The American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) recognizes the transformational contributions of individuals and organizations by the naming of a program, fellowship, lecture, 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 naming privileges 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 contributed/pledged a designated gift amount at defined levels and for certain periods of duration.
  • Organizations (including supporting, for profit companies), or groups of individuals (such as an orthopaedics department) that have contributed a designated gift amount to the AOA, at defined levels and for certain periods of duration.
  • Current opportunities for named AOA Program/Program Components support levels recognition and duration are detailed in the AOA’s Naming Parameters Guideline.
  • 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, orcontinue 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 Component Resources 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 naming rights associated with Program/Program Components are required or recommended and are consistent with AOA Executive Committee decisions, the Executive Director/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 such a case the donor would be notified, if possible.

In the event Program/Program Components names are desired to be modified or shifted between Programs/Program Components by the 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.

AOA Programs

AOA Programs:

  • Emerging Leaders Forum
  • Leadership Institute
  • Resident Leadership Forum
  • Traveling Fellowship Program (overall and fellowship program component)
  • Distinguished Contribution to Orthopaedic Award
  • Distinguished Clinician Educator Award

Program Components that can be named with a gift of $125,000 or more include (see naming parameter for more detail):

  • ABC Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • ASG Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • CORD Lecture Series
  • CORD Webinars
  • ELP Speaker Series
  • JOA Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • Leadership Speaker Series (Leadership Institute, Regional Leadership offering, or alternate leadership education programming)
  • NATF Traveling Fellowship – Fellow Sponsor
  • Own the Bone Speaker Series
  • Own the Bone Webinars
  • RLF Speaker Series
AOA Traveling Fellowships

AOA Traveling Fellowship include three levels of different support opportunities:

  • Overall traveling fellowships program
  • Specific traveling fellowships
    • American-British-Canadian (ABC)
    • Austrian-Swiss-German (ASG)
    • Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA)
    • North American (NATF)
  • One traveling fellow for a specified fellowship

The term “lecture” or “speaker” series with respect to a named Program/Program Component 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
  • Own the Bone Program

Consideration of donor requests for named Program/Program Components must be made in conjunction with AOA/Donor discussions and naming rights will not be granted until after the contribution has been legally confirmed. The proposed naming right will be considered by the Development/Donor Support 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 regarding naming rights, the AOA Executive Director and Development/Donor Support Committee Chair, 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/Donor Support Committee for Naming Rights

The chief function of the Development/Donor Support 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/Donor Support 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
  • Recommend, as appropriate, a specific name 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 staff will provide the following information:

  • Importance of and basis for the proposed Program/Program Component 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