Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Fordham University Editorial Style Guide

Wondering how to abbreviate academic degrees? When to capitalize professional titles? Whether or not to use a serial comma?

Fordham's Office of Marketing and Communications has created this style guide for all members of the Fordham community. It is designed to provide clear solutions to common questions faced by anyone writing about the University for Fordham publications.

The guide shows frequently misspelled and misused words, as well as preferred usage. Its purpose is to achieve a consistent voice, tone, and style in written communications about the University and its people.

The University relies heavily on the Associated Press Stylebook (AP style) and Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but this guide supersedes AP style in some cases. To ask a question not addressed here, write to E-MAIL ADDRESS TK with the subject line: Editorial Style.


A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  W  |  Y


a before h

Use a before a pronounced h: a historian, a horse. Use an before an aspirated h: an hour, an honest person.

abbreviations and acronyms

Well-known acronyms and abbreviations should be formed without periods: CEO, CFO, CIA, CPA, DJ, FBI, GPA, NATO, and SAT, for example. The title vice president should be spelled out, never hyphenated. United Nations and United States should also be spelled out when used as nouns. When used as adjectives, they should be abbreviated as UN (no periods) and U.S. (note the periods).

For example: UN peacekeeping efforts; the U.S. economy.

For organizations and terms that are not widely known, spell out the complete name on first reference. Place the acronym in parentheses after the first mention if you plan to use the acronym again.

For example: Henry Schwalbenberg, Ph.D., is the director of the International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program at Fordham University. The IPED program … 

Fordham-specific abbreviations and acronyms

BEN Bensalem College

FAC Faculty, Administration, Staff

FCLC Fordham College at Lincoln Center (previously known as The College at Lincoln Center)

FCRH Fordham College at Rose Hill (previously known as Fordham College)

GBA Graduate School of Business Administration

GRE Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education

GSAS Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

GSB Gabelli School of Business (previously known as the College of Business Administration)

GSE Graduate School of Education

GSS Graduate School of Social Service

JES Shrub Oak

LAW School of Law

MC Marymount College

PAR Parent

PCS Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies (previously known as Fordham College of Liberal Studies, Ignatius College, the School of General Studies, and Excel)

PHA School of Pharmacy

TMC Thomas More College

UGE Undergraduate School of Education

WEC Marymount Weekend College

Some additional notes regarding the schools and colleges at Fordham University:

When referring to both the undergraduate Gabelli School of Business and the Graduate School of Business Administration, which share the same faculty, use Fordham Schools of Business or the Schools of Business.

All graduates of the Gabelli School of Business and the College of Business Administration, regardless of graduation year, will be identified as alumni of GSB. We no longer use CBA to identify graduates of this college. Note, however, that the acronym GSB is used only after a person’s Fordham school affiliation and year of graduation. For example: John Smith, GSB ’59, attended Homecoming with Rachel Smith, FCRH ’09.

Avoid the use of GSB in all other instances. When referring to the Gabelli School of Business, use the full name of the school on first reference. In subsequent references, use the Gabelli School or Gabelli. When referring to the Gabelli School in a sentence with other school acronyms (i.e., FCRH, FCLC), use Gabelli. For example: Admission rates are up among the undergraduate schools, with FCRH up 7 percent, FCLC up 11 percent and Gabelli up 21 percent.

All graduates of the College at Lincoln Center and Fordham College at Lincoln Center, regardless of graduation year, will be identified as alumni of FCLC. We no longer use CLC or LC to identify graduates of this college.

All graduates of the School of General Studies, Ignatius College, Fordham College of Liberal Studies, Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies, regardless of graduation year, will be identified as alumni of PCS. We no longer use ICO or LS or FCLS to identify graduates of this college.

All graduates of Fordham College and Fordham College at Rose Hill, regardless of graduation year, will be identified as alumni of FCRH. We no longer use FCO or FC to identify graduates of this college.

Graduates of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education will be identified as alumni of GRE. We no longer use GSRRE to identify graduates of this school.

Graduates of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be identified as alumni of GSAS. We no longer use GAS to identify graduates of this school.

Graduates of the Graduate School of Education will be identified as alumni of GSE. We no longer use GED to identify graduates of this school.

