Editorial Style Guidelines

This house style guide covers grammar, spelling and punctuation issues commonly encountered with Villanova University-related content. It also notes exceptions to AP style, to which Villanova 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 Villanova are identified by year followed by degree initials, not college, e.g., John Smith, PhD, '75 CLAS, '77 MS. (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 CON and Henry '91 VSB Goldsmith.

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Ampersands (&)

  • Use "and," not ampersands, in the names of Villanova University colleges and departments. Examples:
    • Barbara Wall, PhD, vice president for Mission and Ministry
    • Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • For entities outside Villanova, 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

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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:
    • Villanova 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

Austin Field

Austin Hall 

Awkening, The; "Oreo," the

Bartley Hall

Burns Hall

Butler Annex

Campus Green

Caughlin Hall

Center for Engineering Education and Research; CEER

Chemical Engineering Building

Connelly Center

Connelly Plaza

Corr Hall

Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness

Delurey Hall

Donahue Hall

Dougherty Hall

Driscoll Hall

Facilities Management Building

Falvey Memorial Library

Farley Hall

Farrell Hall

Fedigan Hall

Galberry Hall

Gallen Hall

Garey Hall

Geraghty Hall

Good Counsel Hall

Griffin Hall

Grotto, the

Health Services Building

Higgins Soccer Complex

Jackson Hall

Jake Nevin Field House

John Barry Hall

Katharine Hall

Kennedy Ellipse

Kennedy Hall

Klekotka Hall

Law School Building

McGuire Hall

Mendel Field

Mendel Science Center

Middleton Hall

Military Sciences Building

Moriarty Hall

Moulden Hall

O’Dwyer Hall

Pavilion, the

Picotte Hall at Dundale

Quad, the

Rudolph Hall

Sheehan Beach

Sheehan Hall

Simpson Hall

South Campus

Stanford Hall

St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts; SAC

St. Clare Hall

Steam Plant

St. Mary Hall

St. Monica Hall

Stone Hall

St. Rita Hall

Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory

St. Thomas of Villanova Church

St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery

Sullivan Hall

Technology Services Building

Tolentine Hall

Vasey Hall

Villanova Conference Center

Villanova Softball Complex

Villanova Stadium

Villanova 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.
  •  On subsequent references, its abbreviated name may be used.
    • Villanova School of Business; VSB
    • Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; CLAS
    •  Villanova University College of Engineering; COE
    • Villanova University College of Nursing; CON
    • Villanova University College of Professional Studies; CPS
    • Villanova University School of Law; VLS

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Dashes, em

Do not use spaces before or after em dashes. Example: The grant--the largest ever awarded to the department--will fund curricular innovations. 

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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."
    • 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 and Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law
    • Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Deborah J. Tyksinski, PhD, dean, Villanova University College of Professional Studies
    • Daniel Wright, PhD, interim dean, the Villanova School of Business

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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 always must have the degree letters after their names on first reference (without "Dr."). Thereafter, they can be referred to as "Dr.”
    • First reference: Mary Smith, PhD, associate professor, Biology
    • Second reference: Dr. Smith

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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 CON, 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 Villanova 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 '18 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.
  • The official name of the faculty/staff channel (where the articles are found) is the faculty/staff channel of MyNova.

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Position appointments, announcements of

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

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Pull quotes

Set off pull quotes with quotation marks.

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Residence halls

Use the term "residence hall," not “dormitory.”

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  • Use “St.,” not “Saint,” when it precedes a proper name. Examples:
    • St. Augustine
    • St. Thomas of Villanova 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
    • Villanova 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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Terminal degrees

  • List terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DVM, STD, MFA, MBA) after a person’s name on first occurrence.
  • Professional designations follow, e.g., John Smith, PhD, FAIA.
  • Include non-terminal graduate degrees only if they were earned at Villanova, e.g., Mary Jones '83 MA.

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

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  • When referring to Villanova, “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.
    • Villanova 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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Web address

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

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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

* Campaign Style Guidelines.pdf
Campaign Style Guidelines