Medill Name Change Inspires Mischief-Making

Me in my succinctly stated sweatshirt.

The journalism school where I studied at Northwestern University used to be known simply as the Medill School of Journalism. Often it has been referred to even more simply as “Medill.”

With only a period after it. Or so my increasingly tattered sweatshirt declares.

That piece of punctuation proclaimed, “No further explanation needed. If you don’t get it, then you’re just out of it.”

It has always struck me as a confident, borderline arrogant expression of self-edifying preeminence in the J-world.

Recently, however, the school’s name changed to The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

There’s a new “The” to start things off, a few commas to keep the flow going, 65 characters in all (almost halfway to maxing out a Tweet!) and nary an “and” in sight. It’s a rather windy name that has stirred some hand-wringing among alumni.

As for me, I refuse to wring my hands. I’ve opted to head straight toward mischief-making. With the creative genius of my wife backing me up, I have created T-shirt designs that poke fun at the new, exceedingly elongated name.

You can try these ones on for size: “Medill Blah Blah Blah” and “The Medill School of A Really, Really, Really Long Name That Won’t Fit On This Shi”

Check ’em out here on a Zazzle page we set up.

Truthfully, it’s all in good fun. I hold the institution and its faculty, staff and students in high regard. Almost all of Inside Edge PR’s associates over the years have been students or graduates of Medill.

And there’s also this matter of my own career path, moving from journalism to “public relations and media services” in 2005. That transition serves as a microcosm of the shifting business landscape that is part of what prompted Medill’s name change.

So I’d feel almost (but not quite) hypocritical if I railed against this new, somewhat clunky description of my esteemed Medill.

But c’mon, maestros of Medill (School of this, that & the other thing): you couldn’t spare an ampersand?

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