Graduates of the Graduate School of Social Service will be identified as alumni of GSS. We no longer use GSSS to identify graduates of this school.


academic degrees and disciplines

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree. For example: He earned his master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham in 2008. In more formal way to refer to the degree, note the use of capitalization and no apostrophe: Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science; Doctor of Philosophy.

Note also the correct use of the words doctorate and doctoral: She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Fordham University. She earned her doctorate in theology.

The discipline in which the degree was earned also should be lowercase, with the exception of those disciplines that are proper nouns: bachelor’s degree in sociology, master’s degree in theology, bachelor’s degree in English. For example: He earned his master’s degree in English before earning his doctoral degree in comparative literature.

This rule also applies to majors and minors.

Abbreviate degrees with periods and without spaces: B.A., B.S., B.F.A., D.Th. (doctor of theology), M.A., M.S., M.Phil., M.F.A., S.T.D. (doctor of sacred theology), Ed.D., Ph.D., J.D., LL.D., M.D., etc.

M.B.A., MBA: The degree is M.B.A., with periods. When referring to the program or to a person who has earned the degree, however, use MBA—no periods, no spaces. Plural: M.B.A.s, MBAs. For example: She earned herM.B.A. at Fordham while working full time. The MBA students gathered for coffee after class. The same rule applies to MFA, M.F.A.



Abbreviate Avenue, Boulevard, and Street as Ave., Blvd., and St., respectively, when used with a numerical address: 2982 Main St., for example. Spell them out and capitalize them when they are part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue, for example. Lowercase and spell them out when they are used alone or with more than one street name: on the avenue, Lexington and Madison avenues.

All similar words—alley, drive, road, terrace, place, etc.—should be spelled out.

Always use figures for an address number: 1 Central Park West, not One Central Park West.

Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when they’re used as part of street names; use figures with two letters (th or st, as appropriate) for 10th and above.

Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St., 600 K St. N.W.

Do not abbreviate directionals with street names, however, if the number in the address is omitted (East 42nd Street, K Street Northwest) or if the directional is part of the street name (84 West End Ave.).

When referring to a post office box in editorial copy, place periods in the abbreviation P.O. Box.


adviser (not advisor)



affect, effect

Affect is almost always a verb. (It has a special use as a noun in the field of psychology.) It means to influence. When it means to pretend or to feign, it is sometimes turned into an adjective or noun. For example: His Russian accent was affected. His accent was an affectation.

Effect is always a noun, unless you’re effecting change.


African American (n.), African-American (adj.)

Pay attention, however, to the official names of departments and organizations. Mark Naison, Ph.D., is a member of the Department of African and African American Studies at Fordham University. He is also the director of the Bronx African-American History Project.



Always use figures for people and animals. My niece is 2 years old. Ages used as an adjective before a noun or as a substitute for a noun require hyphens: The 21-year-old student, but the student is 21 years old.


The Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program

The Ailey/Fordham program is a partnership between the Ailey School (the official school of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) and Fordham College at Lincoln Center.



Use the following:

alumnus when referring to one male

alumna when referring to one female

alumni when referring to two or more former students, if some or all are male

alumnae when referring to two or more former students, if all are female

Do not use the word alum or alums in print; use graduate or graduates.

Identify Fordham University alumni by their school or college affiliation(s) and their class year(s). The correct format is as follows: the person’s name, followed by a comma; the school or college abbreviation, with no comma after it; and the two-digit year of graduation, preceded by an apostrophe. Note: Quotation marks can face right or left, but apostrophes always face left. Place a comma after the year of graduation if the sentence continues after it. If the person earned more than one Fordham degree, list them all in the above format, separated only by commas, starting with the earliest degree and ascending in chronological order.

For example: John D. Feerick, FCRH ’58, LAW ’61, has successfully mediated labor disputes. If someone has earned more than one degree from the same school or college in different years, write GSAS ’72 and ’75, for example.

It is also acceptable to include the abbreviation(s) and year(s) of graduation in parentheses, particularly if they appear in a sentence that already includes text set off by commas. Using parentheses often will make the copy easier to read. For example: Marie Menna Pagliaro, Ph.D. (GSE ’78), is the author of four books.

Take care, however, to stick with one style—parentheses or commas. Do not use two different styles in the same article.

