POL - 20.00.2 Naming of Facilities and Academic Programs Policy

Board of Trustees
Responsible Office:
Institutional Advancement
Division of Institutional Advancement, 919-530-6151, [email protected]
Approved: November, 2004; Revised Effective Date: September 23, 2015; Revised: April, 2022
Related Links:
  • NCCU Policy, UNC Policy, NC General Statute, etc. 


1.  Purpose

This policy sets forth the naming of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) facilities and programs. It is the practice of NCCU to recognize donors and friends of the University through the naming of facilities and programs. Naming opportunities provide an opportunity to honor donors who are enthusiastic about the University’s mission and importance to the region and nation, as well as those who wish to leave a legacy to the University. Naming opportunities also provide the opportunity to recognize key individuals or entities that have made significant contributions to the University. The act of naming a facility or program for a person, family, or organization is a conferral by the University of a high and distinguished honor. It is intended to be a permanent act and is to be taken carefully and with concern for how that action will be viewed in retrospect. 

2.  Definitions

2.1  The terms “Facility” and “Facilities” refer to permanent features of the campus that are owned, operated, and controlled by NCCU. These include new or existing buildings and their interior spaces such as wings, halls, laboratories, auditoria, classrooms and gymnasia, exterior spaces such as tennis courts, stadia, streets, tracks, fields, and other landscape features and amenities.

2.2  The terms “Program” and "Programs" broadly refer to academic colleges, schools, departments, libraries, centers, institutes, and other units associated with University operations.

2.3  The terms “Donor” and “Donors” refer to an individual, corporation, foundation, or organization who has made extraordinary and enduring financial and/or service contributions to the University for the development of or support for a new or existing NCCU program, position, or new or existing facilities.

2.4  The terms “Honoree” and “Honorees” refer to the named individual, corporation, foundation, or organization and should be of outstanding credentials, reputation, character, and distinction.

3.   Review

The naming policy shall be reviewed periodically by the NCCU Division of Institutional Advancement, with all recommended changes requiring approval by the Chancellor and the NCCU Board of Trustees (BOT).

4.   Responsibilities

4.1   Board of Trustees

4.1.1   Authority for naming a facility or program shall be the responsibility of the BOT, acting after receiving a recommendation from the Chancellor. Donors and honorees should be informed throughout the naming discussions that final naming opportunities for all facilities and programs require the approval of the BOT.

4.2   Chancellor

4.2.1   The Chancellor must approve any naming prior to submittal to the BOT.

4.2.2   The Chancellor will determine the following:  Whether the naming is consistent with the interests of the University;  Whether the honor is warranted by the contribution; and  Whether there is equity among the naming opportunities established for similar contributions;  The Chancellor may recommend exceptions to any of the naming policies subject to the approval of the BOT.

4.3   Advancement and External Affairs Committee

4.3.1   The Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement shall be notified when it appears that a significant financial contribution to the University or to the North Carolina Central University Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) will result in a request to name a facility or program. The Vice Chancellor will recommend and/or discuss the potential naming with the Chancellor, who may choose to consult with the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance and/or convene the Advancement and External Affairs Committee (The Committee) to advise on namings.

5.   Naming Requirements

5.1   University facilities or programs may be named for donors who have made significant financial contributions to the University. In these cases, there is no requirement that the donor be deceased or separated from the University or public service. A facility or program also may be named in honor of exemplary service rendered to the University, state or nation by members of the University community to include administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, the Board of Trustees, or former public servants. Great care must be exercised in bestowing the honor for exemplary service as the University forfeits the potential for considerable financial support with these nominations. Consideration for naming based on exemplary service shall be determined by the Committee but not undertaken until (1) the prospective honoree has been deceased for not less than one year or (2) the prospective honoree retired, resigned or otherwise left the University or public service not less than one year prior to consideration and (3) a formal nomination has been made by the appropriate body (i.e., Faculty Planning Council, Staff Senate, NCCU Alumni Association, etc.)

5.2   Naming Facilities

5.2.1   Corporations, foundations and organizations are eligible prospective honorees for the naming of facilities. Additional due diligence must be taken to avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All signage must conform to University guidelines and may not include the organization's logo or other branding components. Naming opportunities may include (1) new facilities that are to be constructed or acquired; (2) existing facilities that are undergoing major or minor renovations; and (3) existing facilities not undergoing renovations.

5.2.2   A gift for naming a facility should equal at least one-third of the total project cost or the portion of the total project cost that must be raised from private philanthropy. Donors also may provide at least one-third of the total replacement cost of an existing facility not scheduled for renovation. In these cases, an endowment for the facility will be established with at least 75 percent of the value of the gift.

