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The front page of a Drupal site is actually a special object in Drupal. It has the ability to be dynamic. In other words, it can be set up to recognize any existing node, no matter what the URL path, as the front page. When this occurs, the site's root URL is displayed instead of the full path used for the node.
For example, the URL "http://oregonstate.edu/dept/collegename/home", if set as the front page, would display as "http://oregonstate.edu/dept/collegename".
Under normal circumstances the initial configuration should not have to be changed. If a need arises to do this, though, a site's administrator can perform this task.
Before changing this setting, ensure that a node is created with the desired URL path, otherwise a visitor to your site will receive a Page Not Found error when trying to visit your site's front page.