We do not use this style to indicate the anticipated graduation year for current students. Instead, we note that a student is a member of the Class of 2015, for example, or we indicate a student’s year, i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior or senior.



The ampersand, written as &, is used only if it is part of the official title of an organization, scholarship fund, etc.


Archdiocese of New York



It is the Fordham University Department of Athletics or the athletics department, not the athletic department.

Fordham athletics is also acceptable.

Fordham sponsors 23 men’s and women’s varsity sports teams. The Fordham Rams are members of the NCAA Division I and compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track, rowing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, and water polo, and in the Patriot League (Division I-AA) for football.


biannual, biennial

Biannual is twice a year. Biennial is every two years.


building names and campus locations (partial list)

Lincoln Center

12th-floor Lounge (note the lowercase f)

Blessed Rupert Mayer, S.J., Chapel

Center Gallery

Fordham University School of Law (Fordham Law School and Fordham Law are also acceptable)

Franny’s Space

Generoso Pope Memorial Auditorium (Pope Auditorium is acceptable on all references)

Gerald M. Quinn Library (Quinn Library is acceptable on all references)

Law School Library

Leon Lowenstein Center (Lowenstein Center is acceptable on all references; Lowenstein Building is not acceptable)

Lowenstein Atrium

Lowenstein Café

McMahon Hall

McNally Amphitheatre

Platt Atrium

The Push Pin Gallery

Robert Moses Plaza

Veronica Lally Kehoe Studio Theatre

Visual Arts Complex

White Box Studio


London Centre

Fordham University’s London Centre (note the English spelling of centre)is a 3,500-square-foot facility on the four-acre campus of Heythrop College, a part of the University of London that specializes in philosophy and theology. It is home to Fordham’s London Dramatic Academy, several Gabelli School of Business programs, and Fordham’s LiberalArts Summer Program.


The Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station

The Louis Calder Center is a 113-acre biological field station located in Armonk, N.Y. At the center, University faculty and students conduct ecological research, with a primary objective of measuring the impact of human activitieson the environment. (Note: Some sources have referred to the Louis J. Calder Center. That is incorrect. There is no middle initial in the name of the center.)


Rose Hill

Administration Building

Alpha House

Alumni Court South

Alumni House

Bahoshy Field

Canisius Hall

Campbell, Salice, and Conley Halls

Jack Coffey Field (Coffey Field is acceptable on all references)

Collins Auditorium

Dealy Hall

Duane Library: Duane Library is home to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, the Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, Tognino Hall, and Butler Commons (formerly called University Commons)

Edwards Parade (note that Edwards does not take an apostrophe)

Faber Hall

Faculty Memorial Hall

Finlay Hall

Fordham Preparatory School (Fordham Prep is acceptable on subsequent references)

Fordham University Church (University Church is acceptable on all references)

Freeman Hall

Hawthorn/Rooney Tennis Courts

Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field (Houlihan Park is acceptable on all references)

Hughes Hall

John Mulcahy Hall (Mulcahy Hall is acceptable on all references)

Keating Hall: Keating Hall is home to the Blue Chapel, Keating First Lecture Hall, Keating Third Lecture Hall, the Visual Arts Complex, and WFUV.

Kohlmann Hall

Larkin Hall

Leonard Theatre

Loschert Hall (formerly Alumni Court North)

Loyola Hall

Martyrs’ Court (note that Martyrs’ does take an apostrophe)

Martyrs’ Lawn

McGinley Center: The McGinley Center is home to the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice (formerly the Office of Campus Ministry) and the McGinley Center Ballroom

Murphy Field

Murray Weigel Hall

O’Hare Hall: O’Hare Hall is home to O’Keefe Commons.

Queen’s Court Residential College

Rose Hill Gymnasium (Rose Hill Gym is acceptable on all references)

Spellman Hall

Thebaud Hall

Tierney Hall

Vincent T. Lombardi Memorial Center (Lombardi Center is acceptable on all references): The Lombardi Center houses the Lombardi Fieldhouse and the Beryl and John Lyons Football Locker Room

Walsh Athletic Training Center

Walsh Hall

William D. Walsh Family Library (Walsh Library is OK for subsequent references): Walsh Library is home to Archives and Special Collections, Flom Auditorium, Campbell Atrium, and the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art.

