To answer your question...

Good question. The name of the school is Montessori University, which can be misleading. It is named "university" because it is across the street from the university and located in the faculty housing neighborhood. But, the students who go there are not necessarily children of the faculty (although many are); anyone in the community can apply to attend the school. My daughter starts kindergarten this fall so she doesn't attend that school, but I know people through my daughter's preschool whose older children do. Also, I enroll my daughter in city activities that has allowed me to get to know parents outside of the "university community." The community outside of the university is very conservative and upper middle-class. Much different than the university community and the nearby affluent beach communities. This is a really strange area that we live in. Orange County is very conservative; however, there are pockets that are very liberal.

The parents whose children's names I listed above are affluent (upper middle class) and educated (advanced degrees) but not necessarily in academia. I know the Evan and Avery families are associated with the university but I don't know which dept. Most of our close friends are in history and English with a few exceptions. Among them we know a Frederick, Fiona, Olivia, Anne, Samuel, Noah, Makaylah (sp), and Thomas. Our children's names our Alexandra and Henry (no gender bending here)! But, I think the people we know are very nerdy and have attachments to names that have literary and historical significance. I wonder if people in liberal arts used these types of names before they became trendy. I think names like Emily (Dickinson), Olivia (Shakespeare), Emma, Elizabeth, Jane (Austen), and so on would always have been a popular choice among people who study literature.


May 16, 2013 6:16 PM

On a side note, my husband has an uncle who teaches theatre at a university in Charlotte (near you?) and has complained that it is very conservative. Of course, he went to school in Boston and taught there for years so comparatively... I think Orange County is for the most part conservative too. 

Also, I would think that the theatre, art, and dance faculty would be the most adventurous namers!  The Makaylah I listed above has one parent in the theatre department at a university and another parent who is an actor/playwright.    

May 18, 2013 8:35 AM

That's really interesting. NC is an extremely conservative state, and is getting both more conservative and more liberal by the day. Sometimes it feels a bit volatile! I think that recent developments in the state legislature have both conservatives and liberals running from the center toward their respective camps. I am curious to see if this has an effect on naming trends but don't have the time right now to dig through the last few years of state data. I'm in the Triangle region, which is maybe a bit more heterogeneous than Charlotte.

I suspect you're right about the fine arts faculty being the most adventurous namers and will have to do some digging among the folks I know to find out what their kids are named. My sister and brother-in-law are both mathematicians, so I can do some digging in that field as well.