History of CCA

History of CCA

The organization, originally called The College News Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia (CNA), held its first official meeting on January 11, 1990, at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. However, two “unofficial” meetings and a lot of planning and hard work preceded the historic gathering.

The concept for the organization was developed by Randy Fitzgerald at the University of Richmond and Ron Singleton at University of Mary Washington. In August 1989 during a one-day professional workshop at the University of Richmond, communications professionals from around the Commonwealth and D.C. were asked if there was interest in forming a statewide organization. The response was so strong that a planning meeting was scheduled for September 1989 at University of Mary Washington. For that meeting, a group of volunteers was asked to serve on a steering committee and to begin laying groundwork for the founding of CNA.

Arthur Ciervo, a nationally known college and university communications expert and author (formerly at Georgetown University and Penn State), was special guest for the September 1989 meeting and told of his experiences in organizing similar groups in Pennsylvania and other states. On January 11, 1990, as part of a media relations workshop at University of Mary Washington, the name of the organization was approved, the by-laws and constitution were adopted, and the organization’s first slate of officers and directors was elected.

The organization’s first officers were Randy Fitzgerald, president (University of Richmond); Ron Singleton, vice president (University of Mary Washington); Brian Shaw, secretary (Washington & Lee University); and Loretta Hardge, treasurer (George Washington University). The first directors were Charles Armstrong (University of Virginia); Barbara S. Ball (College of William and Mary); Michele Braithwaite (George Mason University); Katherine Edwards (Hampton University); Thomas Poe (Virginia Commonwealth University); and Barry Saunders (John Tyler Community College).

During the summer of 1994, CNA began a cooperative relationship with the College News Association of the Carolinas (CNAC) through a joint posting of electronic news releases on each association’s Web site and the establishment of joint electronic discussion groups called “CNACnet” maintained by Clemson University and “CNA-L” maintained by University of Mary Washington. Within a couple of years, Clemson University had graciously assumed the maintenance of the CNA listserv.

On September 19, 1995, CNA received certification of incorporation from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

On October 18, 1999, at the fall conference held in Virginia Beach, members of the organization voted to merge with the Virginia Association for Printing, Publications and Public Relations (VAPPP) and to change the name to College Communicators Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia (CCA). The name change developed from the broader communications membership, as well as interest in including Web communicators in the organization. A Web track was then added as a regular feature of the fall and spring conference programs and publications topics were included as well.