William Spain Seismic Observatory



Fordham Westchester includes a three-story, 62,500-square-foot building on 32 acres landscaped with a stream and pond. The facilities include 26 newly designed classrooms featuring technological amenities such as Smart boards, teleconferencing capabilities, and newly installed seating and learning areas. It is also home to the Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J., Chapel.



Fordham University’s undergraduate Gabelli School of Business and its Graduate School of Business Administration share the same faculty. When referring to both schools, use the Fordham Schools of Business or the Schools of Business.



See Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham.



Lowercase in almost all instances: Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus is in the Bronx, its Lincoln Center campus is in Manhattan and its Westchester campus is in West Harrison, N.Y. The word campus should be capitalized in invitations, however, and in listings of events. For example:

4 December
Fordham University Choir Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols
3 p.m. | University Church | Rose Hill Campus



In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization. Capitalize nouns that uniquely identify a particular person, place, or thing. When in doubt, use lowercase. Some Fordham-specific examples:

Lowercase commencement, but capitalize Fordham University’s 165th Annual Commencement.

Capitalize common nouns when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place, or thing. Lowercase common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references. For example: New York City, the city; the Louis Calder Center, the center, the William D. Walsh Family Library, the library.

In the same vein, capitalize center and department only when they are used as part of a formal title. For example: the Department of History; the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice. Lowercase them if they are used to refer to a center or department informally: The history department offers courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The center is grounded in the Jesuit philosophy of homines pro aliis, men and women for others.

Capitalize Homecoming and Jubilee when referring to the annual Fordham events.

University is capitalized when it refers to Fordham, as is Board of Trustees when it refers to the Fordham University Board of Trustees.

The word Mass is capitalized when it refers to the ceremony. It is celebrated, not said.

Capitalize the word room when it is used with a number: Room 827.

Use lowercase for class years: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.

Capitalize Fordham University Rams and Fordham Rams, but do not capitalize the names of Fordham athletic teams: the Fordham University women’s basketball team.

Lowercase class unless it refers to a specific class: She is the class president; she is the president of the Class of 2015. The Class of 1975 had its reunion. Class of ’75 is also acceptable.

Seasons: capitalize only when the word is used as part of a formal name: fall semester, Father Ryan’s Fall 2011 McGinley Lecture.



Capitalize church when it is the formal name of a building, a congregation, or a denomination; lowercase it in other uses: Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the Catholic Church, a Roman Catholic church on Columbus Avenue. Lowercase church in phrases where the word church is used in an institutional sense: The pope expressed the church’s teaching on economic justice, condemning the “idolatry of the market.”



Use a hyphen when forming words that indicate occupation or status: co-author, for example.



Capitalize the first word after a colon if it begins a complete sentence or is a proper noun. Otherwise, lowercase the first word after a colon.



Separate items in a series with commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series of three or more, a comma—known as the serial comma or the Oxford comma—should appear before the conjunction: The flag is red, white, and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick, or Harry.

If the last element consists of a pair joined by and, a serial comma and the first and should still precede the pair: He is a professor of marketing, finance, and communications and media management.

Do not use commas before or after Jr., Sr., III, or Inc., Co., Ltd., etc. (See exceptions for corporate names below.)

Do not use a comma to introduce partial quotes. For example: Father McShane noted that the year was “one of the most successful” in the University’s recenthistory.


companies, corporations, firms, organizations, institutions

Use the formal name of the company on first reference. In general, follow the spellingand capitalization preferred by the company: iMac, eBay. But capitalize the first letter if it begins a sentence.

Do not use all capital letters unless the letters are individually pronounced: ESPN and BMW, for example, but Alcoa (not ALCOA).

Do not use symbols (for example, exclamation points or plus signs) that might distract or confuse a reader. Use an ampersand only if it is part of the company’s formal name.

Only use an abbreviation—for example, Co., Corp., Inc., and Ltd.—if a business uses it at the end of its proper name. Do not, however, use commas to set off the abbreviation.

Per the Associated Press Stylebook: If you’re in doubt about the formal name of a company, consult either the company or Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations.

Note: Exceptions to these guidelines may be made in publications that list donors, when donors provide strict guidance on how to list corporate names.


