TCC Naming

Section: I. CADM-150
Approved By: Dr. Pamela Transue, 8/2/11
Last Review: 7/28/11
Last Revision: 7/28/11
Prior Revisions: 
Initial Adoption: 6/20/05


Naming Tributes

Two circumstances generally give rise to a naming tribute:

  1. Naming in Recognition of Distinguished Service may honor a gift of time or talent that has had a significant positive impact on the College over an extended period of years.  Such honor will typically be recommended no less than three years following the end of the individual’s service to the College, at the discretion of the Board.  The President of the College, or a committee appointed by the President, is charged with determining whether the person proposed is worthy of the honor, as well as the degree of internal and external support for the proposed naming, prior to submitting to the Board of Trustees for approval.
  2. A gift of monetary value appropriate to the facility, program or fund being named.  Such gifts must comprise 7% - 25% the cost. Cost may be broadly defined such as construction, with or without fees, operations, maintenance, equipment, furnishings, etc. Contribution levels will be determined based on size, location, and function.

Giving levels for the naming of physical property should be established through consultation among the College Trustees, Foundation Directors, and President.  Some general guidelines include:

  1. New construction, buildings or improvements may be named for a donor who has made a substantial monetary gift toward the cost of the project. 
  2. For existing buildings and facilities, dollar amounts will be established for a selected number of naming opportunities based on institutional priorities set by the President and the College Board of Trustees. 
  3. Giving levels may be established with either fixed or minimum dollar amounts for sponsorship of other physical property on campus.  Such property may include but is not limited to pavers, benches, planters, fountains, gardens, equipment, musical instruments, meeting rooms, lounges, theaters, artwork, recreational facilities, and outdoor plazas.  Amounts for these naming opportunities will be set and adjusted periodically by the President in consultation with the Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Foundation.

Considerations that shall be taken into account in the contract include, but are not limited to:

  1. Life expectancy of building, equipment, rooms, etc.
    The function of structures on any College campus is fluid, depending on many factors.  If the named structure has reached its life expectancy, as defined in the terms of the gift-naming contract, the name will generally not be transferred.  At the time of replacement, the original donor will have first right of refusal to provide a new gift to continue the naming opportunity.  When the structure has been named for an endowed gift, the preferences of the donor, the donor corporation or its successor or the donor family will be solicited.
  2. Signage
    In approving the plan for naming of a facility, the Foundation’s Executive Committee in  conjunction with the Department of Facilities, will follow campus-wide standards for signage and landscape design.   The text shall be tasteful, discrete, and consistent with other campus signage.  These standards will apply to both interior and exterior areas of the College’s property.
  3. Name Withdrawal
    Any legal impropriety on the part of the donor will make the gift and name subject to reconsideration. The College President and/or College Board reserves the right to withdraw the privilege of name association with Tacoma Community College should future particular acts and circumstances warrant.
  4. Possible name change of the corporate or single donor
  5. Possible name change of marital donors, in the case of divorce or separation
  6. Termination of named program because it no longer meets College needs.

The following criteria shall be considered in the selection of names:

  • Significant financial contribution to the College and/or Foundation by an individual, business, and/or organization.
  • Significant contribution of service to the growth and development of the College and its service area. Individuals and organizations selected on the basis of service contributions are those who are widely viewed as deserving the recognition.
  • The College President, upon advice and consent from the College Board of Trustees and/or the Foundation Board of Directors, may require that a background check be performed on a donor (living or deceased) or designee based upon particular facts and circumstances.  If a background check is determined to be necessary, the donor (donor’s executor) or designee shall be required to sign an authorization allowing the background check.

In the consideration of names for buildings and facilities, it is assumed that distinguished community leaders, graduates, former students, faculty, staff or administrators shall be considered when appropriate and that community or geographic names may be used when deemed appropriate.

Endowments for Programs and Scholarships

Endowed funds established for a variety of purposes may also bear the donor’s or designee’s name.  These funds are generally coordinated by the Foundation in accordance with the Investment and Gift Acceptance policies.  Endowment minimums are established by the Foundation and are regularly reviewed for currency and appropriateness.

