Naming Policy for Facilities, Buildings, Spaces, Programs and other Properties and Functions

Date Approved:5-1-1986
Last Revision:5-5-2017
Last Reviewed:5-5-2017
Approved By:Board of Trustees
Oversight Unit:PRESIDENT, OFFICE OF THE
This policy has a related procedure. Click to view the procedure below.
Purpose

Naming of buildings, facilities, spaces, program, and other properties and functions on campus.

Policy

Naming buildings, facilities, spaces, centers, institutes, programs and other properties and functions of Northern Michigan University has become increasingly significant due to the growing importance of private giving and the value of naming gifts for institutional advancement. For this reason, and because of the longevity of named buildings, facilities, spaces, programs and functions, and the need to maintain the integrity of NMU’s values and public image, a relatively predictable, published process for considering such gifts is advantageous. At the same time, each naming opportunity and gift has a different context, and the University must remain flexible enough to accommodate special funding opportunities. Therefore, though it is expected that these naming guidelines will serve as generally used standards for naming opportunities, they are not intended as a set of rigid policies that permits no occasional, well-justified exception.

Principal responsibility for soliciting and arranging for naming opportunities resides with the President of Northern Michigan University and the NMU Foundation chief executive officer. They will adhere to the funding minimums defined in this set of guidelines in their preliminary negotiations, but they are also granted the discretion, in consultation with each other and subject to final NMU Board of Trustees’ approval, to consider other funding arrangements that will best serve the wishes of the donor and the interests of the University. Gifts to name facilities, property, endowments, awards and other programs and functions established must be irrevocable and meet the minimum present day dollar value requirements set by the NMU Board of Trustees. Generally, naming opportunities will not be recognized through a planned or deferred gift until the resources are accessible.

The NMU Board of Trustees is the final authority for the naming of buildings, facilities, spaces, programs and other properties and functions of Northern Michigan University.

 

Naming Honors

When a proposal is made to name a building, facility, space, program or function at Northern after an individual, that individual should be a person whose life, work or activities exemplify values for which Northern Michigan stands. The following criteria are suggested:

  • Buildings, facilities, spaces, programs, properties and functions may be named in honor of extraordinary faculty, staff or alumni who: a) have been deceased for two years or longer, b) over a long and illustrious career, exemplified values for which Northern Michigan stands, and c) brought great credit to the University through major scholarly, professional or public service contributions that have stood the test of time. It should be noted that faculty, staff and alumni, living or deceased, who are worthy of recognition for exceptional University service, but who are not qualified donors or their designees (as noted below), are eligible for commemoration in a variety of significant ways other than having buildings or facilities named in their honor.
  • Buildings, facilities, spaces, programs, functions and properties may be named in honor of living persons, if such persons are: a) major donors who exemplify values for which Northern Michigan University stands and who satisfy conditions for major donors as outlined in these guidelines, or b) persons who exemplify values for which Northern Michigan University stands and who are designated by a major donor who satisfies conditions for major donors as outlined in these guidelines.
  • Buildings, facilities, spaces, programs, functions and properties may be named in honor of living persons, if such persons are individuals who have served the community, state or nation in an elected or appointed position once the person have been out of the elected or appointed position for five years.
  • In the case of donations for buildings, facilities, spaces, programs, properties and functions, the items designated with the name of a donor or designee shall be consistent with the donor’s wishes and commensurate with the magnitude of the gift. Except in unusual circumstances, it is expected that naming a building, facility, space, program or property for a donor or designee will not be considered unless the gift covers:
     
    • In the case of a new building or facility, approximately 50% of the private support portion of the costs of the new building or facility. Naming gifts for new buildings or facilities that are substantially State financed will be handled on a case-by-case basis;
    • In the case of an existing building or facility, approximately 25% of the building’s or facility’s replacement costs, as determined by the University;
    • In the case of an addition to, or a substantial renovation of, an existing building or facility, approximately 50% of the cost of the addition or renovation.

 

Because a naming forges a permanent link in the public mind between the University and designated name, the University must exercise discretion and perform due diligence based upon all the facts and circumstances associated with a proposed gift. Care should be taken that the naming is appropriate and desirable whether the proposed name is the name of an individual donor or is a corporate name or other descriptive words.

 

Definitions

University Properties, Facilities and Spaces – includes, but is not limited to,  buildings, rooms, interior spaces and architecture, major objects (such as artwork, trees, benches and other furniture, bleachers, bike racks, fountains, Smart Boards for classrooms, musical instruments, performance risers, sound systems and other items), streets, parking structures and lots, pathways, courts, athletic fields, parks, gardens, bodies of water, beaches, forests, open spaces and unimproved land.

Academic and Non-academic Programs – includes, but is  not limited to, colleges, divisions, departments, schools, institutes, centers, positions, ongoing programs and projects, and other units and ongoing activities associated with university functions.