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University Style Guide


American English is a richly varied language, full of choices. A style guide is not an effort to anoint one of two or more choices as being "correct." That is not the point. A style guide is simply a list of the choices that have been made, mainly for consistency. The choices made in this style guide resulted from participation by Communications and Marketing staff members; consultation with various segments of the university; and consideration of the preferences, needs, and requirements of our several audiences.

This style guide notes specific rules and usages to be followed by authors and editors in Communications and Marketing and other campus communicators. It contains exceptions to both the "The Associated Press Stylebook" and "The Chicago Manual of Style." Where conflicts exist between this guide and other guides, this style guide takes precedence. For other general rules, use a primary style guide that pertains to the publication you are writing or editing.

"The Chicago Manual of Style" is used specifically for books, proceedings, papers, and articles for professional journals. "The Associated Press Stylebook" is used specifically for news releases, Virginia Tech Magazine, other university magazines, brochures, and most documents targeting a general audience.

For more detail or when the "The AP Stylebook" does not address a topic, use "The Chicago Manual of Style."

Additional questions regarding this style guide may be directed to or 540-231-9468.

About Our Name

Our official name is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University but "Virginia Tech" is used in all but formal occasions. Virginia Tech is used in news releases, feature articles, academic journals, and publications and on the Web.

When using the full name of the university, never use an ampersand instead of "and." Never use VPI&SU, VPI and SU, VA Tech, Va. Tech, or Virginia Tech University. "Tech" is acceptable after a first reference to "Virginia Tech," but it should not be used repeatedly or solely. "VT" is acceptable only in limited, informal situations, such as a news headline or email subject line, where space is tight. Do not use "VT" in body copy, in titles of publications, on signs (if space permits), or in any "formal" publication.

"VPI," which was the university's acronym/nickname from 1896 to 1970, should be used only in historical contexts. The same is true for "VAMC," the university's acronym/nickname before 1896.

The Virginia Tech Community

It is acceptable in general communications to use “the Virginia Tech community” for identifying all the groups who make up our audiences and constituents.

Also recommended is “students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and families.”

Communicators are encouraged to adapt this language after considering the specific audience for which your content is written and the specific message your content is meant to convey.

Guidelines and examples:

  • Be cautious when revising the list of “students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and families,” as it’s easy to inadvertently exclude a group.
  • The term “friends” includes all groups not mentioned in the list above, such as donors, local residents, and industry, corporate, and foundation partners.
  • For those employed by the university, “faculty and staff” is generally appropriate. Depending on the intended audiences for the message, it may be appropriate to list faculty, staff, student and non-student wage employees, and graduate assistants. However, “staff” is inclusive of all non-faculty classifications.
  • In a message focused on those on the Blacksburg campus or at another specific location, it may be appropriate to say “students, faculty, and staff” without naming additional audiences.
  • “Families” is more appropriate than “parents,” in that not all students are from households with parents. However, depending on the nature of the message, addressing “students and families” or “parents” may be appropriate.
  • “Hokie Nation” can often be synonymous with the “Virginia Tech community,” as both can refer to alumni and others who see themselves as part of the community.
    In a stewardship message to donors, it may be appropriate to say “donors.”
  • In a message referencing athletics or sporting events, it may be appropriate to say “fans.”


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While abbreviations or acronyms are appropriate in some situations, particularly when dealing with a long college name or title, please refrain from turning your press release, feature article, or publication into something that resembles alphabet soup. Attempt to find other ways to identify the subject rather than repeatedly using an acronym. When they are used, you should usually spell out names first followed by the acronym in parentheses, although sometimes using the acronym first reads better or makes sense. If you do use the acronym first, use the full name or title shortly after. Try to avoid using an acronym or initialism in your lede.

Academic degrees

All degree abbreviations – except MBA and DVM – take periods.

B.A., B.S. (no space after first period) Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

M.A., M.S. Master of Arts, Master of Science

Ed.D., Ph.D. Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy

Do not add the word "degree" after an abbreviation of the degree.

Wrong: She'll receive her Ph.D. degree this fall.

Right: She'll receive her Ph.D. this fall.

Right: She has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering.

(See Capitalization for more on academic degrees)

Accreditation abbreviations

Do not use accreditation abbreviations (Examples: CFA, CRRA, CPA, AIA) after names in news releases or general university publications.

