Beta Theta Pi Style Guide (2023-24)

Page 1

BETA THETA PI | 2023-24


Beta Theta Pi Fraternity’s writing style follows the Associated Press Stylebook. The Beta Style Guide is dynamic and meant to be built upon in future years, adapting as a resource for official Beta correspondence.

Language specific to Beta and the fraternity world I. Awards II.


• For clarity and in appreciation of those Betas and friends who endowed many of the Fraternity’s programs or events, when possible it is now preferred to use full program names on first reference. (5)

• Clarified the preferred mailing address for the Beta Theta Pi Foundation and Administrative Office in Oxford, Ohio. See Administrative Office. (8)

• Added an entry for constitution with guidance for when it is used in reference to the Fraternity’s supreme governing document. (10)

Other Fraternity Language 18 UNIVERSITY NAMES Short names, Greek names and campus locations 26 GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION Proper use of dashes, hyphens, ellipses and italics
whom and other tricky use cases
Ceremonies III. Convention IV. Magazine V. Forms, Reporting
Standards VI.
Media Platforms VIII.
Affect vs. effect, who vs.



Capitalize the word award when referring to a specific or formal award: the Shepardson Award, the John Reily Knox Award. Lowercase in general reference: Which award are you applying for?

Chapter/Association Awards

 Advisory Team of the Year

 (Charles Henry) Hardin Leadership Development Award

 (Excellence in) Risk Management Award

 (Francis H.) Sisson Award

 H.H. Stephenson Jr. Award for (Excellence in) Historical Preservation and Research

 (John Holt) Duncan (Community) Service Award

 (John Reily) Knox (Chapter Excellence) Award

 Most Improved Chapter Award

 New Song Writing Competition

 North Dakota Award for (Excellence in) Chapter Publications

 (Outstanding) Alumni Association Award

 (Outstanding) Alumni Relations Award

 (Outstanding) Campus Involvement Award

 (Outstanding) New Member Education Award

 (Outstanding) Recruitment Award

 Shelby L. Molter Song Competition

 Virginia Tech Award for (Excellence in) Academics

 Whitman Choral Cup

Individual Awards

 District Chief of the Year Award

 Dr. Edward B. Taylor Advisor of the Year Award

 Francis W. Shepardson Award

 Charles W. Warner Fraternity/Sorority Advisor of the Year Award

 House Director of the Year Award

 House Corporation Volunteer of the Year Award

 Jonathan J. Brant Interfraternalism Award

 Jerry M. Blesch General Secretary Leadership Award

 Oxford Cup

 Regional Chief of the Year Award

 Rookie District Chief of the Year Award


The following ceremonies of the Fraternity are always capitalized:

 Beta Theta Pi Burial Service

 Big Brother Ceremony

 Closing Exercises [Convention]

 Dragon Ceremony

 Eye of Wooglin

 Founders Commemoration Ceremony

 Fraternal Fifty Ceremony

 Fraternal Milestones Ceremony

 Fraternal Twenty-Five Ceremony

 Fraternal Seventy-Five Ceremony

 Induction Ceremony

 Initiation (of Members)

 Installation of General Fraternity Officers

 Loving Cup Ceremony

 Opening Exercises [Convention]

 Oxford Cup Ceremony

 Pledge Ceremony

 Presentation of the Ritual

 Senior Ceremony

 Service for the Dead

 Francis W. Shepardson Award Ceremony

 Wooglin Ceremony


Capitalize when referring to a particular Convention: The 2016 General Convention. Capitalize Convention only when referring to Beta’s annual event: Beta holds our Convention every year. Beta’s is one of many conventions held each summer. Always capitalize when written out completely: He wants to attend a General Convention.

The General Convention’s standing traditions and annual events listed below are always capitalized.

 Advisory Council Breakfast/Luncheon

 Awards Luncheon

 Beta Countdown

 Celebration Banquet

 Chapter Panels

 Convention Chorus

 Convention Countdown

 Convention Kickoff

 (Convention) Legislation (Committee Meetings/ Orientation/Session #X)

 (Convention) Registration

 Cornerstone Housing Summit

 Foundation Directors Meeting

 General Secretary’s Cup

 John Reily Knox Club (Recognition) Dinner

 Loving Cup (Ceremony/Luncheon)

 Lugar Fellows

 Marching Line

 Model Initiation

 Recognition Ceremony

 Shelby L. Molter Song Competition (Note: formerly the Wichita State Song Competition)

 State of the Fraternity

 Welcoming Banquet


Capitalize the title of the Fraternity’s magazine: The Beta Theta Pi; lowercase the word “magazine.”

All sections of The Beta Theta Pi magazine are to be capitalized and listed in quotation marks.

 “Alumni News”

 “Beta Eponyms”

 “The Beta House”

 “Bridge Builder”

 “Campus Life”

 “Chapter Eternal”

 “Chapter Reports”

 “Cut and Polished”

 “Foreword”

 “From the Archives”

 “The Inbox”

 “Newsworthy”

 “State of the Fraternity”



All forms should be capitalized and not italicized: Please submit a Grade Report by tomorrow.

 Beta Brotherhood Assessment

 Beta Volunteer Assessment

 Chapter Report

 End-of-Term Report

 Grade Report

 Housing Report

 Pledge Report

 Risk Management Policy

 Substance-Free Housing Policy

See Forms, Reporting and Standards section on page 6.


Beta Foundation 20XX Annual Report: Always capitalize Annual Report, do not italicize. For the year, always use fiscal year (not FY24). Beta’s fiscal year 2024 spans 6/1/2023 to 5/31/24.

Giving Clubs and Societies

The Beta Foundation has annual and methodoriented giving clubs, in addition to lifetime giving societies.

