Finding Waldo can’t be more difficult than locating these colleges

When I peruse football scores in The A-T, a number of things jump out at me. I like to look for “odd” scores. Who scored the most points, what was the biggest margin of victory, what was the fewest points scored by a winner and the most points by a losing team.

I search the scores of high school games and college games for these oddities. But the most fun I have is reading the name of some small college that I’ve never heard of and wondering where that college is located.

If this is something you also do, then you are in luck. I’m going to give you a quiz I will list 10 small colleges or universities and 10 states that serve as their home. All you have to do is match them. Then, I will give you some information on each school – nicknames, conference, famous alumni — all for free! Ready? Here we go.

LaVerne — Thiel — Brevard — Loras — Lewis and Clark — Finlandia — Husson — Hamline — Ferrum — Millsaps.

Michigan — Iowa — Oregon — Minnesota — Virginia — Pennsylvania — North Carolina — Mississippi — California — Maine.

I will give you a few minutes to take the quiz. OK, you will have to take my word for it that I stopped typing for several minutes. Here are your answers and all that additional fascinating information.

La Verne University is located in the city of the same name in the state of California. The Leopards play in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. One of their most famous alumni is Dan Quisenberry, the late underhand relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals.

If you are not that familiar with “Quiz” then perhaps a school in La Verne’s same conference might have a more famous graduate. League foe Whittier was the college from which a guy named Richard Nixon secured a diploma!

Thiel College is located in Greenville, Pennsylvania. The Tomcats play in the President’s Athletic Conference and this is a school I am familiar with. Hiram joined the President’s Conference while I was in college and I have played sports against Thiel.

One of its most famed alumni got my attention. Fred Rogers of TV fame was a Tomcat. Can you say it’s a beautiful day in the neighbor? I knew you could.

In 2017 Thiel added Equestrian Studies as a minor. Obviously it is not horsing around!

Brevard College is another school located in the town of the same name in North Carolina. The Tornados play in the USA South Athletic Conference and has a three time national champion in its sports department.

The mountain biking team won those coveted titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Hey, if colleges can offer scholarships for bass fishing, then mountain biking seems logical to me!

Loras College can be found in Dubuque, Iowa. The Duhawks (seriously) play in the American Rivers Conference and yes, I do want to know what rivers are represented by schools in this conference.

Famous alumni include sportscaster Greg Gumbel and late actor Don Ameche.

I’m thinking that you decided that Lewis and Clark College would be found out west, and that is correct.Portland, Oregon is home to the (what else) Pioneers. They are members of the Northwest Conference.

The name of one Monica Lewinsky was listed as a “notable” alumnus. If you are thinking that maybe there is a better choice… so was I!

Finlandia University is in Hancock, Michigan and its name makes sense when you study its history. In the 1880s, large numbers of Finns immigrated to Hancock to work in the copper and lumber industries. A decade later, a college was founded in part to preserve Finnish culture.

The Lions play in the American Collegiate Athletic Association for all sports except football and hockey. A famed alumnus is one Sanna Kannasto. Having never heard of her, I checked and she was known as one of the earliest labor activists and feminists.

Husson University is located in Bangor, Maine. The Eagles play in the North Atlantic Conference and five of its listed seven noted alumni became state legislators. The sixth, Paul LePage, was the 74th governor of the Pine Tree State.

The other one was a country music song writer named James Flynn!

Saint Paul, Minnesota is the home for Hamline University and the Pipers belong to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Hamline is known as the “birthplace of intercollegiate basketball” holding the first recorded game between two colleges. The game took place in 1895 in the basement of the science building using “peach basket” rules. Alas, Hamline fell to the Minnesota State School of Agriculture by a score of 9-3!

Vern Mikkelsen, naturally, was at the top of the distinguished alumni list, as he was one of the first power forwards in the NBA playing in the 1950’s.

Ferrum College can be found in Ferrum, Virginia. The Panthers compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and have a couple of successful alumni.

Do you remember Billy Wagner and Chris Warren? Wagner was a closer for the Houston Astros and Warren was an all-pro running back with the Seattle Seahawks.

If you want to attend a home football game for the Millsaps College Majors, you’ll have to travel to Jackson, Mississippi. The Southern Athletic Association School had a familiar face on its list of famed grads. In my opinion, the claim is a bit of a stretch, but I loved the guy they list.

When Johnny Carson enlisted in the Navy, he attended officer training at Millsaps. Since he completed that training, he is claimed as a famous graduate. I can’t blame them for doing so and there is no doubt he is indeed famous!

Well, there you have it. I’m guessing that when you woke up this morning you weren’t expecting to broaden your horizons in this way. You have my permission to quiz unsuspecting people on their knowledge of Ferrum, Finlandia, La Verne or even Shirley for that matter!

Al Stephenson is a columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.

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