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Naming of Facilities and Programs

  1. Introduction and Overview
    1. Introduction
    2. Overview
  2. Keene State College Naming Policy
    1. Honorific Naming
    2. Philanthropic Naming
    3. Academic or College Program Naming
    4. Process for Changing or Eliminating Named Facilities or Programs
    5. Potential Donors for Whom Naming Opportunities May Not be Considered
    6. De-naming / Renaming of Facilities
    7. Time-Limited Sponsorship Opportunities
    8. Naming of Benches, Fountains, Flag Poles and Similar Items
    9. Arboretum Naming Opportunities

Introduction and Overview


Facilities and programs at Keene State College (the “College” or “KSC”) may be named for individuals or other entities, based on a number of criteria as outlined in this policy. The primary motivating factor for naming a facility or program will be to encourage private philanthropic support, a critical element in the College’s ability to achieve its academic goals. Only under unique circumstances should facilities and properties be named without a gift.

The scope of this document is to outline the process and policies for those naming opportunities under the control of Keene State College, and to reflect the process through which the College will recommend a naming opportunity to the Board of Trustees. It neither governs nor reflects the policies or decision process of the University System of New Hampshire (“USNH”) Board of Trustees. A related policy, the Keene State College Art Acceptance Policy, deals separately with gifts or loans of artwork.

Final determination of what facilities or programs will be named rests with either the Board of Trustees or the President of KSC, depending on the level of naming being considered. For purposes of this document, “Facilities” shall be defined to include buildings, portions of buildings, physical areas that may be used for a specific program, landscaping or other portions of the physical plant and grounds of the College. “Programs” shall include academic programs, including groupings of academic programs such as departments, centers or schools, scholarships, fellowships, academic chairs, non-academic programs (such as athletics), and any other function of the College that transcends any particular physical space.

Within the categories as defined above, the decision as to the naming of College-owned buildings or schools rests solely with the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire (the “Trustees”), who will make their decision after consulting with the President of the College. No commitment for naming of buildings or schools may be made prior to Trustee approval of the proposed name. Naming for other facilities or programs does not require Trustee approval. No commitment for naming any facilities or programs may be made prior to Presidential approval of the proposed name.

At all times, the President of Keene State College, in consultation with the Gift Acceptance Committee (comprised of the College Cabinet and the Director of Development) and the Development department, shall follow defined, consistent and accountable processes in the naming of facilities or programs under her/his purview, and will ensure that naming opportunities are compatible with the mission and values of the College. All proposals related to naming of facilities or programs should be held in confidence during the review and approval process; no public communication will take place until the President or the Board of Trustees has formally approved the proposal.

It must be understood that the College retains the right to change or eliminate any facility or program at any time, regardless of whether that facility or program carries a name. While the College always seeks to respect those honored through the naming of a facility or program and will not make changes to named facilities or programs without much consideration, the mission and values of the College remain paramount. If the Trustees and/or administration of the College deem it necessary to change or eliminate a facility or program in order to carry out its mission, it has the right to do so without the involvement of those for whom these facilities or programs have been named.

The College’s Advancement Division will be responsible for maintaining a record of named programs, rooms, buildings, grounds and other spaces in addition to endowed funds.


Facilities and programs at Keene State College may be named for individuals, corporations, organizations or other entities, based on two broad sets of criteria: first, to honor those who have made substantial monetary contributions to the College, and second, to honor those who are considered to have had a significant positive impact upon the College and its students.

It is the intention of the College that naming opportunities generally be in perpetuity. However, there may be opportunities for period-specific sponsorships which would not be considered in the same category as permanent naming of facilities or programs.

Keene State College Naming Policy

Honorific Naming

Naming a facility or program for unparalleled scholarly distinction or other exceptional non-monetary contributions to the College should generally be done only if the name being recognized will bring great honor to the College. Additionally, this act of good will and thoughtfulness should have the potential to draw additional financial resources, providing value and additional promise to the institution. The criteria for naming a facility or program to honor or recognize an individual who has not made a significant financial contribution include the following:

  • Outstanding and distinguished service to the College
  • Long-term, significant generosity toward KSC and its students
  • Substantial contribution to the development and destiny of the College
  • The extent to which an individual’s life and actions epitomize the ideals of the College community
  • To memorialize one or more individuals whose deaths have significantly impacted the College