The Consortium on Social Justice and Poverty

The Consortium on Social Justice and Poverty is an intra-University effort in support of educational programs and service initiatives aimed at social justice and poverty issues. Sponsored by 19 University offices, organizations and student groups, it promotes interdisciplinary scholarship and service opportunities within the Fordham community.


course titles

Titles of courses should be capitalized and presented in Roman text (not italicized) without quotation marks.





Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out all months when they are used without a specific date, or with a year and not a specific date. For example: Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. I predict that January 2022 will be the coldest month on record.

When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas; when a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas: January 1972 was a cold month. Feb. 14, 1987, was a cold day.

Use only numerals with the month and year. Do not write April first or April 1st.

Formal style (for invitations, save-the-date cards, etc.): List the day first, then spell out the month; do not use a comma after the calendar year: 9 February 2012


department names

The full, formal name should be capitalized. For example: the Department of Economics at Fordham University. It is acceptable to flip the order in subsequent references and write the economics department. This shortened version should not be capitalized, unless, of course, the department name is a proper noun: Department of English, English department.


diacritical marks

Take care to include diacritical marks—such as á, ç, é, ñ, ó, ü, etc.—if they are part of a person’s name. For example, Adolfo Carrión Jr. is the Bronx borough president.


directions and regions

Lowercase compass directions. Capitalize words that denote specific regions: He drove west. The Midwest is known for great basketball.



Use the abbreviation Dr. only for those who hold medical degrees. Readers generally associate the abbreviation with physicians, so it is better not to use Dr. to refer to people who hold a Ph.D., Ed.D., D.S.W., etc.


The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice

The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice serves as a liaison between Fordham and the local community. It provides support and resources to students interested in social change, offering ongoing and one-time service opportunities, various service-learning options, internships in the nonprofit and public service sectors, and social justice experiences.


Electronic Media Terms

CMS (content management system)
friend (verb)
google (verb)
log in (verb)
login (noun)
QR code
social media

We recommend using a hyphen after the letter e and lowercasing the word that follows the hyphen. For example: e-book, e-business, e-commerce, e-mail, e-reader. Exceptions are made for the official names of organizations. For example, eBay, the name of the online auctioneer, does not take a hyphen. Note that the e should be capitalized when the term appears in a headline or at the beginning of a sentence.


Social Media:

Facebook is a social networking website. When promoting a Fordham fan page on Facebook, use: Find us on Facebook or Like us on Facebook.

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service. A tweet is the 140-character message published on Twitter. Tweet can be used either as a noun or a verb. For example: “I just ran into John Lovitz outside the office. I have to tweet this.” “Did you read my tweet about running into Jon Lovitz?” When promoting Twitter pages, use: Follow us on Twitter.

Recommendations for Formatting URLs in Text:

Many URLs can be abbreviated. It is not necessary, for example, to use http:// in Web addresses. Similarly, it may not be necessary to use www. Test the URL to see if you can reach the desired webpage without these components. If so, we recommend not using http:// and www. For example: Apply online at

Do not underline URLs. Do not format URLs in italics. If you want to draw attention to a URL in a printed piece, consider using bold or a color. For the most part, URLs should be lowercased; test the URL to be sure it is not case-sensitive.

A period should follow a Web or e-mail address if the address comes at the end of a complete sentence:

For more information, visit
For more information, e-mail

We believe it is common knowledge that the period is not part of the URL. Should you wish to emphasize this and your URL is formatted in bold or in a color, then the period should revert to the previous (often regular/roman or black) type.

Try to avoid breaking a URL at the end of a line of text. When the URL does not fit entirely on one line, break it into two or more lines without adding a hyphen or other punctuation mark.





Not the same as retired. The title emeritus (for men) or emerita (for women) or emeriti (for more than one professor, male of female) is bestowed on many but not all retired faculty members. Place the word emeritus after the formal title: Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., president emeritus of Fordham University; professor emeritus of theology.


ensure, insure

Use ensure to mean guarantee; use insure for references to insurance.


entitled, titled

Entitled means a right to do or have something. She’s entitled to a raise. It is not interchangeable with titled. Raymond Schroth, S.J., is the author of a book titled (not entitled) Fordham: A History and Memoir.


Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham

Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham is a far-reaching fundraising campaign in support of new levels of academic excellence at Fordham and greater stature for the University as a nationally prominent center of learning. The campaign seeks $500 million to support new facilities, scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, and academic endeavors throughout Fordham’s colleges and schools. When referring to the campaign in print and online, use the full name of the campaign on first reference: Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham. Subsequent references should be to “the campaign” (note thelowercase “c”).


farther, further

Farther refers to physical distance. Further refers to an extension of time or degree.


fewer, less

In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity.

fiancé, fiancée

Masculine and feminine forms, respectively


The Fordham Founder’s Award Dinner

Note the apostrophe in Founder’s.


Fordham University, the University

The following text (also know as the University’s boilerplate) appears at the bottom of all press releases about Fordham University: Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.

University should be capitalized when it is used to refer specifically to Fordham, but not if it is used in a generic sense. For example: The University has three residential campuses; Fordham is a Jesuit university, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York.


The Fordham University Veterans Initiative (or FordhamVets)

It is OK to use FordhamVets on first reference. This initiative provides both financial assistance and campus-based services for veterans of the armed services.


fundraising, fundraiser


GPA (grade point average)






hors d’oeuvre


Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University

For invitations and other formal announcements:

The Reverend Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

In all other written communication, first reference is:

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. He is Father McShane in subsequent references. He is the president of Fordham University (not the university president).


junior, senior

Abbreviate Jr. and Sr. when used with full names. Commas should not precede or follow these abbreviations: Adolfo Carrión Jr.


kickoff (n.), kick off (v.)


Latin terms

Lowercase and italicize the following Latin terms:

Academic honors:

cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude


Jesuit ideals:

cura personalis, magis, and homines pro aliis


Fordham’s motto:

Sapientia et Doctrina (Wisdom and Learning)


Some Latin and foreign terms have become commonplace in the English vocabulary and do not require italics. For example, alma mater and hors d’oeuvres.



Always use figures. For dollars, use the $ sign: a $200 gift, $50 million. Spell out the words cent and cents in written text: 5 cents, a 39-cent stamp.


more than, over

Over generally refers to spatial relationships; more than is preferred with numerals: The plane flew over the city. More than 100 people attended the party.


names; professional, religious and military titles

Refer to both men and women by their first and last name. Use the courtesy titles Mr., Miss, Ms. or Mrs. only in direct quotations. If the person has earned an doctoral-level degree—Ph.D., Ed.D., M.D., etc.—include the abbreviation for the degree, set off by commas, after the person’s name: John Davenport, Ph.D., is a Fordham professor.

For Jesuits, include the abbreviation S.J. after the person’s name in the same fashion: Robert R. Grimes, S.J., is the dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

In general, use last names only on subsequent reference. The exceptions to this are for those who hold religious titles. For example: Father Grimes is also a talented singer.

Avoid redundancies: Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference. Wrong: Dr. Kevin Cahill, M.D.

professional and academic titles

Academic and administrative titles are capitalized when they immediately precede names and are used as part of names. They are lowercased when they follow names or are used to help describe or identify people further.

Associate Professor John Davenport, Ph.D., said…
John Davenport, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, said…
Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean Michael E. Latham, Ph.D., said…
Michael E. Latham, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, said…

Academic and administrative titles are capitalized, however—whether or not the title precedes or follows the name—if the person holds a named professorship or an endowed professorship. For example: Heather Dubrow, Ph.D., is the John D. Boyd, S.J., Chair in Poetic Imagination…

religious titles

In general, follow AP style. There are some Fordham-specific exceptions, however, particularly with regard to Jesuits and members of other Catholic religious orders.


S.J. stands for the Society of Jesus, the religious order to which Jesuits belong.

For Jesuits (members of the Society of Jesus), include the initials S.J. after the person’s name, set off by commas: Joseph Koterski, S.J., is an associate professor of philosophy at Fordham.

Note that not all members of the Society of Jesus are priests. For those who have been ordained priests, use the word Father before the person’s last name on subsequent reference. Father Koterski is a former chair of the philosophy department. For those who have not been ordained to the priesthood, use only the person’s last name on subsequent reference.

In general, we do not include a doctoral degree designation (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) after the name of a Jesuit who has earned such a degree. If you prefer to include that designation, list Ph.D. first, followed by S.J.