Colleges in second, third references

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: CALS

College of Architecture, Arts, and Design: AAD (spoken as "A, A, and D," not "aid" or "add"). To reinforce the college’s name, the preferable usage is either the full name or “Architecture, Arts, and Design”

College of Engineering: COE

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences: CLAHS

College of Natural Resources and Environment: CNRE

Pamplin College of Business: the Pamplin College, Pamplin

College of Science: COS

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine: vet med, VMCVM

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine: VTCSOM

Casual references may drop "college of." She is a senior in engineering.


Several departments have cumbersome official titles. Spell out the official name on the first reference and revert to abbreviations afterward if desired.

Nova, NoVa, NoVA

Do not use under any circumstances as an abbreviation for Northern Virginia. (Note: Northern Virginia Community College is locally referred to as NOVA and is used in their brand style guide.)

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

Spell out on first use.


The abbreviation for "science, technology, engineering, and math" is acceptable on all references without explanation.

United States

U.S. (with periods) is acceptable in all uses.

Right: He came to the U.S. to get an education.

Right: Extension is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


This is the abbreviation preferred by the University of Virginia.

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Our preference is to follow AP and downcase. Avoid rampant capitalization.

Academic degrees

AP does capitalize formal names of degrees, but not the area of the degree.

Right: He was the fourth generation of McKenzies to earn a Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Virginia Tech.

Use the possessive for bachelor's degree and master's degree. However, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science.

Right: More than 1,000 students earned bachelor's degrees.

Right: Fewer than a dozen people hold doctorates in this field.

Degrees that read more like titles, such as "water: resources, policy, and management" are lower case. A program by the same name would be capitalized, however.

Academic titles

Capitalize University Distinguished Professor and Alumni Distinguished Professor (including the academic discipline, if provided) in all.

Capitalize and use the full names for professorships, endowed chairs, and scholarships.


Capitalize Black as an adjective in a racial, ethnic, or cultural sense.

Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Virginia Tech Board of Visitors; the Board of Visitors; the board. Do not use BOV in formal copy.


Capitalize formal names of colleges and divisions of the university. A shorthand reference to the proper name is also capitalized, but the word "college," "division," or “office” when used alone would not be.

Right: College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Right: Division of Human Resources, Human Resources

Wrong: In the Business College, professors stress economics and quantum topics over management and human factors studies.

Wrong: In the Division, our mission is to put students first.

The formal full name of a department is capitalized but the informal reference is not. Department of History (but history department, English department).

Note: The College of Architecture, Arts, and Design refers to "programs" rather than departments. In this case, program should be capped when it is part of an official name: Program of Interior Design.

(See Odds and Ends for departments named after individuals.)


Capitalize in University Commencement and Graduate School Commencement but lower case in other uses.

Commonwealth of Virginia

Capitalize the word "commonwealth" only when using the full proper name Commonwealth of Virginia. Lowercase when using alone. "State" is always lowercase except when used as part of the official name of another state, e.g., the State of North Carolina.

Cooperative Education Program

co-op program, co-op student. Do not use co-op in reference to Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Corps of Cadets

Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets on first reference. Capitalize Corps of Cadets, but not the corps, cadets. Capitalize "cadet" in front of a cadet's name.


Lowercase when describing courses in general; uppercase the specific course or program.

Right: I took Organic Chemistry, Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology, General Physics Lab, and Elementary Calculus. I passed two of them but still was dropped from the biochemistry program.

Right: He is enrolled in a mathematics course, two literature courses, and a physical education class.

Dean, dean's list

dean (upper case only before a dean's name), dean's list


Uppercase, one word.


Capitalize when used in reference to members or programs of Virginia Cooperative Extension, i.e., an Extension agent. Do not use Extension Service. Do not use "co-op" in reference to Virginia Cooperative Extension.


One word, capital "B."

Hokie Nation, Hokie Stone, Hokie Spirit

Capitalize the words "Nation," "Stone," and "Spirit."

Indigenous (as well as Native)

Capitalize this term when used to refer to original inhabitants of a place.

the Lyric Theatre

Not The Lyric Theatre.


Capitalize Pylons when referring to the entire edifice. Also capitalize the name of each pylon but not the word "pylon."

