Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Principles and Protocols for Naming

McMaster University Principles and Protocols for Naming

The naming of physical space and academic entities is a well-established custom at McMaster University. Naming provides meaningful opportunities for the recognition of outstanding contributions by those who serve as inspiration for future generations of students, graduates and members of the University community. The following principles and protocols are intended to provide a consistent, principled and transparent approach for naming decision making in honour of individuals and/or corporations. ‘

These prinicples and protocols were approved by PVP on June 22, 2021.


  1. The University is guided by policies that reference forms of honorific and/or philanthropic naming (Naming Policy and Procedure, University Aid and Awards Policy and Establishing Named Chairs and Professorships). These policies outline the approvals process for naming.
  2. Naming recognition will reflect McMaster’s mission, vision and values and ensure there is no potential for reputational harm or risk to the institution. Naming may be reviewed and altered by the University to ensure adherence to these principles.
  3. Consideration should be given to the length of time for the naming whether it be term- limited or in-perpetuity.


  1. All naming recognition in honour of individuals and/or corporations will adhere to the approved University policies identified in the Principles section above. The policies speak to both naming and the potential for renaming or revoking named recognition.
  2. Namings that pre-date policies or have not previously been formally approved but are in use at the University are deemed to be approved. The University does reserve the right to rename or revoke these pre-existing named awards should there be potential for reputational harm or risk to the University.
  3. The Office of University Advancement should be consulted for questions and guidance related to naming recognition. All inquiries should be directed to the Director of Stewardship within University Advancement.