This description, abbreviated Rev., is often the appropriate designation to usebefore the name of a member of the clergy who is not a Jesuit. The abbreviation Rev. should be preceded by the word the because, unlike Mr. and Ms., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand fora noun. For example: The Rev. C. W. Jones spoke eloquently on the need for economic justice.

Fordham’s preferred style for referring to Jesuit priests in copy is by writing the individual’s full name followed by the initials S.J., which should be set off by commas. It is acceptable, however, to use The Rev. before a Jesuit priest’s name. Take care, however, to use one style and stick with it. Do not, for example, refer to two Jesuit priests as the Rev. C. W. Jones, S.J., and Robert Zimmerman, S.J.

Use the Rev. Dr. only if the individual has an earned doctoral degree (doctor of divinity degrees frequently are honorary) and reference to the degree is relevant.

On second reference, use Father before the last name of a Catholic priest. For other clergymen and clergywomen, use only the person’s last name: the Rev. Billy Graham on first reference, Graham on subsequent reference.


Capitalize Sister when it is used before the names of nuns. Do not use both Sister and the abbreviation for the nun’s religious order. Do not abbreviate Sister. For example: Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J., teaches theology at Fordham. Sister Elizabeth Johnson teaches theology at Fordham. On subsequent reference, use the person’s last name.


See the guidelines for Sister. Do not abbreviate Brother.

Abbreviations for Catholic religious orders can be found online at:


If the person is known only by a religious name, repeat the title: Pope BenedictXVI or Pope Benedict on first reference; Pope Benedict, the pope (not Benedict) or the pontiff on second reference.

cardinals, archbishops, bishops:

The preferred form for first reference is to use Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop before the individual’s name: Cardinal Timothy Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles. On second reference: Cardinal Manning or the cardinal.

Substitute the Most Rev. if applicable and appropriate in the context: He spoke to the Most Rev. Anthony Bevilacqua, archbishop of Philadelphia. On second reference, Archbishop Bevilacqua or the archbishop.

His Eminence is the proper form of address for a cardinal; His Excellency is the proper form of address for an archbishop.

His Holiness is the proper form of address for the pope.

Substitute monsignor before the name of a Roman Catholic priest who has received this honor. Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn is the vice president for University mission and ministry at Fordham.


New York is my campus. Fordham is my school.

This expression, used on the homepage of the Fordham website and in some of the University’s other marketing materials, should not be abbreviated or adapted in any way. For example, we should not replace the word Fordham with the name of a particular school or college at the University.




numbers and numerals

Spell out numbers one through nine and use numerals for 10 or above: Three people went on the tour this morning. The students visited 22 cities during the study abroad program.

Spell out numbers when they are used at the start of a sentence: Seventy-five students showed up for the exam.

An exception to this rule is a numeral that indicates a calendar year. 1975 was a good year.

If spelling out numbers at the start of a sentence is cumbersome, revise the sentence: Instead of writing Nine hundred ninety-six students participated last year, it would be better to write: Last year, 996 students participated.

When the word number is used with a figure to express a ranking or concept, use the abbreviation No. For example: That song has been No. 1 on the charts for weeks.

For plural numerals, add an s with no apostrophe.



Capitalize only when it is part of an official name (Office of External Affairs, but external affairs office; Office of Safety and Security, but safety and security office). See departments.



Parents of Fordham University alumni should be identified by the abbreviation PAR and the graduating year of their child. For example: Rosemary Ocejo, PAR ’02


The Parents’ Leadership Council

The Parents’ Leadership Council is a network of parents who are committed to working with Fordham administrators to promote the well-being and advancement of the University.



In editorial copy, spell out percent—don’t use the symbol %. It always should be preceded by a numeral: 5 percent, for example.

pregame, preseason, postgame, postseason



A first performance (not premier)


principal, principle

Principal refers to someone or something first in authority or importance: school principal, principal player, principal problem. Principle refers to a fundamental truth: the principle of self-determination.