Annual Giving Clubs

 1839 Club ($250)

 Beta Dragon Club ($500)

 Beta Grip Club ($1,000)

 Grecian Shield Club ($2,500)

 John Reily Knox Club ($1,839)

 Laurel Wreath Club ($50,000+)

 Mystic Circle Club ($100)

 Pink & Blue Club ($5,000)

 Sons of the Dragon Club ($18.39)

 The kai ___ Club ($10,000)

 Wooglin Club ($25,000)

Lifetime Giving Societies

 Beta Society

 Campanile Society

 Chautauqua Society

 Diamond Society

 Founders’ Society

 Loving Cup Society

 Old Main Society

 President’s Society

 Rose Society

Method-Oriented Giving Clubs and Societies

 Auto-Kai Club

 Bridge Builder Society

See Foundation Names/Programs section on page 6.


Beta’s naming standards as they apply to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

Facebook name:

Beta Theta Pi space – space <Formal Institution Name>

For example:

Beta Theta Pi – Miami University

Beta Theta Pi – Iowa State University

Instagram and Twitter handles: The recommended format is:

@Beta_<Formal Institution’s Website Address>

For example:



For the rest of the chapter’s Twitter page, this is the suggested format:

When naming the page, use “Beta Theta Pi-” followed by the same recommended designation for the chapter’s Twitter handle. If the chapter

name does not fit in the allotted space, take out the spaces between “Beta Theta Pi.” For example:



Include where the chapter is located and the chapter’s website (if applicable).

For the description of the page, chapters should use something similar to above. Since 160 characters are allotted, chapters may add

founding information, etc.

For the rest of the chapter’s Instagram page, this is the suggested format:

For the description of the page, chapters should use something similar to above, including chapter location and the chapter’s website (if applicable).


Capitalize but do not italicize program names. When possible, use a program’s full name on first reference for clarity.



Program / Policy Naming Standards

06 BETA THETA PI STYLE GUIDE / REVISED 2023 Forms, Reporting and Standards Short Title Acronym Nickname Beta Brotherhood Assessment <none> BBA <none> Beta Volunteer Assessment <none> BVA <none> Billhighway <none> BH <none> Chapter Accounting Standards Accounting Standards CAS <none> ChapterSpot <none> CS <none> Focused Recruitment Support <none> FRS <none> MyBeta <none> <none> New Member Education Assessment <none> NMEA <none> Risk Management Incident Report Incident Report <none> <none> Standard Chapter Operating Expectations <none> SCOE <none> Foundation Names / Programs Short Title Acronym Nickname Beta Leadership Fund <none> BLF <none> Beta Theta Pi Foundation Beta Foundation FDN Foundation Bridge Builder Society <none> BBS <none> Designated Educational Area Grant Program DEA Grant Program DEA DEA Grant Giving Day Challenge Giving Challenge GDC <none> John Reily Knox Club <none> JRKC JRK Club Men of Principle Grant Program Grant Program MPGP MP Grants Men of Principle Scholarship <none> MPS MP Scholarship Merit Scholarship Program Merit Scholarships MSP <none> Sons of the Dragon Club <none> SDC <none> Fraternity Names / Programs Short Title Acronym Nickname Advisor Academy <none> AA <none> Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Beta Theta Pi BTP Beta Beta Theta Pi General Convention General Convention CNV Convention Cornerstone Housing Program Cornerstone Housing Program CHP Cornerstone Cornerstone Housing Summit Housing Summit CHS <none> Hugh E. Stephenson Jr. Leadership Summit Leadership Summit LS <none> John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle Wooden Institute WI Wooden Keystone Regional Leadership Conference Keystone Conference KC Keystone Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy Presidents Academy PA Presidents Academy Peter F. Greiner Leadership College Leadership College LC <none> Son of the Stars New Member Orientation Program Son of the Stars SOTS <none>

Program Taglines

Auto-Kai Club

Loyal Beta Donors.

Recurring Electronic Gifts for the BLF.

Maximizing Impact Through Simplified Charitable Giving

Beta Leadership Fund

Developing Men of Principle for a Principled Life

Bridge Builder Society

Leaving a Legacy for Those Who Follow

Convention Legislation

All Chapter and Alumni Delegates. The Business of the Fraternity.

Deliberating Legislation to Advance a Great and Good Fraternity

Convention Symposium

Loyal Beta Alumni.

Caring Friends of Beta.

Developing Friendships Through Lifelong Learning, Exploration and Engagement

Cornerstone Housing Program / Housing Summit House Corporation Volunteers.

Professional Resources and Student Housing Experts.

Fostering Safe Living Environments That Develop Men of Principle for a Principled Life

Designated Educational Area Grant Program

A Program of the Beta Foundation.

Earmarking Charitable Gifts for Educational Facilities.

Enhancing the Academic Culture of Beta’s Living Environments

Hugh E. Stephenson Jr. Leadership Summit

A Unified Volunteer Corps.

Evolving to Meet 21st Century Needs.

Championing Beta’s Principles for a Better Future


John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle

A Pilgrimage Home.

The Challenge of Integrity.

Discovering Beta Theta Pi’s True Principles

John Reily Knox Club

The Premier Annual Giving Club of the Beta Leadership Fund

Keystone Regional Leadership Conference Executive Chapter Officers.

Eager Chapter Advisors.

Fanning the Flame of Principled Leadership

Men of Principle Scholarship Grant Program

Affirming Beta’s Commitment to the Host Institution Mission. Rewarding Young Leaders for Meritorious Achievement. Recruiting Men of Principle to Build Beta Theta Pi

Merit Scholarship Program

Generous Beta Foundation Donors. Financial Resources to Support Academic Pursuits.

Exemplifying Beta’s Devotion to the Cultivation of the Intellect

Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy

All Chapter and Colony Presidents. Three Days of Intense Personal Development. Answering the Call of Principled Leadership

Peter F. Greiner Leadership College

Beta’s Leadership “Superbowl.”

A Beta Family Reunion.

Connecting the Beta Spirit With Our Principled Future

Sons of the Dragon Club

Leave your mark…for the ___kai___.



