Update: Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is moving forward to change its name today to the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation. The Foundation board overwhelmingly passed its resolution Friday.
The foundation approved a name change resolution to its bylaws during Friday’s board of directors meeting, but it awaits approval at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Saturday business meeting, which is considering a name change of its own.
The foundation — which name derives from the fraternity at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. that was established SPJ in 1909 — is implementing the change for consistent branding with the SPJ organization.
However, with SPJ’s name change consideration, the timeline on the SDX name change is fluid.
The original bylaw change would have changed SDX to the SPJ foundation, but board members still felt it wasn’t clear enough.
“The problem with SDX is that nobody knows what it is and switching to an acronym that nobody will know what is really doesn’t do us much good,” said Mac McKerral, a former board member who had previously suggested a name change.
After discussion, SDX President Robert Leger said the name change would be Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, but how quickly the board moves on the change depends on SPJ’s decision Saturday regarding a potential name change to The Society for Professional Journalism.
The change to SPJ’s name has been an ongoing discussion for the last few conferences.
Given the variety of journalists outside of professional setting, the name would be more inclusive, said outgoing SPJ President Rebecca Baker.
“It creates a group that is for the practice of quality ethical journalists by whoever is producing the work,” Baker said.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ board resolution to change the name to “the Society for Professional Journalism” failed again Saturday, allowing the SDX foundation to move forward with its name change to the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation. The SPJ board resolution failed this year by more than a three-to-one margin.
While board members acknowledged the need for the change, SDX board member David Carlson expressed concern changing the name, given the history attached to the foundation.
“Our history is strongly related to the Sigma Delta Chi,” Carlson said. “I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that going to the ash heap of history.”
In that vein, the board discussed plans to move forward with an online history project for the organization.
Every organization should have a written history people can view, Baker said.
“The road we traveled is important because it helps to know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been,” she said.
SDX can progress forward with SPJ, while still respecting the past, she said.
An official name change would not be able to go into effect until next year.