Capitalize only if it is part of the official name of a program. Lowercase for shortened, subsequent references.



regarding or in regard to (never in regards to)


research centers


Center for Teaching Excellence

Department of Biology

Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station


Fordham College at Rose Hill

Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies

Institute of Irish Studies


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Center for Medieval Studies

Latin American and Latino Studies Institute

Center for International Policy Studies

Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy


Graduate School of Business Administration

Bert Twaalfhoven Center for Entrepreneurship

Center for Communications

Center for Management Studies Center for Positive Marketing

Donald McGannon Communications Research Center

Fordham University Pricing Center

Frank J. Petrilli Center for Research in International Finance Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center

Institute for Family and Private Enterprise


Graduate School of Education

Advanced Placement Summer Institute

Center for Catholic School Leadership

Center for Educational Partnerships

Center for Learning in Unsupervised Environments

Human Resiliency Institute

Rosa A. Hagin School Consultation and Early Childhood Centers


Graduate School of Social Service

Beck Institute for Religion and Poverty

Children First

Institute for Women and Girls

Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy

The James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies

Ravazzin Center on Aging


Office of Academic Affairs

Center for Ethics Education

Center for Teaching Excellence

Donald McGannon Communications Research Center

Regional Educational Technology Center

St. Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence


Office of the President

Archbishop Hughes Institute on Religion and Culture

Fordham Center on Religion and Culture

Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs


School of Law

Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center

Center on European Union Law

Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP)

Competition Law Institute

Conflict Resolution and ADR Program

Feerick Center for Social Justice and Dispute Resolution

Fordham Center for Corporate Securities and Financial Law

Forum on Law, Culture and Society

Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work

Intellectual Property Institute

Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice

Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics



Not R.S.V.P. Avoid using please before RSVP. It is redundant.



Use only one space after periods and colons; use only one space after commas; and do not use spaces around an em dash.


When using a state name with a city name in editorial copy, abbreviate the state name according to the AP style (not the two-letter abbreviations used by the post office). If the state abbreviation appears within a sentence (rather than at the end), use a comma after the period: The Louis Calder Center Biological Field Stationin Armonk, N.Y., spans114 acres of forest, lakes, and wetlands.

There are eight states that are never abbreviated in editorial copy: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah.

Never abbreviate states written without a city: We are going to California (not Calif.) for vacation.

Use New York state (lowercase state) when it’s necessary to distinguish between the state and New York City. Use state of Washington or Washington state when it’s necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia.



Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington.


St. Ignatius Loyola

Not St. Ignatius of Loyola




telephone numbers

Use parentheses for the area code and a hyphen to separate digits: (212) 555-1234.


theater vs. theatre

Use “theater” unless the proper (and official) name is spelled differently. Some Fordham-specific examples are: the Department of Theatre and Visual Arts, the theatre department at Fordham, the McNally Amphitheatre, etc.



Do not use ciphers (1 p.m., not 1:00 p.m.). Use a.m. or p.m.—lowercase, with periods. Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. It is acceptable to use noon and midnight instead of 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.


time periods

Always spell out the word to in editorial copy when indicating a period of time: The event will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. When using an en dash in place of the word to to indicate a period of time, include one space on each side of the en dash: 3 – 5 p.m.


tipoff (n.), tip off (v.)


titles of works and academic lectures:

Italicize the titles of books, periodicals (including “The,” if appropriate), newsletters, plays, book-length poems, films, art exhibitions, paintings, sculptures, comic strips, radio and television series, and long musical compositions.

Use quotation marks with the titles of theses, dissertations, short stories, poems, articles, essays, chapters of books, song titles and other short musical works, and episodes of television series. For example, the “Hamsterdam” episode of The Wire.

Use quotation marks with the titles of academic lectures. For example, “Learning in Young and Aging Brains: A Neuroscientific and Psychological Perspective.”



Not towards



Use Fordham University Board of Trustees on first reference and Board of Trustees on subsequent references when referring to Fordham’s Board of Trustees.


WFUV (90.7 FM,



Set the year off with commas when it appears with a full date: On Feb. 2, 1954, Phil the groundhog …

For decades, use an s without an apostrophe: 1930s and ’30s (not 1930’s or 30’s). On first reference, use 1930s not ’30s.

For centuries, the preferred format is the 20th century, not the 1900s. Also, note that with regard to centuries, numbers less than 10 should be spelled out: the third century.

Write 2011–2012 for the academic year (note the en dash). Avoid writing 2011–12.

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