Caveats to Honorific Naming Opportunities

  • No KSC or USNH faculty or staff member, student, or member of the USNH Board of Trustees, the Board of the Keene Endowment Association, the Alumni Association, Parents Association or other College-related auxiliary organization, may be honored with a non-gift naming opportunity until at least three (3) years from the date of termination of their formal association with the College (death, graduation, retirement, etc). Exceptions to this may be made by the President for situations in which the College wants to memorialize one or more individuals who have died under unusual circumstances (e.g., plane crash, terrorist attack, etc), and whose deaths have significantly impacted the life of the College.
  • No more than one facility or program may be named honorifically for any one individual.
  • No facility or program may be named honorifically for currently-employed College or USNH employees, or for seated, elected or appointed officials, or for those who have been in office or employed by the State of New Hampshire or USNH within the previous three (3) year period.

Philanthropic Naming

Naming something in buildings that are being built or buildings that are being renovated:

The cost to name a facility that is being newly built or renovated will be based on the projected total philanthropic cost to build or renovate, guided by a formulaic approach that takes into account the size of the facility, prevailing costs of construction, the facility’s use, criticality of the gift to the project’s completion and its marketability. If the naming opportunity is the entire building, the donor must provide, through new gifts, at least 33% of the philanthropic cost to construct or renovate. The naming may not be based on previous gifts.

Naming something in a facility that is not being altered, or that is being funded entirely through other sources (i.e. the College or USNH), or to name a portion of the campus grounds:

To name something in an existing facility that is not being renovated, or which is being built or renovated through other funding sources, or to name a portion of the campus itself (such as an athletic field or a garden) the cost will be based on current construction or replacement costs for whatever it is the donor wishes to name. Because it is impossible to estimate what the College or the University System would fund if the building were being built now, it must be assumed that at least 25% of the replacement cost must be philanthropically gifted by the donor wishing to name the facility or a portion of the campus. Additionally, the naming may not be based on previous gifts but must reflect new contributions. Construction or replacement costs will be based on applicable cost estimates provided by the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Planning.

Caveats for Philanthropic Naming

  • Current faculty or staff, or those within three (3) years of having retired or departed from the College, who wish to have a facility or program named for them must meet the minimum financial requirements for naming, regardless of their other accomplishments. This stipulation applies whether the donor is making the gift him/herself or another individual is making the gift in his/her honor.
  • Naming of a facility or program will not be considered unless a gift or gift intention is irrevocable and contractually agreed upon by both the College and the donor. If the commitment is not fully paid within a five-year period, the College reserves the right to remove the donor’s name from the facility or program and may name an alternate facility or program proportionate to the amount that has been paid within that timeframe.

Construction of Unplanned Facilities

Construction of unplanned or unscheduled facilities which a donor wishes to have built requires 100% of project cost. If a donor is interested in building a facility that is not already in the College’s Master Plan, it must be submitted through appropriate College and USNH planning channels for review and acceptance. The donor should begin by submitting a written proposal to the Development Department, which will ensure that due diligence is undertaken, and that the proper procedures are followed for review and potential gift acceptance. The Development Department, working with the donor, will forward the request to the appropriate planning groups (Academic, Facilities etc.), which will then proceed with their review of the potential project. After review and approval by the various planning bodies, all facility projects must receive final approval by both the Keene State College Cabinet and the Board of Trustees of the System.

Academic or College Program Naming

Programs and endowed chairs may be named upon approval by the President, either honorifically or in recognition of philanthropy. The amount or criteria required to enable naming of a program will be determined by the President, using “Internal Guidelines for Naming Facilities or Programs at Keene State College” as a guide. Programs named for philanthropy should be based on new gifts to the institution, not previous commitments.

Process for Changing or Eliminating Named Facilities or Programs

If a facility or program is eliminated, or is substantially changed from its previous form, the President reserves the right to pursue alternate methods of recognizing the donor whose name was on the previous facility or program. Naming of a facility or program does not entitle the donor to continued naming of facilities or programs after a facility has been demolished or substantially changed, or after a program has ceased to exist in its previous form. The exception to this would be if the College determines that a program is substantially the same, but with a revised focus or name. In cases where this determination is made, the President may choose to retain the donor’s name on the program. In all instances, decisions to change a named facility or program rests with the President or Trustees, depending on the level of naming involved.

