600-21: Naming of University Properties, Programs and Facilities

Questions? Contact Campus Administrative Policies


Ensures that all naming in recognition of an honoree is consistent with the University's role as a public trust.


The University of California has a long-standing tradition of naming University properties, academic and non-academic programs, and facilities in honor of persons or entities that have made important contributions to enable the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University. All naming in recognition of an honoree must be consistent with the University's role as a public trust. Accordingly, all such proposals shall be reviewed and approved in accordance with this policy, and with related University policies and guidelines.

It does not cover the naming, re-naming, or designation of academic departments or organized research units, which customarily follow the hierarchical line of approvals from the department chair, to the dean, to the Vice Chancellor — Academic Affairs, to the Chancellor, to the University of California President.


A. Authority

In 1996, The Regents delegated to the President full authority for naming all University properties, programs, and facilities. Chancellors were redelegated authority for the naming of streets and roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas and other minor properties, and single-campus programs or facilities. The following guidelines shall govern any naming decision.

Approval of the related proposal for naming is required prior to any commitments to a donor or a non-donor honoree. Each proposal shall be made in writing in accordance with these guidelines, and the record of the action taken shall be maintained in the permanent archives of the campus.

Each naming proposal shall be considered on its merits and not because a gift meets a particular predetermined goal. In this regard, full due attention shall be given to both the long and short-term appropriateness of a naming.

B. Documentation

After the Development office has determined that the proposal is in compliance with the University of California Systemwide Naming Policy and the Presidential Delegation of Authority to the Chancellors regarding Naming University Properties, Programs, and Facilities and also has conducted a financial review, the naming proposal must include documentation of approval from the following:

· Associate Vice Chancellor – University Development and Alumni Relations,

· Appropriate dean or Medical Center CEO (if applicable),

· Vice Chancellor – University Advancement and Planning.

The proposal shall then be submitted to the Chancellor's Committee on Art, Honors, and Recognition for review and recommendation to the Chancellor.

C. Naming

When the proposed naming of a facility would recognize an individual, Regents' policy requires that the complete name of the individual be used. The last name of the individual so honored may be used in referring informally to the facility and may be used on the name plaque affixed to the facility:

D. Renaming

A proposal to rename a facility or area, or to add a second name, shall adhere to the criteria outlined above. In addition, these principles shall be followed:

1. Any proposal to rename a facility or area or to add a second name to recognize a gift shall be reviewed by the General Counsel of the University. The review shall include any gift documents pertaining to the original gift and related naming, as well as the gift documents pertaining to the subsequent gift and proposed renaming.

2. When a facility that has been named to recognize a gift or an individual has reached the end of its useful life and will be replaced or substantially renovated, the replaced or renovated structure may be renamed in recognition of another gift.

3. When an area named to recognize a gift or in honor of an individual will be developed for another use, the new facilities may be named in recognition of new gifts.

4. Appropriate recognition of earlier donors and honorees shall be included in or adjacent to new and renovated facilities, as well as in redeveloped areas.

5. When a facility or area is proposed for renaming, campus or University representatives shall make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original donors or honorees and their immediate family members.

E. Changed circumstances

If the campus proposes to change the function of a named facility or area, it must document the review of related gift agreements to determine if the proposed use is consistent with the restrictions that may have been previously stipulated. If the proposal for change in use is inconsistent, campus counsel shall be consulted. If necessary, further consultation with the Office of General Counsel of the University shall be pursued.

Following the approval of a naming, should circumstances change substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise the public trust, the General Counsel of the University will consult with the California Attorney General regarding future action.

When a facility or area is named to recognize a donor or a non-donor honoree, that name generally will be effective for the useful life of the facility or the designated use of the area. If a facility must be replaced or substantially renovated, or the use of an area re-designated, it may be named for a new donor, subject to the specific terms and conditions set forth in any gift agreements related to the prior naming action.

F. Academic and non-academic programs

In any naming proposal of an academic or non-academic program to recognize a donor or a non-donor honoree, consideration should be given to ensure that any associated endowment will be sufficient to sustain the program, since the naming shall be in effect for the life of the program.

G. Naming involving a gift

1. Gift-related naming proposals must be coordinated with University Development.

2. Campus counsel or the General Counsel of the University, as appropriate, shall review draft language for a gift agreement that includes the proposed naming of a University property, academic and non-academic program, and/or facility in recognition of the gift.

a. No commitment for naming shall be made prior to approval of the proposed name.

b. In reviewing a request for approval of naming, consideration shall be given to:

i. the significance of the proposed gift as it relates to the realization and/or success of the project or to the enhancement of the project's usefulness to the University;

ii. the urgency of need for the project or for support funds for the project;

iii. the eminence, reputation, and integrity of the individual or entity whose name is proposed; and

iv. the relationship of the individual or entity to the University.

c. The gift shall constitute a significant portion of the total cost of the project to be named. The gift shall either: (1) fund the total cost of the project to be named; or (2) provide substantial funding for that portion of the total cost that would not have been available from another source (such as federal or state loans or appropriations, student fees, or bond issues).

d. To avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, additional due diligence should be taken before recommending the naming of a major program or area, building, open space, or roadway that involves the name of a corporation or a corporate foundation. The naming for an individual associated with a corporation should be handled as any naming for an individual.

e. Corporate names may be used to designate individual rooms or suites of rooms, as well as endowed chairs and professorships. Plaques in public spaces within buildings may recognize the contributions of corporations. The size, design, and wording of plaques and other signs that acknowledge corporate generosity and express University appreciation should be modest in size and exclude logos to avoid the appearance of advertising.

f. A naming conferred in recognition of a pledge is contingent on fulfillment of that pledge and shall be approved on that condition.

g. When a proposed naming for an individual is accompanied by a gift, and the individual to be honored is serving the University in an academic or administrative capacity, or is serving the community, state, or nation in an elected or appointed position, the naming may take effect upon approval.

H. Naming to honor an individual with no gift involved

1. Non-gift related naming proposals must be coordinated with Campus Planning.

2. Approval is required prior to commitment for naming.

3. A proposed honoree shall have achieved distinction in one or more of the following ways:

a. While serving the University in an academic capacity, the individual has demonstrated high scholarly distinction and has earned a national or international reputation;

b. While serving the University in an important administrative capacity, the individual has rendered distinguished service which warrants recognition of the individual's exceptional contributions to the welfare of the University;

c. The individual has contributed in truly exceptional ways to the welfare of the institution or achieved such unique distinction as to warrant recognition.

4. When an individual has served the University in an academic or important administrative capacity, or has served the community, state, or nation in an elected or appointed position, a proposal may be made for naming in honor of the individual on the earlier of the following:

a. two years after retirement or other separation from the University or from elected or appointed office; or

b. two years after the person's death, if the person had not yet retired or otherwise separated from the University.

Note: A naming in honor of an individual who has retired from the University but has been recalled to full or part time employment may be made based on the earlier of the two above criteria, notwithstanding the recall status.


The Chancellor has designated the Associate Vice Chancellor – Development to coordinate all proposals for naming, maintain records on gift documentation and the related consultation process, and assure consistency in donor and public communications related to each gift and its restricted use.

Contact Office of Origin (see above) with any questions.