Rights and Responsibilities

The College President, Vice President for Institutional Advancement/Foundation Executive Director in consultation with the donor, Foundation directors, or other appropriate parties shall make decisions related to naming, memorial and tribute gifts, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Public announcements:  the right to determine content, timing, location and frequency of any announcements associated with the gift.
  2. Physical markers:  the right to approve the color, design, and size of any physical marker that provides information about the designee or donor and/or the nature of the gift or honor.
  3. Care and maintenance:  the right and responsibility to determine and carry out the exact nature of any ongoing care and maintenance of any memorial or tribute gifts or their physical markers.

General Provisions

  1. No naming will be approved or (once approved) continued that will call into serious question the public respect of the College. Naming recognition shall enhance the reputation and prestige of the College and the donor.  The credentials, character and reputation of each individual, organization or corporation for whom the naming of a building is being considered shall be carefully scrutinized and evaluated.  Nominations submitted for consideration must be accompanied by appropriate documentation.
  2. Where a building or part of a building has been named, the College will continue to use the name so long as the building, part or facility remains in use and serves its original function, unless otherwise stipulated at the time of gift acceptance.  When the use of a building, room, or facility is changed such that it must be demolished, substantially renovated, rebuilt due to forces of nature, the College may retain the use of the name or name another comparable room, facility or landscape features.
  3. It is the responsibility of individuals negotiating on behalf of the College to advise potential benefactors that their gift may be recognized by naming, subject to approvals and decisions being consistent with this policy.
  4. Commitments made prior to adoption of this policy shall be honored.
  5. Generally, the donation may be made in cash or a legally binding pledge and shall be paid within five years of the naming of the facility unless other written arrangements are made.  A portion of the gift may be in the form of an irrevocable trust or contractual bequest. 
  6. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to remove names from facilities, programs, or landscape areas when the gift remains unpaid beyond the five year limit or the agreed upon date.  Should this occur, the board may seek a naming opportunity that would be proportionate to the value of the gift received.

In the absence of a formal name approved by the Trustees, building functions shall serve as the official name.

In making requests, the following information is to be submitted according to the following format:

  1. Institution Name
  2. A detailed request, citing the facility or landscape area in question, the proposed name, the existing name, if any, etc.; and
  3. Justification, including relevant information as the nature and duration of the individual’s affiliation with College.  If naming is a stipulation of the gift, the request must explain the proposed arrangement.  If the gift represents partial or total funding of the construction, remodeling for renovation, the following information must be included:
    1. A timetable for project implementation;
    2. Relationship of the project to the institution’s long-range plans;
    3. Source and status of capital budget funds needed in addition to the gift; and
    4. Operating budget implications and sources of funds.

Final Authority

The final authority for any naming, memorial or tribute decision rests with the President and the College Board of Trustees.  The guidelines set forth in this policy statement are not to be deemed all-inclusive.  The College President and/or the College Board of Trustees reserve the right to consider any and all factors regarding the privilege of name association with the program, fund, or physical aspect of Tacoma Community College as particular acts and circumstances warrant.

Be it further Resolved, the Board of Trustees adopts this policy as a guide in all instances involving formal recognition of distinguished service and financial support to Tacoma Community College (TCC) through the Tacoma Community College Foundation.


As the need for private donations increases, there is an opportunity for Tacoma Community College to facilitate gifts by naming College structures and programs in honor of persons who have provided significant service to the College or who have made major financial contributions. This will enhance the College’s ability to respond to the needs of TCC students and the community and to provide a level of excellence in programs and services that would otherwise not be possible. To that end, the College seeks to provide appropriate recognition to donors for their generosity.  Although such recognition may take many forms (thank you letters, press conferences, etc.), this policy seeks to establish guidelines for the naming of facilities and programs. This policy is intended only as a guide and allows for flexibility on a case-by-case basis.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

The policy applies to all faculty, staff and administrators, board members, donors, students, volunteers, outside advisors, or consultants who may be involved in any area relating to naming items at the College.


Council for Resource Development

Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation

Central Texas College Foundation

Cape Cod Community College Foundation

Board of Trustees Policy Manual – Chapter VIII