All in the Last Name

I’ve been asked many times why I decided to change my last name to Hercliff-Proffer. To be honest, it took me the full 21 months of my engagement to decide and even then it wasn’t until 3 weeks before when Michael applied for our license and with much frustration told me that I had to finally make a decision.

For some, selecting your last name is easy. For others, there can be more layers to it. For me, it leaned towards the more layers side. Some are very personal and some are very practical. (Kinda like me :))

So here are my whys for how I created my last name.

  1. I wanted to keep Proffer for professional branding. I’ve really branded myself with my last name as a professional and wanted to continue that brand in some way with my married last name. So really, hyphenation was always on the table for me.
  2. I wanted to keep Proffer to acknowledge where I come from in all the good, bad and ugly of it all.  Some of these include coming from a family who opened their hearts to taking in a child and adopting me, and who gave me the opportunity to develop my values, morals, and life views. Also, coming from a family who provided me opportunities to travel, learn, make music, and have experiences that led me to become the man I am today. I also come from a family who has conditions that come with their love and who hold organized religious views that supercede the humanity of others. I come from a family of extremes that has really high peaks and really low valleys which has taught me self-preservation and survival.
  3. I wanted Hercliff in my last name because I wanted to have a similar last name to me husband. Part of our conversation in deciding what our last name would be was that he would not take on Proffer in any form because of the homophobic nature of my family and the sincere lack of support from them towards me and our relationship.
  4. I wanted Hercliff in my last name because of the unconditional love and support we have gotten from his family which is also why I placed Hercliff first in the hyphenation.
  5. I also decided to place Hercliff first so that in the case we have children (or officially surname our furbabies) we’ll go with Hercliff and that way our last names will be consistent.
  6. Finally, Hercliff-Proffer is easier to shorten to H-Proff…which I think sounds cool…rather than P-Herf. LOL

OrnamentSome of the whys were hard to acknowledge while others got me excited to begin a new journey as Hercliff-Proffer.

So if you ever get a chance to ask why a married couple has the last names that they do, do so! You may learn more about them than you thought you knew, and may learn a little about your own journey as well!

Have a great Winter Break and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,
Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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