See Fraternity Names/Programs section on page 6.


academic courses and majors Lowercase in all uses except languages: a business major, an English class

academic degrees Mention if a degree is necessary to establish someone’s credentials. The preferred use is a phrase instead of an abbreviation: Scott Allen, who has a bachelor’s in math. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science

When abbreviated, academic degrees are capitalized, and when used after a full name, they are set off by commas: B.A., Ph.D.; Donny Jackson, Ph.D., attended the meeting. When writing a Beta’s name, the academic degree comes after his school: Judson A. Horras, Iowa State ’97, CAE, is traveling today.

academic departments Use lowercase except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives: the department of history, the history department, the department of English, the English department.

academic titles Lowercase titles such as professor, chairman, etc. Capitalize and spell out formal titles only when they precede a full name.

Lowercase modifiers such as history in history

Professor John Jones or department in department

Chairman Bud Otto. See also titles of people

academic years Terms designating academic

years are lowercased: freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

active This term is best avoided, except as an adjective. All Fraternity members are expected to be active. When referring to initiated members, use the terms members or brothers. Use undergraduates for collegians, alumni for graduate members. See also alumnus, alumni, alumna alumnae.

Administrative Office Always capitalize. Refers to the professional staff of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, located in Brennan Hall near Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When shortened to the office, do not capitalize. See also General Fraternity

The proper way to present the Administrative Office mailing address is:

Beta Theta Pi Foundation and Administrative Office

5134 Bonham Road

Oxford, OH 45056

The propery way to present the Administrative Office phone number is 800.800.BETA. Always use periods instead of dashes between numerals, and always spell out BETA instead of using the digits 2382.

advisor Not adviser, unless someone’s title explicitly states that it is adviser. Capitalize chapter advisor, alumni advisor, or Greek advisor only when the title directly precedes an individual’s full name: Greek Advisor Sarah Smith. Lowercase when used in general reference. See also Greek advisor.

Advisory Council Always capitalized, much like Foundation Board of Directors. Refers to all former members of the Fraternity Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors.

advisory team Lowercase unless part of a complete name: Alpha Chapter Advisory Team. I hope to meet the advisory team. See also executive board

all-campus average Lowercase. all-men’s average Lowercase.

alma mater Lowercase and no hyphen.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school or chapter. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.

alumni chapter Do not use – these are not recognized by Beta Theta Pi. See also alumni association.

Alumni Appreciation Dinner / Reception

Capitalize when referring to the proper name of an event: The Board of Trustees will be hosting an Alumni Appreciation Dinner/Reception for all area alumni, undergraduates and Friends of Beta.

alumni association Capitalize when referring to a specific alumni association. Lowercase when used in general reference. See also house corporation (board).

Annual Fund Always capitalize when used in place of Beta Leadership Fund. Lowercase otherwise. Lowercase annual when preceding Beta Leadership Fund.

Bbachelor’s degree, Bachelor of Arts degree with honors

A bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s is acceptable in any reference. See academic degrees for guidelines on acceptable abbreviations.

badge Refers to the Fraternity’s membership pin: Earn your badge every day. Capitalize if referring to a specific badge version (i.e. Kirby Badge).

[ academic - badge ] Do not precede with http://www.

The Beta Brief Always capitalized. References the e-newsletter distributed monthly to chapter officers and advisors.

Beta’s Broad Domain Always capitalized.

Beta Campanile Always capitalize. Capitalize Campanile only when referring to Beta’s bell tower in Oxford, Ohio.

Beta colors Lowercase in all references. Beta’s official colors are delicate shades of pink and blue.

Beta Four

Always capitalized, but not The Beta Four

Beta Greats Always capitalized.

Beta Leadership Fund Always capitalized. Acceptable acronym: BLF.

Beta Spirit Always capitalized.

Beta Stars Always capitalized.

Beta Sweetheart Always capitalized. Most commonly refers to a member’s significant other.

Beta Theta Pi Archives and Museum Capitalize. Also capitalize the Archives and the Museum

The Beta Theta Pi magazine Capitalize “The Beta Theta Pi.” Do not italicize. See Magazine section.

Billhighway Always capitalize.

Board of Trustees, Board of Directors

Capitalize Board only when used in reference to the Fraternity’s Board of Trustees or Foundation’s Board of Directors: What will the Board think of this proposal by the executive director?

brother, brothers Refers only to initiated members of the Fraternity. Use lowercase unless appearing directly before an individual’s name: The meeting was chaired by Brother Knox. It was great to see you, brother. See also titles of people

bylaws Not by-laws or bi-laws. Should always be lowercase.

CCanada The 10 provinces (states) of Canada are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan The three territories are the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunivit

Names of provinces are set off from community names by commas, just as the names of the U.S. states are set off from city names: They went to Toronto, Ontario, on their vacation. Do not capitalize province: They visited the province of Nova Scotia

CDC May be used as an abbreviated reference to chapter development consultant. Plural form: CDCs (no apostrophes). See also titles of people, consultant and chapter development consultant. Centennial Always capitalized.

ChapterSpot One word. Always capitalize the C and S.

chairman, chairwoman Capitalize as a formal title before a name: Chairman Henry Ford, committee Chairwoman Margaret Chase Smith Do not capitalize as a casual, temporary position: meeting chairman Robert Jones. Do not use chairperson, chair or co-chair unless it is an organization’s formal title for an office. See also titles of people

chapter An all-encompassing term used to identify and recognize Beta Theta Pi on various campuses. Capitalize only when used with the Greek notation of a specific chapter; lowercase in all other uses: The chapter sponsored a workshop. The Gamma Gamma Chapter sponsored a workshop. The Idaho chapter sponsored a workshop. For concise writing, use Gamma Gamma alone: Gamma Gamma at the University of Idaho. Never use the Gamma Gamma put on a workshop. Chapter is a single entity: The chapter will be hosting our philanthropy is incorrect. The chapter will be hosting its philanthropy is correct.

chapter development consultant Capitalize only when the title directly precedes a full name: Chapter Development Consultant David Linton. John Knox, a chapter development consultant, just arrived. CDC is also acceptable. See also titles of people.

Chapter Eternal Formerly known as the Mystic Shrine. Used when referring to members who have passed, in similar fashion to “heaven”: Brother Smith joined the Chapter Eternal at age 83

chapter house Always lowercase: The Lambda chapter house. One may be tempted to write the Lambda Chapter house, but in this case, chapter does not refer to the group of men; it is an adjective for house, which is not capitalized.

chapter motto Always lowercase. Refers to the motto presented to chapters upon Installation.

chapter president Capitalize only when using as a title preceding a name: Chapter President John Bond; The chapter president opened the meeting.

chapter room, chapter hall Always lowercase.

