The American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) recognizes the transformational contributions of individuals and organizations by the naming of a program, fellowship, lecture, designated Headquarters location, or other offering, referred to hereafter as “Program/Program Components.”

This policy establishes a uniform and consistent procedure to gain AOA approval and to record these namings for designated AOA Program/Program Components. AOA Executive Committee approval is required before the naming of any Program/Program Components.

The primary intent of the naming process is to allow the AOA to recognize the important contributions of an individual, family, group, or organization to the AOA or of a person, group of people, or organization that represents the ideals and values of the AOA.

Even though Program/Project Components naming is appropriate and meant to recognize important financial contributions to the AOA, perception should be considered when deliberating upon the appropriateness/inappropriateness of a possible name. Examples of this concept include:


  • Name a Program/Project Component after a significant donor, as defined below


  • Naming Program/Projects after an elected official while s/he are in office and may possibly jeopardize the organization’s tax status
  • Naming a policy-making entity of the AOA (i.e., Executive Committee)

A. Minimum Contribution Amounts

Those that may be honored as a result of providing a significant contribution to the AOA with named AOA Program/Program Components are as follows:

  • Individual Contributors to the AOA who have gifted/pledged a minimum of $125,000 to the AOA, at levels and for  periods of duration defined below
  • Organizations (including supporting, for profit companies), or groups of individuals (such as an orthopaedics department) that have contributed a minimum of $125,000 to the AOA, at levels and for periods of duration defined below.

Named AOA Program/Program Components Support levels, Recognition and Duration:

  • Gifts of $1M+ entitles the donor to a 10-year naming right for an AOA Program (see section 2C for program and program components). Gifts of $1M or greater may be considered and recommended for a longer recognition period by the Development Committee (for Executive Committee approval).
  • Program/Program Components gifts of $500,000-$999,999 entitles the donor to a 5-year naming rights for an AOA Program.
  • Gifts of $125,000-$499,999 entitles the donor to a 10-year naming right for an AOA Program Component  (see section 2C for programs and program components).
  • At the end of the naming rights term, the Executive Committee may elect to revert the Program/Program Components name, rename the Program/Program Components, or continue the Named Program/Program Components with the preceding contributor’s name under special circumstances.

Exceptions to this AOA Program/Program Components Naming Policy are allowed only when specifically approved by the Executive Committee.

B. Modification or Reallocation of Program/Program Components and Names

As modifications are made to Program/Program Components over time, situations may occur where it is in the best interest of the AOA to modify or reallocate resources to named AOA Program/Program Components. If modifications to named Program/Program Components are required or recommended, appropriate AOA administrators will be involved to ensure that the original purpose of the naming and the donor’s wishes, if applicable, are preserved, as appropriate.

In the event Program/Program Component names are desired to be modified or shifted between Program/Program Components by the transformational gift donor, approval must be obtained by the Executive Committee using this policy and process.

C. Program/Program Components Naming Opportunities and Restrictions

The following opportunities may be named with restrictions as outlined.

AOA Programs

Programs can be named with a gift of $500,000 or more. Programs that can be named include:

  • CORD Program/Academic Activities such as Department Leadership Forum
  • Emerging Leaders Program or Emerging Leaders Forum
  • Leadership Institute
  • Own the Bone
  • Resident Leadership Forum
  • Traveling Fellowship Program

Program Components that can be named with a gift of $125,000 or more include:

  • ABC Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • ASG Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • CORD Mini Programs
  • CORD Lecture Series
  • CORD Webinars
  • ELF Speaker Series
  • JOA Traveling Fellowship – Fellowship Sponsor
  • NATF Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • Own the Bone Speaker Series
  • Own the Bone Webinars
  • RLF Speaker Series
AOA Traveling Fellowships

The word “fellowship” refers to the AOA Traveling Fellowships generally and including:

  • General Traveling Fellowships
  • Specific Traveling Fellowships

The term “lecture” with respect to a named Program/Program Components may be used for AOA Annual Meeting lectures (other than the Howard H. Steele, MD lecture) or a newly-established lecture associated with an AOA program or conference including, but not limited to:

  • Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD)
  • Emerging Leaders Forum
  • Presidential Guest Lecture
  • Leadership Institute
  • Resident Leadership Forum
  • Regional Leadership Offering

The term “headquarters” refers to AOA’s building headquarters located at 9400 W. Higgins Road, Suite 205, Rosemont, IL. Naming opportunities include portions of the headquarter offices as follows:

  • Front Conference room
  • Focus rooms (2 total)
    1. Focus room (west)
    2. Focus room (east)
  • Kitchen
  • Collaboration area
  • Offices (5 total)
    1. Executive Director
    2. Deputy Executive Director
    3. Office (north, next to Deputy Executive Director)
    4. Office (north, next to the kitchen)
    5. Office (east, next to copy machine/supplies)

Consideration of donor requests for named Program/Program Components must be made after the contribution has been legally confirmed and will be considered by the Development Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Executive Committee. Final approval of Program/Program Components naming rests with the Executive Committee.

A. Review and Approval of Naming

Because of the growing public scrutiny of naming, the AOA Executive Director, Development Committee Chair, and AOA Senior Development Manager will review and advise the Executive Committee of any concerns raised by any proposed naming. Individuals may not commit the AOA to Program/Program Components naming before formal approval by the Executive Committee. Requests for a specific naming must be submitted as outlined in this document for review and approval by the Executive Committee.

B. Establishment and Duties of the Development Committee for Naming Rights

The chief function of the Development Committee pertaining to Naming will be to insure uniformity and consistency of names of AOA Program/Program Components and to make suggestions for names when requested by the Executive Committee.

The Development Committee will:

  • Consider donations/names proposed and apprise interested parties of the policy for the selection of names, according to the request letter detailed below
  • Act as the formal conduit for names to be submitted, researched, and forwarded for recommendation to the Executive Committee
  • Recommend, as appropriate, a specific name and term limit in response to a naming opportunity
  • Maintain records of approved names
  • Receive and maintain brief biographical data and a statement as to why the person named is so honored
  • Notify the requester of the status once the Executive Committee has acted upon the request
  • The AOA Senior Development Manager will provide the following information:
  • Importance of and basis for the proposed Project naming to the AOA
  • Nature of the gifting and/or commendable activity
  • Other conditions, concerns, or impacts of the naming
  • Identified plans for any plaque, funding, and maintenance