Right: A bugler played "Taps" at the Pylons.

Right: The eight pylons are Brotherhood, Ut Prosim, Leadership, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Honor, Service, and Duty.

Right: John is particularly fond of the Loyalty pylon.

Regions of Virginia

Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia (but southwestern Virginia), Tidewater, Southside (Southern Virginia is also allowed), Eastern Shore, Piedmont, Northern Neck


Titles preceding a personal name are uppercased. The title is lowercased when it stands alone or follows a personal name. Professor, assistant professor, and associate professor are capitalized before a name, which is an exception to AP, but professor of architecture (or any other field) before a name is not capped.

Right: President Sands; Tim Sands, president of Virginia Tech; the president

Right: Mark V. Barrow Jr., chair of the history department


Lowercase "university" when referring to Virginia Tech in text.

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Email and web addresses

The preferred style for web addresses that start with the protocol "http://" is to leave the protocol off if it is followed by "www." Use "http://" if it is not followed by "www" and use the protocol if it is something other than "http://."

When a web address ends a sentence, finish with a period.

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University Relations follows the "AP Stylebook." Spell out whole numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. Fractions standing alone are spelled out. For fractions with whole numbers, use numerals. 

Right: She has eight cats and 11 dogs. About one-fifth of her salary goes to buy 2 1/2 tons of pet food each year.

In some cases, particularly when the primary purpose of a passage is to communicate university rankings or accomplishments, to make the salient information stand out, writers could either bold the numeral or ranking, or use "No. 2" instead of "second."

Ages, dimensions

Use numerals for ages and dimensions.

Right: The boy was 2 years old.

Right: She is 7 feet tall.


In a departure from the new AP style, we continue to spell out the word "percent." Do not repeat the word in a range. Do not spell out the numbers in percentages; use numerals.

Wrong: More than 30% of the students were below average.

Wrong: Fewer than five percent of students own airplanes.

Wrong: The tuition remission will be between 15 percent and 40 percent.

Right: The tuition increase will be between 5 and 10 percent.

Note: Use % in tables and charts.

Room numbers

203 Robeson Hall is preferred to Room 203 Robeson Hall

Telephone numbers

Use this style: 202-555-4832

"Virginia Tech" + "University..."

Some unit names or job titles begin with the word “university,” such as University Scholarships and Financial Aid or university building official. Avoid adding “Virginia Tech” as a descriptor before those names and titles. Doing so reinforces misuse of the university’s name. Instead, use “at Virginia Tech” or “of Virginia Tech” after the name or title. Alternatively, use the possessive “Virginia Tech’s” before the name or title.

Wrong: Virginia Tech University Scholarships and Financial Aid

Right: University Scholarships and Financial Aid at Virginia Tech

Right: University Scholarships and Financial Aid of Virginia Tech

Wrong: the Virginia Tech university building official

Right: Virginia Tech’s university building official

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In a departure from AP style, we use the serial comma: "Basically, students will do coursework in three major areas: economics, languages, and history."


M.S.'s, Ph.D.'s (plurals)

Plural of a single letter: A's, B's

Decade as a noun: The 1990s were a profitable time. The '90s saw a rise in enrollment.

Decade as a possessive: His thesis discusses the 1990s' cultural changes.

Books/videos/magazines, etc.

Follow AP style, which means no italics for composition titles. Use quote marks around book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, and the titles of lectures, speeches, and works of art. Names of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals and other compositions or publications, as well as the names of software, apps, or games, are capitalized but do not take quotes. See AP entry for "composition titles" for more details.

Bulleted lists

Capitalize the first word of each bulleted item. In a departure from AP style, use periods only if list items are complete sentences. Skip the periods if your list is made up of fragments. If you have a mix of fragments and complete sentences, choose whatever looks best.

The students were asked to read

  • A chapter in a novel from the 18th century
  • A chapter in a novel from the 20th century
  • An essay comparing the two

The students in the Tuesday afternoon seminar have two assignments and a deadline:

  • Read a chapter in a novel from the 18th century.
  • Write an essay comparing it with a chapter in a novel from the 20th century.
  • Complete both projects by 5 p.m.


Do not use a comma before Jr., Sr., Inc., Ltd., or LLC.