[ -
chapter room, chapter hall


charter, chartered Always lowercase. Chartered means receiving the document defining the formal organization of a chapter.

class When referring to a specific new member class, lowercase: We initiated the Alpha Epsilon class.

class year

Lowercase freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.

coat of arms

No hyphens between words, lowercase.

The Code (of Beta Theta Pi)

Also known as the Constitution, it is the supreme governing document of Beta Theta Pi. Capitalize, do not italicize. Each new member will receive a copy of The Code. See also constitution

collegian(s), collegiate A collegian is a student in, or graduate of, a college or university. Collegiate is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to college; a collegiate dictionary. The preferred term, however, is undergraduate

colonize Do not use when referencing the act of starting a Beta chapter on a new campus. See establish.

colony An outdated term with negative connotations of imperialism and the suggestion of viably questionable outposts. Do not use to describe any group within Beta Theta Pi. See also chapter.

committee Capitalize only when referring to a specific or formal committee or board: The Lambda Chapter Involvement Committee planned the retreat. I’d be curious to hear what the involvement committee has been doing Exception: Kai Committee is always capitalized. See also executive board.


Capitalize when referring specifically to the supreme governing document of Beta Theta Pi or a specific nation. Otherwise, lowercase. Beta’s membership requirements are written clearly in the Constitution. It is sometimes called the Constitution and Laws, which is capitalized only when referencing the Beta Theta Pi document. The answer to your question is in the Constitution and Laws of the Fraternity. Also occasionally called the Open Constitution, which is capitalized when referencing the Fraternity document. Beta published the Open Constitution in 1879. See also The Code (of Beta Theta Pi)

consultant Use chapter development consultant in formal writing. CDC may be used as an abbreviation in informal writing or on second reference. Do not capitalize unless used directly before a name. See also titles of people and chapter development consultant.

Convention Capitalize when referring to the Fraternity’s annual event or when using the full term, “General Convention;” lowercase otherwise. See also General Convention.

core values Lowercase, except when used when formally presenting the mission, vision and core values.

crest Lowercase. (Remember: crest refers only to the dragon, not the entire coat of arms.)

dean. Lowercase dean’s list in all uses: He is on the dean’s list.

department Capitalize when used in reference to a specific department of the Administrative Office or another governing body (e.g. the U.S. Government: The Department of Justice); lowercase in general use: The Communication Department, the Chapter Operations Department, the Chapter Services Department, the Leadership and Education Department, the Business Operations Department, the Finance Department. See also academic departments.

directions and regions In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction: Head east, my brother.

Capitalize these words when they designate regions. The 10 regions the CDCs travel are the Northwest, Southwest, North Central, South Central, West Great Lakes, East Great Lakes, South, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

director See titles of people.

Ddean, dean’s list Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Dean John Jones, Deans John Jones and Susan Smith. Lowercase in other uses: John Jones, dean of the college; the

direct mail

This relates to the fundraising efforts of the Foundation and sometimes hard copy mailings sent to constituents of the Fraternity.

disability The general term for a physical, mental, developmental or intellectual disability. Do not reference a person’s disability unless it is clearly relevant. If it must be used, try to be specific. He swayed noticeably from the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Avoid terms that connote pity, such as afflicted with or suffers from

district Capitalize when referring to specific districts of the Fraternity, lowercase when referring to a district in general: District 12. Use Arabic numerals for districts of the Fraternity.

[ charter, chartered - district ]

district chief Lowercase unless preceding a name: District Chief Andy Thomas. Michael Lavina, chief of District 10. Michael Hay, a district chief.

dollars For specific amounts of more than $1 million, use the $ sign and numerals up to two decimal places. Do not link the numerals and the words by a hyphen: He is worth $3.25 million. The project cost $100 million.

The form for amounts less than $1 million: $4; $25; $500; $1,000; $650,000.

Eemcee Not M.C. or MC. Better to use master of ceremonies.

e-newsletter Hyphenate. The ‘n’ is lowercase.

establish The term used for the recruitment of Founding Fathers on a campus that has never hosted a chapter of Beta Theta Pi.

executive board Lowercase except when used as part of a formal name: The Lambda Chapter Executive Board is meeting today. I served on my chapter’s executive board for two years. The executive board is meeting tonight. A ‘formal name’ is typically indicated by the presence of capitalization, e.g. Alpha Chapter but not my chapter. Note: the term the Board is reserved only for the General Fraternity Board of Trustees. See also advisory team, house corporation (board) or Board of Trustees, Board of Directors

a public foundation operating exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.

flag Lowercase. The flag shall consist of three equal horizontal stripes of blue, white and blue.

flower Lowercase. Beta’s flower is not a carnation!

former Always lowercase. But retain capitalization of a formal title used immediately before a name: Introducing former Administrative Secretary Mr. Cottrell. See also titles of people.

Foundation Board of Directors Always capitalized. See also Board of Trustees, Board of Directors.

founders Not capitalized, except when it precedes a founder’s name: He called upon Founder Knox, one of the eight founders of the Fraternity.

Founders’ Day Not Founder’s Day or Founders Day

Founders’ Paragraph Not Founder’s Paragraph or Founders Paragraph

Founding Father Lowercase unless immediately preceding a specific member’s name. See also Refounding Father.

frat Never use this term, even as an abbreviation.

fraternal Used as an adjective and not capitalized: His chapter offers a good, fraternal experience.

Fraternal Twenty-Fives/Fifties/Seventy-Fives

Capitalize. No apostrophe, no numerals.

Fraternity Capitalize when referring to a specific fraternity: Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

The Fraternity is synonymous with Beta Theta Pi Fraternity

An agency or organization often uses capitalization when referring to itself in print. Capitalize fraternity when referring specifically to Beta Theta Pi: The Fraternity has 141 active chapters.

