Principles for Naming

The University has a long-standing tradition of naming University properties, academic and non-academic programs as well as facilities to honor persons or entities that have made important contributions to enable the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University.  All naming must be consistent with the University's role as a public trust. Accordingly, all naming proposals will be reviewed and approved in accordance with the University of California's Policy on Naming University Properties, Academic and Non-Academic Programs and Facilities ("UC Naming Policy"), with this UC Berkeley Principles for Naming, and with related University policies.

Principles for Naming of Facilities

  1. Review by Space Assignments and Capital Improvements Committee: Naming a University property, program or facility is a significant honor.  To ensure compliance with this principle and the guidelines set forth in the UC Naming Policy as well as to ensure broad consultation from a wide campus perspective, the Space Assignments and Capital Improvements Committee ("SACI") will review all names proposed for properties, academic and non-academic programs as well as facilities, not involving a gift, and will recommend action to the Chancellor.  

    With regard to naming un-named buildings or a recently un-named building, the Vice Provost for Academic Planning may elect to convene a sub-committee of SACI to solicit honorific naming proposals from the campus community. The subcommittee will review all proposals, contemplate, and recommend a prioritized list of honorific names to SACI. SACI will review the priortitized list and submit a final recommendation to the Chancellor. The Chancellor is responsible for the final decision, and must request and receive approval from the UC President before implementing the decision. Please visit this page for a full explanation of the process

  2. Naming in Honor of Individuals, No Gift Involved: The campus may name properties, including public spaces and roadways, programs and facilities to honor members of the University's academic community who have made extraordinary contributions to teaching and research; members of the University's administration who have rendered distinguished and exceptional service to the University community; or individuals who have contributed in truly exceptional ways to the welfare of the University or society or have achieved such unique distinction as to warrant such recognition. The University will use the same criteria for assessing the naming opportunity as outlined in the UC Naming Policy. There should be an appropriate relationship between the use of the property, facility or program and the person for whom it is named, and, where the naming is for an individual who has served in an academic or administrative capacity for the University or in an elected or appointed government position, the proposal may be made no earlier than two years after the individual's retirement or separation from such position or two years after the individual's death if the individual had not yet retired or separated.

  3. Naming to Recognize a Gift: Properties, facilities and programs may also be named for a donor or an individual proposed by a donor when the donor's contribution makes possible significant additions and changes to University facilities or operations. The University will use the same criteria for assessing the naming opportunity as outlined in the UC Naming Policy.  University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), in coordination with Campus counsel and a campus advisory committee, shall create and review draft language for gift agreements that includes a proposed naming of a University property, academic and non-academic program, and/or facility in recognition of the gift.  UDAR will submit these naming recommendations to the Chancellor for review and approval.

  4. Naming to Recognize a Gift by an Entity: While the University has a preference for recognizing individuals through naming opportunities, corporate naming may also be made but should be reviewed with additional care.  UDAR, in coordination with Campus counsel and an advisory committee, shall create and review draft language of any naming involving a gift by an entity.  To avoid the appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, the University will conduct the additional due diligence set forth in Attachment I. The campus shall consider and review possible corporate gift and sponsorship opportunities for naming on a case-by-case basis. The size, design, and wording of plaques or other signs acknowledging corporate generosity should avoid creating any appearance of advertising and be appropriately tailored to the nature of the facilities or properties being considered. Naming to honor an individual associated with a corporate gift should be consistent with the principles for honoring an individual.

  5. Significance of Gift: When the campus names a new facility or space to recognize a gift, the amount of the gift should represent a significant percentage of the total cost of the facility or space.

  6. Duration of Naming: With respect to recognizing a donor or a non-donor honoree, names of facilities, programs or public spaces, the campus' traditional practice is to maintain the naming for the useful life of such facility, program or public space. When a change in the use of a named facility occurs because a program moves or space is reassigned or demolished, some form of continuing recognition should be considered, such as an appropriately sized plaque or other form of recognition. In exceptional cases, a name to another facility, especially when the name reflects an enduring part of the University's history. The review process set forth in Paragraph One will govern all naming changes or transfers.

  7. Naming in connection with a business contract: UDAR, in coordination with Campus counsel, shall create and review draft language of any naming involving a business contract.    When the campus recognizes a corporate naming in connection with a sponsorship opportunity or other business contract, the naming will typically be for a defined length of time and be associated with a particular revenue opportunity. The University has the authority to terminate the naming in the event the entity breaches its obligations. When the commercial affiliation terminates, the naming will also terminate. As is the case with corporate naming to recognize gifts, the campus should exercise additional due diligence prior to such a naming, consistent with the principles described in Attachment I below. However, the due-diligence review and standards for corporate naming associated with sponsorships or other commercial transactions should take into account that the transactions are typically short term and enable the University to terminate the relationship.

Attachment 1

Procedures for Due Diligence for Corporate Naming Opportunities

  1. Depending on the nature of the naming opportunity (e.g. recognizing a gift or naming in association with business contract), the campus division, college and/or departments and campus affiliated units considering a corporate naming request will submit a detailed proposal to University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR).  UDAR will consult with appropriate campus units including, but not limited to Legal Affairs, Administration, Finance, Vice Provost for Academic Planning, as well as the relevant college/department, stakeholder faculty and student groups. Administration and Finance will assess the financials of a sponsoring corporation in a naming proposal associated with a business contract. UDAR will assess the corporate history, business practices, reputation, long-term trajectory and any other factor appropriate to considering a long-term naming associated with recognizing a gift.

  2. After reviewing the corporate naming proposal and related details, UDAR shall submit the naming proposal to the Chancellor for review and approval.  The campus may subject reviewers to confidentiality obligations, especially where corporate financial or other proprietary information is submitted to support the naming request.

Related Links

  • For inquiries about Philanthropic Naming, please contact University Development and Alumni Relations at