Universities Named After Colors


There are more than 2,000 four-year colleges in the United States, with names and mascots as diverse as their student bodies. Out of all those universities, there are six which, though they may not have necessarily been named after colors, share their names with recognized shades of the rainbow.


  • Brown is a tertiary color that is a rough mixture of red and black. It is also the name of an Ivy League university. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University (brown.edu) is the nation's seventh-oldest college, founded in 1764, and is home to a student body of more than 9,000. The University houses the Warren Alpert Medical School, Rhode Island's only school of medicine, as well as the third oldest civilian engineering program in the country.


  • Sienna is a natural pigment derived from a form of limonite clay, and is one of the earliest painting materials known to have been used by man. Its visual appearance is best described as a combination of yellow and brown. It is also the name of a Roman Catholic liberal arts college located in Loudonville, New York. Founded in 1937, Siena College (siena.edu) is home to a student body of more than 3,000, all of whom are instructed in the traditional Franciscan method of education.


  • The United States Naval Academy (usna.edu) was founded in 1845 in Annapolis, Maryland. It is a military post-secondary academy with the mission of instructing future naval and marine officers in the professional and academic skills that will be required of them in their assignments after graduation. The distinctive deep blue hue that serves as the most recognizable part of their colors has become iconic enough to be named after the Navy itself.


  • Auburn is a term in the English language that dates back hundreds of years. It was traditionally used as a descriptor for a hair color that was somewhere between brown and red. It is also the name of one of the largest universities in the Southern United States. Established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, the current day Auburn University (auburn.edu) houses a student body numbering more than 25,000, and is a perennial powerhouse in NCAA Division I athletics.


  • Colorado is a word that derives from a Spanish adjective meaning "colored red." The University of Colorado (colorado.edu) is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 1876, the university boasts a student body of just under 29,000, and is a member of the NCAA Pac 12 Conference. Notable among its alumni are seven Nobel Laureates and 17 NASA astronauts.


  • Cornell is a Latin word meaning "horn-colored." Visually speaking, it is a type of light gray. Cornell University (cornell.edu) is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. Established in 1865, it is home to more than 20,000 students and boasts an alumni that contains alumni are 31 Marshall Scholars, 28 Rhodes Scholars and 41 Nobel laureates. In addition to its main campus, Cornell has specialized schools in engineering, law, medicine, agriculture, and management.


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