Lowercase when used in general reference: fraternity education, fraternity programming.

freshman, freshmen Freshman is singular, freshmen is plural. Do not use freshmen as an adjective. It’s freshman Democrats, not freshmen Democrats, just as it’s sophomore biology majors, not sophomores biology majors.

friend, follow, like Friend and like are acceptable as both nouns and verbs; follow is acceptable only as a verb (the noun form is follower). Actions by which users connect on social networks.

Friend(s) of Beta Capitalize. Do not italicize. Friend(s) of Beta refers to a non-member who volunteers for the Fraternity. We are grateful for the Friends of Beta who give their time.

Acceptable acronym: FOB, FOBs.

friendship and fidelity Lowercase.

fundraising, fundraiser One word in all cases.

F501(c)(3) The Educational Foundation under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service is

Fraternally Appropriate as an informal complimentary closure in a letter to a member of any fraternity or sorority: Fraternally yours, Jonathan Brant.

Ggender identity Sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same. Consider carefully when deciding to identify a person by either, as they are often not pertinent factors to a story, achievement, etc. Below is a list of preferred terms, though it

[ district chief - gender identity ]


is permissible to deviate from this list based on a person’s preferred identification.

• Female

• Gender Nonconforming

• Male

• Transgender Man, Transgender Woman

General Convention Always capitalized when full name is used. See also Convention

General Fraternity Always capitalize. This is the only way to refer to the Fraternity at large. As Beta Theta Pi is an international fraternity, never use National Fraternity.

General Fraternity House Corporation Always capitalize. Spell out on first reference. GFHC is acceptable on second reference.

General Fraternity President, General Secretary, General Treasurer Always capitalize. See also titles of people.

GPA Acceptable in all references for grade-point average. No periods.

graduate (v.) Graduate is correctly used in the active voice: She graduated from the university Do not use the passive voice: He was graduated from the university. Instead: John Adams graduated from Harvard. Do not omit from: John Adams graduated Harvard is incorrect.

Great and Good Fraternity Always capitalized.

Great Seal of Beta Theta Pi Capitalize when referred to as such, lowercase in general reference: Is that the Great Seal of Beta Theta Pi? Yes, that is the seal.

Greek Capitalize in all references to Greek life.

Greek advisor Capitalize only if it directly precedes a name. Greek Advisor Lisa Fedler came to the meeting. The Greek advisor visited the chapter house. See also titles of people

Greek-letter, Greek letter Greek-letter if it precedes a noun, Greek letter if it follows a noun. Beta Theta Pi is a leader in the Greek-letter community. Organizations with Greek letters must work together

Greek life Two words, no hyphen. Do not capitalize life

Greek row Two words.

Greek Week Always capitalize.

Beta Grip Capitalize Beta Grip and the Grip. Use capitalization and quotation marks in reference to the Bellows painting, “The Beta Grip.”

house corporation (board) Lowercase unless part of a complete name: Alpha House Corporation. I wish to attend a house corporation meeting. See also executive board

house director Capitalize before a person’s name, lowercase in general use.

housemother, housefather One word. Capitalize before a person’s name, lowercase in general use.

IInitiation, Initiation Week, I-Week Capitalize when referring to a specific Initiation Ceremony, lowercase in general reference: December’s Initiation; the initiation of 13 brothers; next week is I-Week. See also Ceremonies section.

Hhall Chapter hall, banquet hall and legislation hall are all lowercase.

Hall of Chapters Always capitalize.

headquarters Not used in reference to Beta Theta Pi’s Foundation and Administrative Office. See Administrative Office

heraldic device Always lowercase. Heritage Fee, Heritage Fund Always capitalize. homecoming Lowercase, one word.

house When referring to the group of men who belong to Beta on a given campus or the chapter itself, use chapter instead of the term house.

installation, Installation Banquet Lowercase installation except when used as Installation Banquet or Installation in a formal sense: I heard there is an installation happening in Ohio today. Yes, the Beta Kappa Chapter has their Installation Banquet this evening

Interfraternity Council Always capitalize. Not Inter-fraternity Council. Abbreviated IFC.

intramural Always lowercase. Not intermural.

Jjunior, senior Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names of persons. Do not precede with a comma: Fred Suggs Jr. talks like his dad.

The Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, V may be used if an individual prefers. Do not precede or follow their notation with a comma: John Paul III is a holy man.

[ gender identity - junior, senior ]

If necessary to distinguish between father and son in second reference, use the elder Smith or the younger Smith

K___kai___ Three underscores; kai; three underscores. As of 2017, kai is no longer italicized. Betas sign their name Yours in ___kai___, followed by a comma, followed by their name.

Kai Committee Both words are capitalized. Not ___kai___ Committee

initiative itself: He appreciates the Men of Principle initiative. Never refer to it as a program, MOP or M of P. Can also be used as a descriptive for Betas: We recruited seven outstanding men of principle this fall. Lowercase when used in reference to Beta men.

military titles Capitalize a military rank when used as a formal title before an individual’s name. On first reference, use the appropriate title before the full name; in subsequent references, do not continue using the title before a name – only use the last name. General (Gen.), Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen), First Lieutenant (1st Lt.), Corporal (Cpl.), e.g. For more details, check the AP Stylebook entry for “Military rank.”

standards of academic achievement.

Trust – Betas develop absolute faith and confidence in one another by being true to themselves and others.

Responsible Conduct – Betas choose to act responsibly, weighing the consequences of their actions on themselves and those around them.

Integrity – Betas preserve their character by doing what is morally right and demanding the same from their brothers.

Strategic Priorities:


Personal Growth


Llegacy Always lowercase.

Lessonly Always capitalize. References the online learning platform used by the Fraternity for member and volunteer education. The service’s main dashboard hub is the “Learning Center.”

Loving Cup Always capitalized. See also Ceremonies section.

RETIRED OFFICERS Never use the abbreviation Ret. Instead, use retired just as former would be used before the title of a civilian: They invited retired Navy Capt. Jerry Blesch, Centre ’60

mission Lowercase, except when used to formally present the mission, vision and core values.