Double spaces

Do not use double spaces between sentences.

Em dashes

Em dashes can be used either with or without a space before and after the dash, but be consistent within a document or publication. Currently, VT News uses spaces before and after an em dash, but the Virginia Tech Magazine does not.


AP says the fewer hyphens the better.

  • Vice president (no hyphen)
  • Fundraising, fundraiser (preferred use is without a hyphen or a space)
  • Highly developed (no hyphen with adverbs ending in "ly")
  • Living-learning community
  • No hyphens, no space with non, pre, post, sub, etc. compounds
    • Preadmission materials
    • Preexisting
    • Antiintellectual
    • Nonprofit
    • Subcommittee
    • Postgraduate studies


  • When the second word in a pair is capitalized; e.g., non-English.
  • Numbers; e.g., pre-1954.
  • Re-create when used to mean create again; recreate is an awkward verb meaning to take part in recreation.
  • When the last letter of a prefix is the same as the first letter in the second word, use a hyphen: anti-intellectual. AP now allows double “e’s” without a hyphen: preexisting.
  • Pre-award and post-award are OK to hyphenate.

Quote marks

Use single quote marks in headlines and inside double quote marks to delineate quoted material.

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Odds and Ends

Address format

This is the standard format for a university address with a building name, including off-campus university offices. For other format examples, visit the street address site.

Joe Hokie
Department Name (MCxxxx)
Building Name, RM or STE XXX, Virginia Tech
XXX Street Name
Blacksburg, VA 24061

The internal postal code used by Virginia Tech must not be used as a plus-4 zip code extension in addresses. Currently, there are no plus-4 zip code extensions established for the university, and the internal postal code is not recognized by the U.S. Postal Service.

Advisor, adviser

In a departure from AP style, the preferred spelling is "advisor," which is used more commonly in academe. "Adviser" is acceptable in releases going to organizations that follow AP style.

African American, Black

Either is acceptable for an American of African heritage, depending upon the subject's preferences or the context of the document. AP no longer hyphenates African American, even when used as an adjective. In keeping with new AP style, Black is capitalized. And remember that the terms are not always interchangeable, as not all Black Americans trace their ancestry to Africa.

Alumnus, alumni, alumnae

Proper usage is as follows:

alumnus — one male graduate

alumni — more than one male graduate or a mixture of male and female graduates

alumna — one female graduate

alumnae — more than one female graduate

alum — informal use only, one graduate

alums — informal use only, more than one graduate

Campaign terminology

First reference: Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech

Sample sentence: Launched Oct. 11, Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech will fuel ambitious new programs, initiatives, and capital projects.

Second reference: the Boundless Impact campaign, the campaign, Boundless Impact

About the campaign: Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech is a comprehensive fundraising and engagement campaign. The university will raise $1.5 billion, engage more than 100,000 Hokies, and fuel ambitious new programs, initiatives, and capital projects. The campaign will focus on these priorities:

  • Complex problems
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Global Business and Analytics Complex
  • Health Sciences and Technology campus
  • New era in greater D.C.
  • Reimagining education


  • The term “capital campaign” is a generic term. Boundless Impact is a comprehensive fundraising and engagement campaign.
  • Depending on the audience, re-ordering the six priorities is acceptable.

Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus

On first reference to the university's presence at Children's National: Virginia Tech at the Chidren's National Research & Innovation Campus (the ampersand is correct).

Subsequent references: Virginia Tech at Children's National


General text for Virginia Tech Magazine and VT News stories – Upon first reference (except perhaps in a short lede), include the preferred class year (and not the actual class year): Joe Jones ’77. Later in the text of the story, include the major or degree type and college (if pertinent). Class of 1977 (but not Class of ’77) is also acceptable.

Captions, bylines, photo credits – Joe Jones ´77 (if person has just an undergraduate degree). Jane Jones M.A. ´77 (if person has only an advanced degree from Tech). Joe Jones ´77, M.S. ´80 (if person has both).

Lower-thirds, identifying speakers in videos – Same style as captions above.

Class Notes – List alum under his or her preferred class year; no longer include the actual class year. Do not include majors. Use degree type only for advanced degrees. Joe Jones ´77, Jane Jones M.A. ´77

Pull quotes – Use name and preferred class year. Further identification below the name (such as a title) should follow university style, which is generally lower case.