If the use of a facility is changed, and the original donation was related to the previous use, the donor (if alive) may be given the opportunity to have the name retained on some portion of the same facility, or they may be offered an alternative method of recognition. The donor’s name will not necessarily transfer to a new facility to be used for the original purpose. If the donor is no longer alive, the College will make a good faith effort to contact any immediate heirs of the donor to act on the donor’s behalf in determining what the donor would have preferred. If a facility use changes but the naming was not related to the previous use, the name will remain on the facility.

If the facility is significantly changed from its previous form, the President or Trustees reserve the right to provide recognition in a manner relative to the proportion the original facility makes up of the new facility. The exact type of recognition or signage may, however, not be the same as the original, depending on the facility design and layout.

Potential Donors for Whom Naming Opportunities May Not be Considered

At all times, Keene State College will consider the potential ramifications to the College of a donor and his/her gift. If, after consideration of a potential naming gift, the Trustees or President determine that a gift, or a relationship with a particular donor, could be damaging to the College, its mission and values or its students, the College retains the right to decline either the gift or the naming opportunity related to that gift.

De-naming / Renaming of Facilities

The President of the College reserves the right to make the final determination of whether a facility or program may be de-named or renamed, using “Internal Guidelines for Naming Facilities or Programs at Keene State College” as a guide . If the name of a building or school is involved, the President will recommend a course of action to the Board of Trustees, who will make the final determination.

Time-Limited Sponsorship Opportunities

Corporate Partner Naming Opportunities: Naming opportunities offered to a donor for a specified time period (as opposed to a permanent naming opportunity) are generally associated with corporate sponsorships, and may be available at the discretion of the President, based on recommendations from the Cabinet. They will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, using prevailing sponsorship guidelines and keyed to the value of the sponsorship both to the donor and to the College and its programs. Recognition for corporate partnerships will be limited to designated facilities. All signage will be created and erected by the College at the corporate partner’s expense, must adhere to current College standards as to signage, and must be approved in advance by the President.

Naming of Benches, Fountains, Flag Poles and Similar Items

Donors who wish to provide funding to name items such as benches, fountains, flag poles or other similar items may choose from a list of opportunities (existing items or those planned for as part of the campus Master Plan) maintained by the Physical Plant department. In all cases, the College will determine what items will be offered for potential funding and naming, will determine where the items will be located and the materials to be used, and will designate vendor sourcing for the items. No donor may contribute these types of items without having gone through appropriate College processes, nor may they contract with artists, construction firms, or other vendors to create or install an item without proper College authorization. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that require funding above and beyond the cost of an item and the funds to maintain the item over time (such as a need to re-route electrical wiring or utilities, or to excavate the ground in order to install the item), the cost to name an item will be based on 1.5 times the cost to purchase the item. The additional funds will be pooled with other, similar funds to assist with ongoing maintenance and repair costs.

Arboretum Naming Opportunities

The College welcomes gifts from donors who wish to honor or memorialize one or more individuals through the dedication of trees for the College Arboretum. No other plants will be available for dedication. Donors who wish to make this type of gift may choose from a list maintained by the Office of Physical Plant, showing proposed trees that are part of the campus Master Plan, as well as select existing trees that remain available for dedication. In all instances, the College will determine appropriate species, size of plantings required and site selection, ensuring that it conforms to the College Master Plan. The cost to name a tree will be based on the size and type of the selection, rarity of the plant, cost to maintain and whether the plant is already a part of the campus or is being added. The gift must also cover the cost of the arboretum plaque noting the type of tree and the name of the person(s) being honored; campus standards for the plaques limit recognition to no more than one line. Plaques will be placed according to campus standards. Should the tree that is named die, the plaque will remain on the replacement tree. Should the tree need to be removed and not replaced (e.g. building construction, change in Master Plan design, etc.), the name will be added to the College’s central Memorial Book.

Original Policy:
Approved January 6, 2010 by College Cabinet
Sent to USNH for Review March, 2011

Date(s) of Revision:
Approved by Cabinet October 4, 2011

About this Policy

Naming of Facilities and Programs
Ownership: College Cabinet
Last Modified: Oct 30, 2017 –
Categories: Administrative
For questions regarding this policy, please contact the policy owner.
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