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Naming of Buildings, Facilities, Spaces & Other Properties & Functions 1.1-1


Authorizing Body:
Board of Control - BC
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SVSU Board of Control Policy - In accordance with Board of Control Bylaws 3.101, #25

Statement of Purpose

Saginaw Valley State University recognizes the importance of naming opportunities for its buildings, exterior and interior spaces, and other properties and functions. Since its founding in 1963, SVSU has honored key contributors for their leadership, service, and philanthropic support. Naming opportunities continue to play an important role in honoring the history of SVSU and promoting private support.

This policy serves as a guideline for naming opportunities and allows for an occasional, well-justified exception. All naming recognition for a donor or an honoree must be consistent with the University’s role as a public trust. Accordingly, all requests shall be reviewed and approved in accordance with this policy.

The university recognizes three types of naming opportunities:

  • Honorific Naming:
    Facilities, spaces, properties, and functions may be named to honor the service and achievements of an individual, organization, or corporation associated with Saginaw Valley State University.
  • Philanthropic Naming:
    Naming opportunities in appreciation of private gifts exist to honor donors for their generosity and encourage others.
  • Sponsorship Naming:
    Facilities, spaces & other properties, and functions may be sponsored for a stipulated period, typically as a contract with a business organization.

Key Definitions

  • Facility: A facility is defined as a new or existing building or structure with a visible outdoor facade.
  • Interior Spaces: Interior spaces include but are not limited to areas within buildings such as wings, floors, classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms, offices, laboratories, galleries, studios, lounges, artwork, etc.
  • Exterior Spaces: Exterior spaces include but are not limited to outdoor areas such as courtyards, streets, gardens, benches, fountains, trees, artwork, etc.
  • Useful Life: Useful life is the amount of time during which a facility, exterior space, or interior space is in good enough condition to be utilized.
  • Academic and non-academic programs include, but are not limited to, colleges, divisions, departments, institutes, centers, positions, or projects.

Procedures and Authority to Name

All requests for a naming must be submitted in writing to the SVSU Foundation Office. No commitment regarding a naming request shall be made to a donor, non-donor honoree, or sponsor until the approval process is complete. 

All requests will be reviewed by the following individuals (referred to as the Naming Committee):

  1.  The Executive Director of the SVSU Foundation
  2.  The University President,
  3.  Board of Control representative (preferably a Board member serving on the Foundation Board.) The SVSU Board of Control Chair   will designate this representative.
  4.  SVSU General Counsel
  5.  VP of Administration and Business Affairs Representative
  6.  Facilities, Planning and Construction Representative

The Naming Committee is intended to provide a mechanism for advising the appropriateness of proposed names for buildings and facilities at Saginaw Valley State University.

The SVSU Board of Control has final approval for all naming. The Board of Control may delegate approval of all other spaces to be approved in accordance with the SVSU Foundation Gift Acceptance Policy (adopted May 2017).  (Appendix A)

Only the Board of Control may approve the naming of buildings, colleges, and other named spaces.  The University President will provide the Secretary to the Board of Control with a recommendation for each naming proposal requiring Board of Control approval.

The Board of Control delegates approval authority as set forth in the SVSU Foundation Gift Acceptance Policy, as follows:

  • Scholarships.
  • Endowed positions and programs to the University President.
  • Small exterior features (up to $25,000) to the University President.

The SVSU Foundation will submit a listing of Naming and Dedication Opportunities along with a report of all naming requests approved by the University President to the SVSU Board of Control through the Business, Finance, Audit and Facilities Committee for their review at the end of each fiscal year.

The SVSU Foundation will review and update annually a listing of Naming and Dedication Opportunities. (See Appendix B)

Honorific Naming For an Individual - Not in Recognition of a Gift

Naming opportunities are generally reserved for donors; however, an individual’s name may be affixed to a facility, exterior space, or interior space in recognition of unusually meritorious service and significant contributions to the University and the community and/or success that brings honor and distinction to SVSU.

It shall be the practice of Saginaw Valley State University to measure proposed honorary naming opportunities using the following criteria:

  • Significant contributions to the University as a faculty member, administrator, staff, alumni or volunteer; and/or
  • Significant and relevant financial or gift-in-kind contributions to the University; and/or
  • Length of service to the institution; and/or
  • Individuals or professional accomplishments that bring honor to SVSU; and/or
  • Significant and relevant contributions to the University and community or otherwise brings honor to the institution; and/or
  • Special considerations for instances where the above criteria do not apply.

All requests shall be submitted in writing to the SVSU Foundation Office for consideration by the Naming Committee. Written submissions should include:

  • A brief biography of the person to be honored by the naming.
  • Why the naming is being proposed?
  • Significant and relevant contributions to the University and community.

Philanthropic Naming – In Recognition of a Gift

Principal responsibility for soliciting and arranging for naming opportunities resides with the Executive Director of the SVSU Foundation and the SVSU President.

Guidelines for philanthropic gift giving will be in accordance with the SVSU Foundation Gift Acceptance Policy developed and maintained in the SVSU Foundation Office. (Appendix A)

Generally, naming opportunities will not be recognized through a revocable planned or deferred gift until the resources are fully accessible.

Facilities, exterior spaces, or interior spaces may be named or renamed in recognition of a gift by a donor.

In consultation with the President, the Executive Director of the SVSU Foundation will set the target gift amounts for project naming opportunities before soliciting donors.  Generally, the goal of naming gifts is to offset the project costs. A planning study is typically conducted prior to any major fundraising initiative to determine the viability of private support and the range of gift amounts.

The SVSU Foundation Gift Acceptance Policy outlines the policies and procedures for recognizing private support. Proposed values of naming opportunities will be reviewed annually.

Sponsorship Naming – For the purpose of marketing and promotion

Sponsorship naming shall follow the same guidelines for philanthropic support.


In rare circumstances, the Board of Control may grant an exception to this policy. Factors for making an exception may include but are not limited to a donor’s giving history and/or service to the institution.


Saginaw Valley State University is committed to retaining the name of buildings, facilities, spaces, and other properties and functions bearing an honorific or philanthropic name. To the extent feasible, the name is intended to remain for the facility’s useful life regardless of any subsequent change in the occupying unit(s).

If a facility, exterior space, or interior space is removed or replaced at the expiration of its useful life, the University shall not be obligated to continue the name, nor shall it be obligated to name any new construction intended to replace the named space after the honoree. The University may see other means to recognize the honoree after the building’s useful life has ended.


The SVSU Board of control shall have the authority to revoke the name of a University-named space if the honoree for whom the space is named:

  • Engages in conduct that, in the sole discretion of the Board of Control, is detrimental, such that continued name association between such individual and a University space would be contrary to the best interest of the University.


The SVSU Foundation will coordinate the Naming Committee activities. All documentation and files regarding approved or disapproved requests for named buildings, facilities, spaces, and other properties and functions, throughout campus will be submitted to and maintained in the SVSU Foundation Office.

Approval process times may vary depending on the type of naming request and the meeting schedules of the Naming Committee and the SVSU Board of Control.

The SVSU Foundation Office shall notify the University community of this policy.

The SVSU Foundation Office shall inform prospective donors of this policy's existence.

The SVSU Foundation Office will maintain an inventory listing of all named spaces as well as an inventory of all available spaces which may be appropriately named in the future.


A. SVSU Foundation Give Acceptance Policy
B. Naming and Dedication Opportunities (111KB)

Board of Control Resolution RES-2466 October 24, 2022