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Editorial Style Guidelines

This house style guide covers grammar, spelling and punctuation issues commonly encountered with Ӱԭ University-related content. It also notes exceptions to AP style, to which Ӱԭ print and online content generally adheres.

Style Guide Entries Index

Style Guide Entries


  • In general, the names of organizations, etc., should be spelled out on first reference (see AP for exceptions) and may be abbreviated subsequently.
  • Only put abbreviation in parentheses after first reference of the full name if the connection would not be clear to readers.
  • For punctuating abbreviations, see entry for "Periods."

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Alumni, identification of

  • On first reference, undergraduate alumni are identified by class year and college, e.g., John Smith ’87 CLAS.
  • On first reference, alumni with graduate degrees from Ӱԭ are identified by year followed by degree initials, not college. Examples: 
    • Parth Sood, PhD, '75 CLAS, '77 MS
    • Trisha Jackson '98 JD
    • Mary Li '13 PhD
    • Do not use "GS," which stands for "Graduate Studies."
  • On first reference, married alumni with the same last name have their respective class year and college follow their first and, if included, maiden names, e.g., Marilyn (White) '92 FCN and Henry '91 VSB Goldsmith.

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Ampersands (&)

  • Use "and," not ampersands, in the names of Ӱԭ University colleges and departments. Examples:
    • The Rev. Kevin DePrinzio, OSA, PhD, vice president for Mission and Ministry
    • Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • For entities outside Ӱԭ, use ampersand if it is part of the formal name, e.g., U.S. News & World Report.

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Athletics programs and head coaches

  • The following is the list of varsity athletics programs and head coaches.
  • See team rosters for details.
    • : Kevin Mulvey
    • : Kyle Neptune, the William B. Finneran Endowed Athletic Fund Head Coach
    •  Denise Dillon ’96 CLAS
    • Marcus O’Sullivan '84 VSB, '89 MBA, the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track and Field Coach
    • Gina Procaccio '87 VSB
    • Joanie Milhous
    • Mark Ferrante, the Thomas and Diane Treacy Endowed Head Football Coach
    • : James Wilkes '96 CLAS
    • Michael Corrado '87 CLAS, the DiLoreto Family Endowed Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach
    •  Jill Batcheller
    •  Carissa Adams
    •  Mark Fetrow
    •  Samar Azem
    •  Bridget Orchard '97 CLAS
    • Rick Simpson
    • Brad Adams
    • Steve Reiniger
    • Marcus O’Sullivan '84 VSB, '89 MBA, the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track and Field Coach
    • Gina Procaccio '87 VSB
    • Josh Steinbach
    •  Michael Gordon ’06 CLAS

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Augustinian Order

  • Use "the Rev." before the names of priests on first reference. Thereafter, they can be referred to as "Father."
  • Always spell out "Father" and "Brother." 
  • Use "OSA" after the names of Augustinian priests on first reference (or other abbreviations as is appropriate for religious in other orders, e.g., "SJ").
  • List academic degrees after any order's abbreviation on first reference.
  • Examples:
    • The Rev. Charles Oakley, OSA, PhD; Father Oakley 
    • Brother Eugene Smith, FSC, DMin; Brother Smith
  • Use full name of the Augustinian Order on first reference; on subsequent references, uppercase "Order" if it stands alone.
  • Examples:
    • Ӱԭ University was founded by the Augustinian Order.
    • The Order was established in 1244 and expanded in 1256.

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Building names and campus landmarks

  • On first reference, refer to the building by its full name.
  • You may use a known abbreviation (see examples below) on subsequent references.

Alumni Hall

Andrew J. Talley Athletic Center 

Austin Field

Austin Hall 

Awakening, The; "Oreo, the"

Bartley Hall

Burns Hall

Campus Green

Caughlin Hall

Chemical Engineering Building

College of Engineering building

Commons, The [comprised of Canon Hall, Dobbin Hall, Friar Hall, Hovnanian Hall, McGuinn Hall and Trinity Hall]

Connelly Center

Connelly Plaza

Corr Hall

Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness

Delurey Hall

Donahue Hall

Dougherty Hall

Driscoll Hall

Facilities Management Building

Falvey Library

Faris Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory; SETRL

Farley Hall

Farrell Hall

Fedigan Hall

Finneran Pavilion, the

Galberry Hall

Gallen Hall

Garey Hall

Geraghty Hall

Good Counsel Hall

Griffin Hall

Grotto, the

Health Services Building; HSB

Higgins Soccer Complex

Inn at Ӱԭ University, The 

Jackson Hall

Jake Nevin Field House

John Barry Hall

John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, The

John F. Scarpa Hall; Charles Widger School of Law

Klekotka Hall

McGuire Hall

Mendel Field

Mendel Science Center

Middleton Hall

Military Sciences Building

Moriarty Hall

Moulden Hall

O’Dwyer Hall

Old Falvey Library

Picotte Hall at Dundale

"Quad, the"

Refectory, The

Riley Ellipse, the

Rudolph Hall

St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts; SAC

St. Clare Hall

Steam Plant

St. Katharine Hall

St. Mary's Hall

St. Monica Hall

Stone Hall

St. Rita's Hall

Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory

St. Thomas of Ӱԭ Church

St. Thomas of Ӱԭ Monastery

Sheehan Beach

Sheehan Hall

Simpson Hall

South Campus

Stanford Hall

Sullivan Hall

Technology Services Building

Tolentine Hall

Vasey Hall

Ӱԭ Softball Complex

Ӱԭ Stadium

Ӱԭ Tennis Complex

Welsh Hall

West Campus

White Hall




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  • When groups are small or the identification is intuitive, left-to-right designations are not necessary.
  • In large groups or where clarity is needed, indicate position of persons, using whatever wording or format makes sense for the context.

