Academy History

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was conceptualized with a constitution and bylaws as the American Dietetic Association at a meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917. This ultimately led to its formal incorporation and first central office in Chicago. Our founders were a visionary group of women — led by Lenna F. Cooper and the organization's first president, Lulu C. Graves — dedicated to helping the government conserve food and improve the public's health and nutrition during World War I.

View the Academy's History Timeline

Name Change

The American Dietetic Association officially changed its name in January 2012 to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The new name complements the focus of the organization to improve the nutritional well-being of the public, while communicating the academic expertise of Academy members and supporting the organization's history as a food and science-based profession. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics quickly and accurately communicates our identity—who we are and what we do.

The field of nutrition has changed over this century, and we're evolving to meet these needs.

Authorized Seal


An authorized seal for the organization was adopted by the Executive Board and presented to members on October 24, 1940. At its center are symbols of the three main characteristics of the profession: a balance scale, representing science as the foundation and symbolizing equality; a caduceus, representing the close relationship between dietetics and medicine; and a cooking vessel, representing cookery and food preparation.

Around the main design is a shaft of wheat, representing bread, the staff of life, and stylized acanthus leaves, representing growth and life. Over the design is a cornucopia, representing an abundant food supply. Beneath the design is the motto, Quam Plurimis Prodesse ("To benefit as many as possible"). Around the edge is the name of the organization and the date of its founding written in Roman numerals.


The new seal was used on stationery and all official publications, and copy of the seal was embroidered on linen by Beula Marble, president of ADA (1939-1940), and presented to the headquarters office in Chicago, where it remains today.

The seal is still in use on Registration Status Certificates for both registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered, as well as on the gold Member Pin.