Editorial Style Guidelines

This style guide provides basic guidelines for grammar, spelling and punctuation issues commonly encountered. Villanova University publications adhere to AP Style.

Style Guide Entries


Abbreviations should be spelled out in first use with abbreviation in parentheses, and then abbreviated in second use.

Example: Two seniors were awarded scholarships to New York University (NYU). While attending NYU, they also will teach.

The Villanova women’s cross-country team won its second consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship. Defending their NCAA title was a goal all season long.

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Alumni, identification of by college and class year

On first mention, alumni will be identified by class year and college, in that order. For colleges, use the following abbreviations: CLAS, COE, CON, VSB, VLS.

Example: John Smith ’87 CLAS

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Alumni with master’s degrees from Villanova

Identify as follows: year followed by degree initials; do not include the area of study or the college.

Example: John Smith, PhD, ’75 CLAS, ’77 MS
Exception: Mary Jones, JD, ’99 VLS [include the law school]
Do not use “GS” (Graduate Studies)

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Ampersands (&)

Ampersands should not be used when describing Villanova University Colleges and departments. “And” should be used instead.

Example: Barbara Wall, PhD, vice president for Mission and Ministry
Example: Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have a new mission.

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Augustinians must always have "the Rev." before their name in first reference. Those with doctoral level degrees must always have their degrees listed after their names in first reference. Thereafter, they can be referred to as "Father" or "Brother." As per AP Style, do not abbreviate to "Fr" or "Br."

First reference: The Rev. Charles Oakley, OSA, PhD
Second reference: Father Oakley 

First reference: Brother Michael Smith, OSA
Second reference: Brother Smith

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Building Names and Campus Landmarks

On first mention, the building should be referred to by its full name. Thereafter, if it has a popular acronym (see below), the acronym can be used on second reference.

Alumni Hall

Austin Hall 

Bartley Hall

Burns Hall

Butler Annex

Caughlin Hall

Center for Engineering Education
& Research (CEER)

Chemical Engineering Building

Connelly Center

Corr Hall

Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness

Delurey Hall

Donahue Hall

Dougherty Hall

*Dundale (use only its proper name, Picotte Hall at Dundale)

Driscoll Hall

Falvey Memorial Library

Farley Hall

Farrell Hall

Fedigan Hall

Financial Services Building

Galberry Hall

Gallen Hall

Garey Hall

Geraghty Hall

Good Counsel Hall

Griffin Hall

Health Services Building

Heating Plant

Jackson Hall

Jake Nevin Field House

John Barry Hall

Katharine Hall

Kennedy Hall

Klekotka Hall

Maintenance Building

McGuire Hall

Mendel Field

Mendel Science Center

Middleton Hall

Military Sciences Building

Moriarty Hall

Moulden Hall

O’Dwyer Hall

Picotte Hall at Dundale

Rudolph Hall

St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts

St. Mary’s Hall

Sheehan Hall

Simpson Hall

South Campus

Stanford Hall

Stone Hall

Structural Engineering Teaching & Research Laboratory

Sullivan Hall

The Grotto

The Oreo

The Pavilion

The Quad

Tolentine Hall

Vasey Hall

Villanova Conference Center

Villanova Stadium

Welsh Hall

West Campus

White Hall

Villanova Conference Center

College of Engineering Buildings and Engineering Centers of Research

Engineering buildings 

  • Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER)
  • Chemical Engineering Building
  • Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory
  • Tolentine Hall
  • White Hall

 Engineering Centers of Research

  • Center for Advanced Communications
  • Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control
  • Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering

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When groups are small or the identification is intuitive, do not use left-to-right designations.

In large groups or where clarity is needed, write “(left to right)” or whatever format is syntactically correct for the context.

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The church on Villanova’s main campus should always be referred to as St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

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Please note: when writing about coaches for the magazine, find out if they are alums and note their class year and college on first reference. See table below.

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Official Program Name 
Head Coach
Joe Godri
Basketball, men’s                  
Jay Wright
Basketball, women’s Harry Perretta
Cross-country, men’s
Marcus O’Sullivan, the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track & Field Coach
Cross-country, women’s   Gina Procaccio
Field Hockey  Joanie Milhous
Football Andy Talley
Golf   James Wilkes
Lacrosse, men’s     Michael Corrado
Lacrosse, women’s   Jebb Chagan
Rowing          Jack St. Clair
Soccer, men’s                Tom Carlin
Soccer, women’s                  John Byford
Softball                  Maria DiBernardi
Swimming & Diving      Rich Simpson
Tennis, Men’s       Brad Adams
Tennis, Women’s     Steve Reiniger
Track and Field, Men’s     Marcus O’Sullivan, the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track & Field Coach
Track and Field, Women’s       Gina Procaccio
Volleyball             Josh Steinbach
Water Polo                
Damon Newman


On first reference, always use the official name of the college. On second reference, its popular abbreviation can be used.

Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; second reference: CLAS
(Note: the College’s proper name is Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Do not leave out “Liberal.”)
Villanova University College of Engineering; second reference: COE
Villanova University College of Nursing; second reference: CON
Villanova University College of Professional Studies; second reference: CPS
Villanova School of Business; second reference: VSB
Villanova University School of Law; second reference: VLS

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M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing, Villanova University College of Nursing
Gary A. Gabriele, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean, Villanova University College of Engineering
John Y. Gotanda, JD, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University School of Law
Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Interim Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, The Helen and William O'Toole Dean, Villanova School of Business

First reference: should include full title, e.g., M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing at Villanova.

Second reference: Dean Fitzpatrick
When “Dean” comes before the last name, it is always capitalized. 

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Deans, associate or assistant

Associate and assistant dean titles should be in lower case after the individual’s name, unless it is an endowed deanship. When the title is before the individual’s name, it should be capitalized.

Example: Mary Smith, associate dean, College of Engineering
Example: Mary Smith, associate dean, Graduate Studies and Research; Mary Smith, associate dean, Enrollment Management
Example: Associate Dean Mary Smith 

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Department names should always be capitalized. 

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Do not space between letters, and use periods.

Example: J.D. Smith 

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The Library’s proper name is Falvey Memorial Library or Falvey. Do not use Falvey Library. Library is capitalized when referring to this institution. Library is not capitalized when used as an adjective.

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

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As per AP Style, when a month is followed by a date, abbreviate only the following: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Do not abbreviate months used alone or used with only a year. 

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Names, Suffixes

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

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Periods in abbreviations

Except where noted otherwise, do not use periods in abbreviations. All degrees should be capitalized.

Examples: OSA, MBA, RN

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The official name of the portal is MyNova. The official name of the faculty/staff channel (where the feature articles are found) is “the faculty/staff channel of MyNova.”

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Position announcements

No position appointments below vice dean or AVP will receive a stand-alone announcement in the magazine, although such information may be referenced in an article. (Endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships, etc. will be considered on an individual basis.)

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First-time use of Father Peter’s name should read, "The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS."

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President’s Cabinet

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, PhD

Vice President for Administration and Finance
Kenneth G. Valosky, MS

Vice President and General Counsel
Debra F. Fickler, JD

Vice President for Student Life
Rev. John P. Stack, OSA

Vice President for University Advancement
Michael J. O’Neill, MBA

Vice President for University Communication
Ann E. Diebold, MBA

Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Barbara E. Wall, PhD

Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer
Stephen W. Fugale

Director of Athletics
Vincent P. Nicastro, MBA

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For endowed professors, include the title of that endowment. In a descriptive phrase, “professor” should be in lower case. The name of their department should be capitalized. When the professor title is before his or her name, it should be capitalized.

Example: Aaron M. Bauer, PhD, the Gerald M. Lemole, MD Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology
Example: Mary Smith, PhD, associate professor, Biology
Example: Villanova Biology Professor Mary Smith, PhD
Example:  Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering
Example:  The James R. Birle Professor of Energy Technology
Example:  The Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Moritz, Sr., Chair in Systems Engineering

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Professors without doctorates

First reference: Professor James Miller
Second reference: Professor Miller 

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Professors with doctorates

Professors with doctoral degrees always must have "PhD" after their names in first reference. Thereafter, they can be referred to as "Dr.”

First reference: Mary Smith, PhD,
Second reference: Dr. Smith

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Quotes, pull

Set off pull quotes with quotation marks; identify the speaker of the quote by name, class year, college and title (when applicable)

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Use “St.,” not “Saint,” when it precedes a proper name (“St. Augustine”)

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Spacing between sentences

Do not hit the spacebar twice, either between words or between sentences.

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Student residence halls

Student residence halls should always be referred to as such. Never use the word “dormitory.”

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Student names and surnames, undergraduate

After first reference, identify undergraduate students by first name.

Example: Mary Smith has enjoyed her four years at Villanova. Mary hopes to attend law school.

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Student surnames, graduate students and other adults

Identify graduate students and all other adults by last name only after first reference.

Exceptions: use “Dr.” and “Father” with last name on subsequent references

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

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Terminal degrees

List terminal degrees after a person’s name on first occurrence. If they have more than one degree, the terminal degree should come first.
Examples: PhD, MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DVM, STD, MFA, MBA
Example: John Smith, PhD, MFA

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Titles, capitalization of

When the title first appears before an individual’s name, it should be capitalized. When it first appears after an individual’s name, it is not capitalized.

Example: Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Jane Smith, PhD, the students conducted an important experiment.

Example: Jane Smith, PhD, assistant professor of Political Science, assisted the students.

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When describing Villanova, “University” should always be capitalized.

Example: The University is embarking upon a Campus Master Plan.

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Always use the shortest possible URL.

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Veritas, Unitas, Caritas

The University motto should be uppercase and italicized — Veritas, Unitas, Caritas — in all references.

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It is www.villanova.edu. Do not use http:// before our Web address.

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Special Notes:

  1. Do not use superscripts (“5th,” not “5th”)
  2. Do not hit the spacebar twice, either between words or between sentences
  3. Don’t use a hyphen with adverbs that end in “ly”

Style Guide Entries Index

Have a style issue not addressed here? Need to notify us about an update? Email your questions or comments to style.guide@villanova.edu.