on a college campus is named after someone. Mostly rich donors, but also outstanding professors or historical figures. Pull out a campus map and scan the names of libraries, buildings from your major, the streets you jogged down a hundred times or even the dining hall.

If your college had a major athletics program, fields and stadiums are another great baby name resource. Take a trip back and walk around, paying close attention to names on bricks along the paths or in the walls. Maybe your son or daughter's name has been right there all along.

Most campus locales are named with surnames only. Look up the people they were named for — what are their first and middle names? More options!

Baby names inspired by people on campus


Go back through your school's history a bit. What were the names of its founders, the first president and the president when you studied there? If you had favorite professors who inspired your career path, consider giving them a nod with your baby's name.

Find a list of famous graduates or those awarded honorary doctorates by your field of study. Don't overlook their surnames — these make great first names, especially for baby boys.

Look at the names of the school's coaches, in a variety of athletics programs. Not every school has a football team, but dig around in the sports you played or enjoyed watching.

Who designed the buildings on your campus? Architects often get overlooked as potential namesakes, but their designs shape a great deal of the campus experience and its atmosphere.

While not as officially tied to the university, even former roommates and sorority sisters can bring on baby name inspiration. The memories you made in student government or your weekend job shaped who you are today — wanting to honor that is every bit as valid as any other baby name from your alma mater!

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