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  • On first reference, use the official name of the college. When identifying alumni by college and class year, the abbreviation listed may be used.
    • Ӱԭ University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; CLAS
    •  Ӱԭ University College of Engineering; COE
    • Ӱԭ School of Business; VSB
    • Ӱԭ University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing; *FCN
    • Ӱԭ University College of Professional Studies; CPS
    • Ӱԭ University Charles Widger School of Law; *CWSL
      *Only with alumni and class year in select materials; see "Alumni, identification of" above for usage of "JD"
  • For subsequent references to Ӱԭ University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the following are acceptable:
    • M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
    • Ӱԭ Nursing
    • Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
    • the College of Nursing
    • Nursing
    • Ӱԭ
  • For subsequent references to Ӱԭ University Charles Widger School of Law, the following are acceptable:
    • Charles Widger School of Law
    • the Law School
    • Ӱԭ
    • Ӱԭ Law
    • Widger School of Law

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Dashes, em (—)

Use an em dash to relay a break in thought. Do not use spaces on either side of the em dash. The em dash is the longer dash ("—") as compared to the shorter en dash ("–") or two hyphens ("--"). 

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  • On first reference, include full name and title.
  • On subsequent references, use "Dean" followed by last name or simply "the dean."
    • Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, William and Julia Moulden Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Michele Marcolongo, PhD, the Drosdick Endowed Dean of the Ӱԭ University College of Engineering
    • Wen Mao, PhD, the Helen and William O'Toole Dean of the Ӱԭ School of Business
    • Donna Sullivan Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, '83 MSN, the Connelly Endowed Dean of the Ӱԭ University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
    • Mark C. Alexander, JD, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, Ӱԭ University Charles Widger School of Law
    • Christine Kelleher Palus, PhD, dean, Ӱԭ University College of Professional Studies

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Degrees, nonterminal

  • List nonterminal degrees (e.g., MA, MS) without periods after a person's name on first occurrence only if the degree was earned at Ӱԭ. Do not include nonterminal degrees earned at other institutions.
  • Examples:
    • John Smith '02 MS, president of Bloomer Pharmaceuticals (master's earned at Ӱԭ in 2002)
    • John Smith, president of Bloomer Pharmaceuticals (not an alumnus so degree not included)

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Degrees, terminal

  • List terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DVM, STD, MFA, MBA)  without periods after a person’s name on first occurrence.
  • If a person's name includes a professional designation, it follows the degree, e.g., John Smith, PhD, FAIA (see "Professional designations" entry below) 

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  • Capitalize full names of departments on first reference.
  • On subsequent references, "the department" is acceptable.  

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Faculty titles

  • For endowed positions, include the full title on first reference, e.g., Aaron M. Bauer, PhD, the Gerald M. Lemole, MD, Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology.
  • Generic faculty titles should be lowercase if they follow the name and uppercase if they precede the name. Examples:
    • Mary Smith, PhD, associate professor, Biology
    • Associate Professor Mary Smith, PhD, Biology
  • Faculty with doctoral degrees must always have the degree letters after their names on first reference (without "Dr."). Thereafter, they can be referred to as "Dr.” Example:
    • First reference: Mary Smith, PhD, associate professor, Biology
    • Second reference: Dr. Smith
  • Faculty who also are alumni have their class information indicated in the following ways:
    • For an undergraduate degree or a master's degree, the details follow any terminal degree and professional designations, e.g., Torrie Thomas, PhD, RN, '92 FCN, '02 MBA, assistant professor of Nursing
    • For a terminal degree, the class year precedes the degree but follows any professional designation, e.g., Torrie Thomas, PE, '15 PhD, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering
  • In certain contexts, it may be necessary to identify faculty who also are parents. See the "Parents" entry for guidance, as well as the following examples:
    • Torrie Thomas, EdD, P '14, '17 
    • Torrie Thomas, PhD, '89 VSB, '95 MS, P '16 (alum and parent)

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Hyphenated terms, headline style for

  • If the first part of a hyphenated term is a word that can stand alone, then that word and the word after the hyphen are uppercase in a title or headline
  • If the first part of a hyphenated term is a word that cannot stand alone, then the word after the hyphen is lowercase in a title or headline
  • Headline examples:
    • Decision-Making Body Is Formed ["Making" is uppercase]
    • Professor Co-founds Center of Excellence ["founds" is lowercase]

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Job titles, general

  • When a formal job title appears before a person's name, it should be capitalized.
  • When it appears after a person's name or alone, it is not capitalized.
  • Note that even when the position is lowercase, the department name or area of responsibility is not.
  • Examples:
    • Human Resources Director Jane Smith, PhD, was elected to the board.
    • Jane Smith '98 FCN, vice president of ABC Health Care, has created a scholarship.
    • Jane Smith '90 VSB has been named vice president of Operations at XYZ Inc.