Current students – Generally avoid class year if they have not graduated, but somewhere in text indicate how far along in school they are. We use “first-year” and not “freshman.” After a student’s first year, revert to the use of “sophomore,” “junior,” and “senior,” depending on academic credits. For example, “John Doe, a first-year sociology major,” or “Jane Doe, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.”

Masthead of the magazine and administrative listings – No class year identifier.

Headlines – No class year.

Name tags, business – Official name tags and business cards can include preferred class year.

Colleges, number of

Virginia Tech has nine colleges. Here is a sample paragraph:

The university offers bachelor's degree programs through its eight undergraduate academic colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts, and Design; Engineering; Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Natural Resources and Environment; Pamplin College of Business; Science; and Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. On the postgraduate level, the university offers master's and doctoral degree programs through the Graduate School, a professional degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and a medical degree through the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Students may also receive an honors diploma if they are graduates of the Honors College.


Copyrights in all publications published at Virginia Tech should list the university as the owner of the copyright regardless of the university college, department, program, center, institute, or other entity producing the publication. The copyright should appear as © followed by the year and the official name of the university — e.g., © 2019 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


One word, per AP.

Courtesy titles

In general, do not use Mr., Miss, Mrs., or Ms.

In a departure from AP, do NOT use Dr., even for medical doctors or veterinarians. Also attempt to avoid using abbreviations of degrees after names, opting instead to detail a person's credentials or education in the text.

Dining Center

Not cafeteria

Division of Student Affairs

Student Affairs is preferred on first reference.

EO/AA statement for publications

Version one (when space is not a consideration): Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, ethnicity or national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Office for Equity and Accessibility at 540-231-2010 or 220 Gilbert Street, Suite 5200, Blacksburg VA 24061.

Version two (when space is a consideration): Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination or accessibility should contact the Office for Equity and Accessibility.

Version three (when space is at a premium): Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Faculty member

Faculty member (not "faculty" when referring to one member thereof )

Gender pronouns

[see AP Stylebook for further guidance on this topic]

They/them/their is appropriate to use as a singular or gender-neutral pronoun. However, rewording to avoid is preferable.


Correct: A student’s family is their best ally.

Better: Students’ families are their best allies.

Ask interview subjects, as appropriate, their gender pronouns or use the person’s name in place of a pronoun.

Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown

This is the official name and should be used on first reference. Graduate Life Center and GLC are acceptable second references. 

greater Washington, D.C., metro area

We no longer use National Capital Region. Instead, we use “greater Washington, D.C., metro area,” a geographical locator that encompasses the university’s entire footprint in the region, including:

  • The Innovation Campus being developed in Alexandria.
  • Seven existing sites in the region, in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg.
  • Other current and future Virginia Tech facilities, programs, and activities in the region.

The term is not a brand or a proper name requiring capitalization.

  • Preferred second reference and less formal usages:
    • We recommend “Washington, D.C., area.”
    • Shorter references, such as “the Washington area” or “the D.C. area,” will fit in some contexts.
    • In some contexts, narrowing the geographic scope for the sake of specificity (Northern Virginia, Alexandria, Arlington, etc.) is appropriate.

Highty-Tighty, Highty-Tighties

Always use the hyphen.

Hokie Hy

Not "Hoki" or "Hi."

Hokies, HokieBird

The term "Fighting Gobblers" is no longer used by the university.

Inclusion and diversity

When referring to universitywide efforts around inclusion and diversity, the terms "inclusion and diversity" or "InclusiveVT" are preferred because they best reflect our institutional structure. The university has an Office for Inclusion and Diversity and InclusiveVT represents our individual and institutional commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, while a separate office, the Office for Equity and Accessibility, promotes a learning and working environment free from harassment and discrimination for employees and students.

Innovation Campus

When we refer to the physical location, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, we are describing Academic Building 1 and any future buildings at the Potomac Yard site. When referring to the physical location of Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, use the word “location,” “site,” or a similar word: We traveled one hour to arrive at the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus location. When we refer to the program, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, we are describing the academic unit led by Lance Collins. The Innovation Campus program uses the brand created for it. Other Virginia Tech academic and research programs at the Innovation Campus location do not use the Innovation Campus brand. They use instead the appropriate university lockup logo for their college, department, center, etc. Other Virginia Tech units located at the Innovation Campus site will reference the Innovation Campus as their location only: Our program is located in Academic Building 1 at the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.