Mission, Vision and Core Values When presented as such, the capitalization, bold, spacing and other formatting is to follow as:

Nnames of Betas Use regular font for a member’s name, followed by a comma, then italicize his college or university, followed by an apostrophe facing left and his graduation year in normal font: Ralph N. Fey, Miami ’40

FIRST OR MIDDLE INITIAL Use in formal situations, e.g. business cards, printed awards, signatures at the end of a letter, on-screen at Convention.

Mmanual Capitalize when directly following the name of the manual: Beta Theta Pi President’s Manual. Lowercase when appearing alone: Bring your manual to every meeting. See also capitalization and italics in the Grammar and Punctuation section.

member Refers to initiated members of Beta. See also new member

men of principle Men of Principle is only capitalized when talking about the educational

Mission: To develop men of principle for a principled life.

Vision: Every member will live Beta Theta Pi’s values.

Core Values: To build lasting bonds of friendship and brotherhood, Beta calls for:

Mutual Assistance – Betas believe that men are mutually obligated to help others in the honorable labors and aspirations of life.

Intellectual Growth – Betas are devoted to continually cultivating their minds, including high

PREFERRED NAME Use parentheses to indicate a preferred name: Robert T. (Bob) Grand, Wabash ’78.

NICKNAME Use quotation marks to indicate a nickname that is outside the realm of a recognized name: Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson. Quotations can be dropped after first reference.

MULTIPLE SCHOOLS When a Beta attends two schools as an undergraduate, his name is written using his first initiating chapter and undergraduate graduation year. He may, however, specially request his name feature both schools separated by a slash and using the year corresponding to his graduation. Schools should be listed in order of attendance:

junior, senior - names of Betas


C. William (Bill) Nelson, Florida/Yale ’65.

COMMA Treat school and year like the name of a state – comma before, comma after, every time: Cal Black, Wabash ’65, took the stage.

APOSTROPHE To the left (’). To do this, you can write UCLA’09 as one word with no space, then place a space between A and ’. Alternatively, the keyboard command for the appropriate facing apostrophe is ALT0146.

JUNIOR/SENIOR/III Abbreviate junior or senior after an individual’s name. See also junior, senior

GRADUATION YEAR All four numerals should be used for years that are more than 100 years from the current latest graduation year. For example, if the current year is 2023, 2028 would likely be the latest graduation year (considering five-year programs). So, 1928 and earlier would be written out with all four numerals, while ’28 would indicate a current freshman: Jim Brown, Wabash 1928, had a great life and will be missed dearly. His great grandson, Eric Brown, Northeastern ’28, is an ambitious man. For honorary initiates, the year of their initiation should be used in place of the graduation year.

NEW MEMBERS For a new member, write his name like you would an initiated Beta. The fact that he is not yet an initiated member will be apparent by the surrounding story.

names of non-Betas Use regular font for a non-member’s name. Occasionally, noting one’s interfraternal affiliation may be necessary. If relevant, a comma may follow the name, then italicize their Greek-letter organization. Do not include a graduation year: Anne Emmerth, Chi Omega.

national Do not use in reference to Beta Theta Pi. See also General Fraternity and Administrative Office

North-American Interfraternity Conference

Always capitalize. Abbreviated: NIC.

North-American Interfraternity Foundation

Always capitalize. Abbreviated: NIF.

National Panhellenic Conference Always capitalize. Abbreviated: NPC. See also sorority.

National Pan-Hellenic Council Always capitalize. Abbreviated: NPHC. Refer to its members as historically African-American: Kappa Alpha Psi, a historically African-American fraternity, will be showing a slide show.

new member A young man who has accepted an invitation to join Beta Theta Pi, but not yet formally initiated. See names of Betas

new member button/class/grip/manual/pin

Always lowercase, no hyphens. Pledge should no longer be used with these terms as a descriptor. Charles Hardin is the fifth man to join this year’s new member class. At the Induction Ceremony, James Smith received his new member pin and was given the new member grip.

[ names of Betas - programs, areas of programming

PPanhellenic Always capitalize.

Parents’ Weekend Capitalize and include an apostrophe after s, like Founders’ Day. Not Parent’s Weekend or Parents Weekend

party Social event is preferred: The chapter is planning a social event with a sorority

pledge An outdated term perpetuating fraternity stereotypes, most notably hazing. Do not use to reference an uninitiated member of Beta Theta Pi. The term pledge brother should be substituted with fraternity brother. See also new member and new member button/class/grip/pin/manual.

policy Capitalize in reference to a specific policy, lowercase in general reference: Have you seen our Risk Management Policy? We probably need a policy for that. See also the Forms, Reporting and Standards section.

president See General Fraternity President and titles of people.

O“of ever honored memory” Listed after the names of all eight founders. Put within quotation marks and do not capitalize.

office Capitalize office in an agency’s formal name: Office of Management and Budget

Lowercase all other uses, including phrases such as: the office of the attorney general, the U.S. attorney’s office. See also Administrative Office

Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta Always capitalize, no quotation marks.

professor Never abbreviate. Lowercase before a name, but capitalize Professor Emeritus as a conferred title before a name: Professor Emeritus Susan Johnson. Do not continue in second reference unless part of a quotation. See also titles of people.

programs, areas of programming General educational programs of the Fraternity are not capitalized: fraternity education, alumni affairs, risk management.


The Promises to Keep Campaign Always capitalize. Promises to Keep Campaign (in the event the word “The” is not appropriate based upon sentence structure).

recruitment Always lowercase. The usage of recruitment is preferred rather than rush. Member recruitment, not membership recruitment.

reelect, reelection, reestablish No hyphen.

Sseal See Great Seal of Beta Theta Pi.

RQrace and ethnicity Race and ethnicity are not the same. Race describes physical traits, and ethnicity refers to cultural identification. Consider carefully when deciding to identify a person by either, as they are often not pertinent factors to a story, achievement, etc. Below is a list of preferred terms, though it is permissible to deviate from this list based on a person’s preferred identification.