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The official name of the Ӱԭ mascot is Will D. Cat.

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Names, first and last

  • Use full name on first reference.
  • If the person has a nickname, put it in double quotation marks just before the last name.
  • On subsequent references, identify undergraduates by first name, and graduate students and other adults by last name.
  • Examples:
    • Elizabeth J. "Libby" Morris was named department chair.
    • Mary Smith ’27 VSB is studying abroad next semester. Mary hopes to have a career in public service.
    • Greg Schmidt is pursuing a master's degree in English. Schmidt recently presented at a conference on Elizabethan drama.
  • Exceptions
    • First names may be used to avoid confusion, e.g., when two persons in an article have the same last name.
    • When appropriate, use titles such as “Dr.” and “Father” with last name on subsequent references.

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In approved uses of "Nova," do not use a single closed apostrophe to indicate abbreviation. Example: Ignite Change. Go Nova.

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  • When identifying parents by the class years of their children, format as follows: P, space, closing single apostrophe, last two digits of class year.
  •  If more than one child's year is listed, do not repeat the P.
  • If parent is also an alum, list parent’s class year, followed by comma, followed by class year(s) of child(ren).
  • Examples
    • John Smith P '14
    • Anne Jackson P '14, '16
    • Joe Wilson '86 CLAS, P '17

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  • Except where noted otherwise, do not use periods in abbreviations.
    • Examples
      • OSA
      • MBA
      • RN
    • Exceptions
      • U.S. News & World Report (on subsequent references, U.S. News)
      • Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • In general, use periods but no spaces for initials in personal names, e.g., J.M. Meyers.

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The official name of the portal is MyNova.

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Professional designations

  • List professional designations (e.g., FAAN, PE, CPA) after a person’s name on first occurrence.
  • If a person's name includes an academic degree (e.g., PhD), the degree precedes the professional designation.
  • In the names of alumni, class year and college or degree come at the end.
  • Examples:
    • Rowena Darnell, PE, director of the board
    • Rowena Darnell, PhD, PE, director of the board
    • Rowena Darnell, PhD, PE, '87 COE, '93 MS, director of the board

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Pull quotes

Set off pull quotes with quotation marks.

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Residence halls

Use the term "residence hall," Դdz&Բ;“dǰٴǰ.”

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  • Use “St.,” not “Saint,” when it precedes a proper name. Examples:
    • St. Augustine
    • St. Thomas of Ӱԭ Church
  • Exceptions include endowed positions, book titles and the like in which the word is spelled out.

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Use single spaces between words, between sentences or after a colon.

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State names, abbreviation of

  • Abbreviate state names when preceded by the name of a city, county, etc.
  • Do not use postal code abbreviations.
  • Examples
    • Ӱԭ is the oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania.
    • The championship was held in Kinosha, Wis.
  • Exception: Do not abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

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Do not use a comma before suffixes such as “Jr.” and “III.”

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Do not use superscripts with ordinal numbers, e.g., 11th annual, not 11th annual.

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In generic uses, spell as "theatre," in keeping with the name of Ӱԭ's academic department.

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  • When referring to Ӱԭ, “University” (usually preceded by "the" or "this") should be capitalized.
  • When "University" is preceded by an indefinite article, it should be lowercase.
  • Examples
    • The University has launched a comprehensive capital campaign.
    • Ӱԭ in an Augustinian Catholic university.

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University President

  • Use full name and title on first reference: University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS.
  • If the title follows the name, lowercase "president": The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University president.
  • On subsequent references, "Father Donohue," "the president" and similar terms may be used.

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Veritas, Unitas, Caritas

The University motto should be uppercase and italicized: Veritas, Unitas, Caritas.

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Works, titles of

  • Use italics for titles of books, magazines, newspapers, movies, TV series, radio shows, albums, plays, and other works that represent the sum of their components.
  • Titles of chapters, articles, episodes, lectures, presentations, unpublished theses, dissertations, papers, and one-time conferences and events are put in quotation marks.
  • Capitalize but do not put in quotation marks the names of awards, book and lecture series, and recurring conferences (lowercase "the" in copy before the conference name).
  • Examples:
    • Geoffrey Miclat '03 CLAS was the casting director for the film American Sniper. 
    •  Brian Matz, PhD, STD, delivered a lecture titled "When Wealthy People Become Thieves: Christianity's Treatment of Superfluous Goods."
    • The University presented the Civitas Dei Award.
    • The Center for Business Analytics hosts guest speakers at its Business Practitioner Lecture Series.
    • Gender and Women's Studies presented the 26th annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference.
  • In general, the names of websites are in regular type without quotation marks.

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Style Guide Questions and Updates