LumenHAUS is the official spelling of the house that won the international Solar Decathlon Competition in Madrid, Spain

Master class

Two words.

Mission of the university

Inspired by our land-grant identity and guided by our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech is an inclusive community of knowledge, discovery, and creativity dedicated to improving the quality of life and the human condition within the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the world.

2019 Mission Statement adopted by the Board of Visitors

Moss Arts Center

The Moss Arts Center refers to both the entire building and the professional presenting program that curates performances and exhibitions, and operates the Moss Arts Center. The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology is a university-level research institute uniquely partnered with and headquartered in the Moss Arts Center.

National Capital Region

We no longer use National Capital Region. See the entry for greater Washington, D.C., metro area.

Outreach and International Affairs

Not "Division of" Outreach and International Affairs

Photo captions

All captions for photos containing more than two people need to include directional cues, important information to anyone with low vision or who uses a screen reader. Put directional information in parentheses.

Correct: Diane Smith (at left) chats with Virginia Tech President Tim Sands.

Correct: Nolan Chong (at far right) shares his thoughts during a breakout session.

Identify groups of people from left to right and use (from left) or (clockwise from top left) in captions.

Correct: (From left) Ravi Tutika, Chanhong Lee, and Michael Bartlett.

For larger group photos, please add rows (back row, from left) or other directional cues to help the reader. For very large groups, it’s not necessary to identify everyone in the photo.

Photo credits

For a photo taken by a university photographer: “Ray Meese for Virginia Tech.” The credit should appear at the end of a sentence in the caption. For photo packages/stories we would include the credit in each caption.

For submitted photos: Courtesy of Joe Smith (or whomever).


Not rush.

Residence hall

Not dormitory.

Residential Well-Being Student Leader

The former resident advisor title changed in fall 2022. The standard rule on when to capitalize titles applies.

Roanoke campus terminology

The medical school in Roanoke is the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on first reference. “VTC School of Medicine” or “school of medicine” are acceptable on second reference.

The institute in Roanoke is the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC on first reference and thereafter the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. It is physically located in two buildings (2 Riverside Circle and 4 Riverside Circle). 

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute was named in recognition of philanthropy by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and Heywood and Cynthia Fralin. It should NOT be referred to as the “Fralin Institute” because there is a Fralin Life Science Institute in Blacksburg, named in recognition of philanthropy by Horace and Ann Fralin. The late Horace Fralin is the older brother of Heywood Fralin.

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine are based at the Virginia Tech Carilion Health Sciences and Technology Campus, which is a part of the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.

Julie Ross

Use “Julie” and not “Julia” for Virginia Tech News content.

CORRECT: Julie Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering, spoke.

Laura P. Sands

Use the middle initial on first reference.

Tim Sands

This is the preferred style on first reference.

Schiffert Health Center

Not Student Health Center or the Infirmary.

Steger Center for International Scholarship

This is the name for the former Center for European Studies and Architecture in Switzerland.

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

Use the ampersand.

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

Spell out "and."


Use this spelling when referring to the department on campus and its productions.

University motto

The university motto is Ut Prosim, but we add the English translation to it in first reference. When adding the translation, it should be styled Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), with Ut Prosim italicized. In the phrase “the Ut Prosim difference,” the word “difference” should be lowercase.

Universitywide, campuswide

We are returning to AP style, which doesn’t use a hyphen in words with the suffix “wide.”

Virginia Tech Advantage

"The" is not needed before Virginia Tech Advantage. Do not shorten to the VT Advantage. The hashtag #VTAdvantage can be used for social media posts.

Virginia Tech Global Distinction

"The" is not needed before Virginia Tech Global Distinction. Do not shorten to VT Global Distinction.  The hashtag #VTGlobalDistinction can be used for social media posts.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Use the full name on first reference. “VTC School of Medicine” or “school of medicine” are acceptable on second reference. VTCSOM is allowed in more casual situations or where space is limited. See “Roanoke campus terminology” entry for more detail.

Year span style

Preferred style for a span of years is 2011-12. Also acceptable for design purposes is 2011-2012.

