The most confusing college names in these United States [SLIDESHOW]

There are lots of colleges and universities in the United States with arguably confusing names. Northwestern University isn’t exactly in the Northwest, for example, and that illustrious school in the numerically challenged Big 10 athletic conference could certainly have made this slideshow.

There’s Santa Fe College in Florida, of course, and Oakland University in Michigan. There’s also Transylvania University in Central Kentucky, Pittsburg State University in Kansas and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri — worthy contenders, one and all.

Nevertheless, the several schools on this list are truly the ones that will leave you scratching your head in terms of their names.

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  • Most people know the difference between Miami University, the public school in Ohio, and the University of Miami, the private school in a Mediterranean-looking Florida suburb. The brilliant satirist P.J. O'Rourke graduated from Miami University. So did Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States. Actor and professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a University of Miami alum, as is Manson Family prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. Photo - public domain
  • Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota was founded by Norwegian settlers and is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The basically unrelated Concordia University System is an organization of 10 schools all over the United States -- including one in Minnesota -- operated by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Roughly 28,000 students are enrolled in Concordia System institutions. Photo - Facebook/Concordia University, St Paul
  • Yes, Virginia, Pennsylvania is home to two state schools containing the names of other states. (And, for the record, the state used to be home to all-female Beaver College.) California University of Pennsylvania has discarded at least five names since its inception in 1852. Indiana University of Pennsylvania can't offer as many previous names, but YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is an alumnus. Photo - Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • The most confusing set of similarly-named schools in the United States has got to be the 10 -- maybe more -- named St. Mary's, or Mount Saint Mary, or something very similar. There's one such school in 18 percent of all the states. California alone boasts two of them. (For the record, we aren't counting Notre Dame and the various other handles of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.) Photo - St. Mary's College of Maryland
  • Randolph–Macon College is a liberal arts college in Virginia. Jordan Wheat Lambert, one of the original formulators of Listerine, was an alumnus. Randolph College -- also in Virginia -- was founded in 1891 as a women's college by William Waugh Smith, then-president of Randolph-Macon College, after he failed to convince R-MC to become coed. Randolph–Macon eventually went coed in 1971; Randolph College took the same plunge in 2007. Both schools are Methodist-affiliated. Photo - Facebook/Randolph-Macon College
  • Rio Grande College -- affiliated with Sul Ross State University -- operates three minimal campuses near the Texas-Mexico border. That makes solid geographic and cultural sense. On the other hand, the University of Rio Grande in a sleepy town in southeastern Ohio is a bit of a cartological mystery. If you want to blend in with the locals, "RYE-O Grand" is the way to pronounce the name of the school -- and the town -- in Ohio. Photo - Facebook/University of Rio Grande
  • The best-known Trinity College in the United States is probably the smallish liberal arts school in Connecticut. Notable alumni include our very own Tucker Carlson. There's another Trinity College -- a Bible college -- in Florida. Celebrity evangelist Billy Graham transferred there after receiving his "calling on the 18th green" of a nearby golf course. There's also Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas as well as several other schools with Trinity embedded somewhere in their names. Photo - Creative Commons/Amherst2005
  • Wesleyan College is a women's bastion located in Macon, Georgia. Founded in 1836, it was the first college on the planet chartered for the purpose of granting degrees to women. Wesleyan University is located in Connecticut. The 1994 cult comedy PCU, which depicts a campus where political correctness has run amok, is allegedly based on the school. A slew of other colleges and universities also have Wesleyan somewhere in their names (e.g., Illinois Wesleyan University).
  • St. John’s College offers two campuses -- in Maryland and New Mexico -- for students to feast entirely on the great books on Western Civilization. The large, Catholic St. John’s University in Queens, New York claims former New York Governor Mario Cuomo as an alumnus. And don't forget about Saint John’s University, a smaller, all-male Catholic school in Minnesota that is joined at the hip with its sister school, the College of Saint Benedict. Facebook/St. John's College
  • Three American colleges bear the name St. Thomas. Not too surprisingly, they are all Catholic. The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota calls itself the North Star State's largest independent college or university. Meanwhile, in Texas, the University of St. Thomas is Houston's only Catholic university. There's also St. Thomas University in Florida, which enrolls students from over 70 countries and pretty much every ethnic background. Photo - Facebook/University of St. Thomas - Houston
  • There are no less than three small American liberal arts schools named Westminster College. Slasher savant Wes Craven was once an English professor at the Presbyterian-affiliated one in Pennsylvania. The one in Missouri is where Winston Churchill delivered his hugely influential "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946. The Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah is the largest of the three identically named schools. (For the record, there's also Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.). Photo - Creative Commons/Rangermike
  • Small Cornell College in Iowa was founded in 1853, a dozen years before Cornell University, the much larger upstart in Ithaca, got its start. The schools' two namesakes -- well-heeled merchant William W. Cornell and Western Union founder Ezra Cornell -- were distant cousins. Both campuses are set on picturesque hills. Cornell University participates in the Ivy League athletic conference; Cornell College recently rejoined the Midwest Conference. Photo - Facebook/Cornell College