July 13, 2010

YMCA joins a trend, formally changing its name to ' the Y'

Racine's YMCA, it appears, is ahead of the curve. Mostly

The organization formally known for more than a century as the Young Men's Christian Association since its founding in London in 1844, is about to change its name.

Henceforth, it will be simply the Y.

Which is just what the signage proclaims atop our YMC...uh, Y on Lake Avenue. Even if some other signage is suddenly behind the times.

The international organization originally dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice, achieved by developing "a healthy spirit, mind, and body," is bowing to a public that for generations has called it the Y. According to the New York Times, the Y is part of a naming trend, following on the heels last week of National Public Radio, which has now declared itself simply NPR; Kentucky Fried Chicken which now prefers to be called KFC; and a host of others including AARP, BP and P&G.

As for what the change will mean here, Jeff Collen, executive director of the Racine YMCA, says he and his staff are planning to go along with the change in name and signage. "We're looking at all of that and determining a transition timetable," he says.