5.2.3  Such an endowment would be managed by the Foundation. At such time as the University moves forward with the construction or renovation of the facility, the funds will be transferred to the University.

5.2.4   When a facility to be named is closely related to a school or department, representative members of its faculty, staff and students shall be consulted prior to submittal of a naming recommendation to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.

5.3  Naming Programs

5.3.1   A gift for naming a program should reflect the size, national ranking or visibility of the program, as well as the gift values accepted for naming comparable programs in the discipline or at the University; and

5.3.2  A gift for naming a program should be substantial and significant, even transformative in nature, enabling the unit to improve its competitiveness or distinction, or establish a new program within its existing framework. The program's faculty, staff and/or students may be consulted prior to submittal of a naming recommendation to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees. The Foundation will manage these funds.

6.   Status of Contribution at the Time of Naming

6.1   When a facility or program is to be named in consideration of a financial contribution, the University or Foundation shall have received the gift, or its future receipt shall be assured through the appropriate signed gift agreement, before a naming action shall be taken.

6.2   Pledges shall be paid over a multi-year period of time (not to exceed five years). To further the naming action, at least 50 percent of the pledged amount must be received.  If the pledge is to name a new facility or program with cash-flow considerations, the timing of the pledge payments should be such that sufficient current dollars are available to cover project costs.

6.3   Irrevocable planned gifts may be used for the naming of facilities and programs if current cash flow considerations are not an issue. Irrevocable planned gifts will be credited at their present value, and particular emphasis will be given to the predictability of the long-term value of the irrevocable deferred gift.

6.4   Combinations of revocable planned gifts and cash may occasionally qualify for current naming opportunities under the right circumstances and given the specifics of a particular gift. Particular emphasis will be given to any cash flow requirements, the predictability of the long-term value of the revocable deferred gift component, and the predictability of its receipt.

7.   Duration and Modification of the Naming

7.1.1   The honoree’s name shall remain as long as the facility is in use or the program remains active for the same purpose. Upon demolition, replacement, substantial renovation, or change of the purpose of a named facility or the ending of a program, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded.

7.1.2   The appropriate University representative will make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original donors or honorees or their surviving family members when the naming period is deemed to have concluded.

7.1.3   The University may, but is not required to, provide for the appropriate perpetuation of the previous name. Perpetuation of the original name in an equivalent naming is not required. Appropriate perpetuation of a previous name may include, for instance, a plaque in or adjacent to a new and renovated facility.

7.1.4   In cases in which a facility is named for a corporation, foundation and organization and a name change occurs, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded.

7.2   When the donor's naming period has concluded, the facility or program may be renamed in recognition of a new significant financial contribution subject to these guidelines and to any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement.

7.3   In exceptional circumstances, additional names may be added to a facility or program in recognition of an additional gift even if the prior donor's or naming period has not concluded, subject to BOT approval and any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement. Hyphenation is one method for jointly naming a facility or program.

7.4   Term Naming

7.4.1  In appropriate instances, most often involving a corporate donor, a naming may be granted for a pre-determined fixed term, usually three-to-five years. At the end of the term, the name of the facility or program shall expire but may be renewed with the same or a new name. The gift agreement should clearly specify the period of time for which the facility or program will be named.

7.5  Name Changes

7.5.1  If a donor requests a change to the name of a facility or program (e.g., due to divorce or corporate merger), the University will consider the request. If approved, all replacement signage and other related costs shall be at the donor’s expense.

7.6   Revocation of Naming Approval

7.6.1  In certain circumstances, the University reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no financial responsibility for returning any received contributions to the benefactor. These actions may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming. Circumstances that may give rise to such an action include the following:  If the donor's or honoree's reputation changes substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise public trust, dishonor the University's standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the University, the naming may be revoked. However, caution must be taken when, with the passage of time, the standards and achievements deemed to justify a naming action may change and observers of a later age may deem those who conferred a naming honor at an earlier age to have erred. Namings should not be altered simply because later observers would have made different judgments.  If the donor fails to maintain payments on a pledge upon which the naming was bestowed, the naming may be revoked.  If a planned gift upon which the naming was bestowed does not result in the value agreed upon, the naming may be revoked.

7.6.2  Any proposal to rename a facility or program or add a second name in recognition of a gift shall be reviewed by the Committee.

8.  Signage

8.1  To ensure conformity, all signage for naming opportunities must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance or their designees.