• American Indian, Alaska Native

• Asian

• Biracial, Multiracial

• Black

• Hawaiian Native, Pacific Islander

• White Ethnicity

• Hispanic, Latino recharter, reestablish Only previously existing chapters are reestablished and rechartered. Previously existing chapters that were never chartered are not rechartered.

re/charters, re/establishments Used to reference multiple expansion projects including chapters opened at an institution for the first time and chapters which are being restarted. Two of the re/ establishments are Vanderbilt and LSU.

Refounding Father, Re/Founding Father Lowercase unless preceding a specific member’s name, never hyphenate. Not Re-Founding Father. Use Re/Founding Fathers in reference to multiple expansion projects that include both Refounding Fathers and Founding Fathers. See also Founding Father

reinstallation, Reinstallation Banquet Lower case, unless used in Reinstallation Banquet

regional chief Capitalize only when the title directly precedes the full name: Regional Chief Bob Griffiths. Tommy Raimondi, a regional chief, just arrived. See also titles of people

regions See directions and regions

ritual Capitalize only in reference to the printed document or the performance of the associated ceremonies; lowercase in all other cases: Our values can be found in our Ritual. We will be performing the Ritual tonight. The ritual books were sent to the chapter. Also, capitalize when referring to a particular fraternity’s ritual: Beta’s Ritual, the SAE Ritual. Note: the term the Ritual assumes Beta’s Ritual.

RC May be used as an abbreviated reference to regional chief. Plural form: RCs (no apostrophes).

See also regional chief

Roll, Roll Number Capitalize. Roll No. is also acceptable. Not Roll # The Theta Zeta Chapter Roll

rush Lowercase. Recruitment is preferred to rush.

semester Lowercase: The fall 2020 semester Never use semesterly. See also term.

sexual orientation Sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same. Consider carefully when deciding to identify a person by either, as they are often not pertinent factors to a story, achievement, etc. Below is a list of preferred terms, though it is permissible to deviate from this list based on a person’s preferred identification.

• Bisexual

• Gay

• Heterosexual, Straight

• Homosexual

• Lesbian

• Pansexual

• Queer

• Questioning

Seven Obligations Always capitalize.

shingle Lowercase: The shingle of the Fraternity shall be a plain white card.

Silver Grays Capitalize.

Singing Fraternity Capitalize when referring to Beta Theta Pi as the Singing Fraternity. Do not capitalize in reference to a singing fraternity in general. We are the Singing Fraternity Beta has been a singing fraternity for generations.

song titles Capitalize and include quotations for all Beta song titles. They sang, “The Banquet Hall” and “Gemma Nostra.”

[ The Promises to Keep Campaign - song titles ]


sorority Less than half of the 26 NPC members use sorority in their official name; most use fraternity. Refer to the Interfraternity Directory or the Fraternity Executives’ Fraternity/ Sorority Directory to properly reference all NPC members. If in doubt, refer to all NPC members as a women’s fraternity

state Lowercase in all state of constructions: the state of Maine. Do not capitalize state when used simply as an adjective to specify a level of jurisdiction: the state Transportation Department, state funds. Four states – Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia – are legally commonwealths rather than states. The distinction is necessary only in formal uses: The commonwealth of Kentucky filed a suit. For simple geographic reference: Tobacco is grown in the state of Kentucky. See also state names.

state names Follow these guidelines:

PUNCTUATION Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name: Oxford, Ohio, is where Beta Theta Pi Fraternity was founded. Steve Becker hails from Toronto, Ont., a fine world city. The obscure ones should be spelled out fully: Trudy visited Prince Edward Island.

STANDING ALONE Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states and Canadian provinces when they stand alone and throughout body copy. Never use postal abbreviations (e.g. CA) in textual material. See also addresses in the Grammar and Punctuation section.

EIGHT NOT ABBREVIATED The names of eight states are never abbreviated in text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

ABBREVIATIONS REQUIRED Never use postal abbreviations in textual material. Abbreviations

should appear in datelines, lists, etc. as follows:

Ala. Md. N.D.

Ariz. Mass. Okla.

Ark. Mich. Ore.

Calif. Minn. Pa.

Colo. Miss. R.I.

Conn. Mo. S.C.

Del. Mont. S.D.

D.C. Neb. Tenn.

Fla. Nev. Vt.

Ga. N.H. Va.

Ill. N.J. Wash.

Ind. N.M. W.Va. Kan. N.Y. Wis.

Ky. N.C. Wyo. La.

The 10 Canadian provinces (states) are abbreviated to fit typographical requirements. They should appear as follows:

Alta. N.B. Ont. Sask. B.C. N.S. P.E.I. Man. Nfld. Que.

staff Capitalize in reference to Beta Theta Pi only when directly following Administrative, Foundation, Fraternity or Support. Lowercase when used in other forms. See also Administrative Office. strategic plan, strategic priorities Lowercase, except when used when formally presenting the mission, vision and core values.

student body Lowercase.

Style Guide Capitalize when referring to Beta’s Style Guide, lower case when referring to style guides in general. The Style Guide is in part modeled after Sigma Nu’s style guide.

Ttask force Capitalize only when referring to a specific or formal committee or board: The Lambda Chapter Involvement Task Force planned the retreat. I’d be curious to hear what the task force has been doing See also executive board

Three Great Principles Always capitalize. term Preferred for academic periods in lieu of semester, quarter, trimester, etc. Lowercase. The fall 2023 term.

365 recruitment Do not capitalize or hyphenate.

titles of people In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s full name: House Corporation Treasurer Dick Persinger submitted the budget. Brother Stephenson received top grades last term.

Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual’s name: The president gave an excellent speech. The executive director has big shoes to fill.

Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas: Jeff Rundle, executive director, gave the speech. The chapter development consultant, Patrick Carr, painted the new shutters.

EXCEPTION General Secretary and General Treasurer are always capitalized. President is always capitalized when referring to the General Fraternity President.