Zip code

In a departure from AP style, use "zip code," not "ZIP code."

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(This list might not include some newer buildings. See for more information.)

Agnew Hall

Agriculture/Forestry Research Laboratory Facility

Air Conditioning Facility

Alexandria Research Institute

Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena

Alumni Mall (was The Mall)

Ambler Johnston Hall

Aquatic Medicine Laboratory

Architecture Annex


Art and Design Learning Center

April 16 Memorial

Barringer Hall

Beamer-Lawson Indoor Practice Facility

Bioinformatics Phase II

Bishop-Favrao Hall

Black Box Theatre

Blacksburg Square

Burchard Hall

Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center

Burruss Hall

Campbell Hall

Cassell Coliseum

Cheatham Hall

Chicken Hill

Classroom Building

Cochrane Hall

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building

Corps Leadership and Military Science Building

Cowgill Hall

Dairy Science Complex

Davidson Hall

Derring Hall

Dietrick Hall

Drillfield (in front of Burruss Hall; others are drill fields)

Duck Pond

Durham Hall

Eggleston Hall

Engel Hall

English Field (baseball stadium)

Femoyer Hall

Fleet Services

Food Science and Technology Building

Fraction House

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Fralin Life Science Institute

Garnett E. and Patsy T. Smith Career Center

GBJ (see Johnston Student Center)

Gilbert Place

Goodwin Hall

Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown

Hahn Garden Pavilion and Horticulture Garden

Hahn Hall-North Wing

Hahn Hall-South Wing

Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center

Hampton Roads Center, Newport News

Hampton Roads Center, Virginia Beach

Hancock Hall

Harper Hall

Harry T. Peters Large Animal Clinic

Health and Safety Building

Henderson Hall

Henderson Lawn

Hillcrest Hall

Holden Hall

Holtzman Alumni Center

Homefield Farm

Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center (see The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center)

Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1

Human Resources Annex

Hutcheson Hall

Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS II)

Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (formerly Wallace Annex)

Jamerson Athletic Center

Johnson Hall

G. Burke Johnston Student Center (commonly called GBJ; not the student center, see Squires)

Kelly Hall

Kentland Farm

Lane Hall

Lane Stadium

Latham Hall

Lavery Hall

Lee Hall

Life Sciences I Facility

Litton-Reaves Hall (named after two people; never Reaves Hall)

Major Williams Hall (not the same as Williams Hall)

Marching Virginians Center

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center

McBryde Hall

McComas Hall

Media Annex

Media Building

Merryman Athletic Center

Miles Hall

Military Building

Miller-Johnson Track

Monteith Hall

Moss Arts Center

New Hall West

Newman Hall

New Classroom Building

New Residence Hall East

Newman Library (Carol M. Newman Library)

Norris Hall

North End Center

O'Shaughnessy Hall

Oak Lane Community

Old-Growth Forest/Stadium Woods

Old Security Building

Owens Hall

Pack Building

Pamplin Hall

Parking Services Building

Patton Hall

Payne Hall

Pearson Hall East

Pearson Hall West

Peddrew-Yates Hall

Perry Street Parking Deck

Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech

Price Hall

Pritchard Hall

Public Safety Building

the Pylons

Randolph Hall

Rector Field House

Reynolds Homestead

Richard B. Talbot Educational Resources Center

Robeson Hall

Sandy Hall

Saunders Hall

Seitz Hall

Shanks Hall

Skelton Conference Center

Slusher Hall

Smith Career Center

Smith House

Smyth Hall


Squires Student Center, the student center

Steger Center for International Scholarship

Steger Hall

Sterrett Facility Complex

Student Services Building

Surge Space Building

Theatre 101

The Grove (the president's house)

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

Thomas Hall

Torgersen Hall

University Bookstore

University Libraries

Vawter Hall

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center

Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington

Virginia Tech Richmond Center

Virginia Tech Roanoke Center

Virginia Tech Southwest Center

Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center

Volume Two

Wallace Hall

War Memorial Chapel

War Memorial Hall

Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center

Whitethorne-Kentland Research Farm, the research farm

Whittemore Hall

William E. Lavery Animal Health Research Center

Williams Hall

Worsham Field

Women's Center at Virginia Tech

Women's Softball Field

Wright House

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