Corporate, professional and governmental titles are capitalized only when they immediately precede a person’s full name. President Marty Smith likes race cars. Regional Directors Jim Strilesky and Kirk Little. Other titles serve

[ sorority - titles of people ]

of people - vision

primarily as occupational descriptions: astronaut John Glenn, movie star John Wayne, peanut farmer Jimmy Carter

EXCEPTION 1: In formal usage, such as acknowledgments and lists of contributors, titles following a personal name are usually capitalized. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States

EXCEPTION 2: Titles used in place of names in direct address are capitalized: The ship can’t take it anymore, Captain!

EXCEPTION 3: Titles of person and events may be capitalized when in a list or as a heading: Men of Principle Initiative

Trial by Chapter Always capitalize.

unsullied friendship, unfaltering fidelity Lowercase.

Upon These Principles Capitalize in reference to the capital campaign of the early 2000s.

Vvice president Use two words; no hyphen. See also titles of people

vision Lowercase, except when used when formally presenting the mission, vision and core values.


UUndergraduate Commissioner Always capitalize. See also titles of people

university Capitalize only when used with the actual school name: DePauw University; the university swim team. When abbreviating university or college names, do not use periods: UCLA, not U.C.L.A. Unless instantly recognizable, university names are usually only abbreviated after they have been spelled out on their first occurrence in a text.

University names Be consistent. If you use the short name, continue to use short names. If you use the long name, stick with long names. Not the University of Kentucky and MSU . . . ” The long and short names for each school can be found on the Chapter or University tab of the corresponding records in iMIS. See page 18 for the list of university names.



University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province Alabama The University of Alabama Delta Theta Tuscaloosa Ala. American American University Eta Pi Washington D.C. Amherst Amherst College Beta Iota Amherst Mass. Arizona University of Arizona Delta Beta Tucson Ariz. Arizona State Arizona State University Delta Tau Tempe Ariz. Arkansas University of Arkansas Eta Mu Fayetteville Ark. Auburn Auburn University Delta Zeta Auburn Ala. Ball State Ball State University Delta Iota Muncie Ind. Baylor Baylor University Delta Psi Waco Texas Beloit Beloit College Chi Beloit Wisc. Bethany Bethany College Psi Bethany W.Va. Binghamton State University of New York at Binghamton Epsilon Psi Binghamton N.Y. Bishop’s Bishop’s University Epsilon Xi Lennoxville Que. Boise State Boise State University New Chapter Boise Idaho Boston Boston University Upsilon Boston Mass. Bowdoin Bowdoin College Beta Sigma Brunswick Maine Bowling Green Bowling Green State University Delta Delta Bowling Green Ohio British Columbia University of British Columbia Gamma Omicron Vancouver B.C. Brown Brown University Kappa Providence R.I. Bryant Bryant College Zeta Theta Smithfield R.I. Butler Butler University Alpha Psi Indianapolis Ind. Cal Poly California Polytechnic State University Epsilon Delta San Luis Obispo Calif. Cal State, Chico California State University, Chico Epsilon Iota Chico Calif. Cal State, Sacramento California State University, Sacramento Carmichael Calif. Carleton Carleton University Epsilon Upsilon Gloucester Ont. Carnegie Mellon Carnegie Mellon University Gamma Iota Pittsburgh Pa. Case Case Institute of Technology Lambda Kappa Cleveland Ohio Case Western Reserve Case Western Reserve University Lambda Kappa-Beta Cleveland Ohio Centenary Centenary College Wreath Jackson La. Central Florida University of Central Florida Zeta Psi Orlando Fla. Central Michigan Central Michigan University Epsilon Gamma Mount Pleasant Mich.


University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province BETA THETA PI STYLE GUIDE / REVISED 2023 19
Centre Centre College Epsilon Danville Ky. Chapman Chapman University Eta Theta Orange Calif. Charleston College of Charleston Eta Lambda Charleston S.C. Chicago University of Chicago Lambda Rho Chicago Ill. Cincinnati University of Cincinnati Beta Nu Cincinnati Ohio Clemson Clemson University Delta Nu Clemson S.C. Colgate Colgate University Beta Theta Hamilton N.Y. Colorado University of Colorado Boulder Beta Tau Boulder Colo. Colorado College Colorado College Gamma Delta Colorado Springs Colo. Colorado Mines Colorado School of Mines Beta Phi Golden Colo. Colorado State Colorado State University Epsilon Kappa Fort Collins Colo. Columbia Columbia University Alpha Alpha New York N.Y. Connecticut University of Connecticut Zeta Chi Storrs Conn. Cornell Cornell University Beta Delta Ithaca N.Y. Creighton Creighton University Eta Iota Omaha Neb. Cumberland Cumberland University Mu Lebanon Tenn. Dartmouth Dartmouth College Alpha Omega Hanover N.H. Davidson Davidson College Phi Alpha Davidson N.C. Dayton University of Dayton Eta Delta Dayton Ohio Delaware University of Delaware Theta Alpha Newark Del. Denison Denison University Alpha Eta Granville Ohio Denver University of Denver Alpha Zeta Denver Colo. DePauw DePauw University Delta Greencastle Ind. Dickinson Dickinson College Alpha Sigma Carlisle Pa. Drexel Drexel University Eta Omicron Philadelphia Pa. Duke Duke University Gamma Rho Durham N.C. East Carolina East Carolina University Epsilon Alpha Greenville N.C. Eastern Illinois Eastern Illinois University Charleston Ill. Eastern Kentucky Eastern Kentucky University Delta Xi Richmond Ky. Eastern Washington Eastern Washington University Epsilon Omega Cheney Wash. Elon Elon University Eta Upsilon Elon N.C.


University / College Short Name






Florida International






University / College

Greek Name City State / Province

Daytona Beach Fla.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Atlanta Ga.
Emory University
Gamma Xi Gainesville Fla.
of Florida
Atlantic Florida Atlantic University
Delta Boca Raton Fla.
Gulf Coast Florida Gulf Coast University
Myers Fla.
Eta Gamma Miami Fla.
Tallahassee Fla.
International University
Florida State
State University
Greenville S.C.
Furman University
Epsilon Mu Fairfax Va.
Zeta Nu Washington D.C.
Mason George Mason University
George Washington George Washington University
Epsilon Epsilon Athens Ga.
of Georgia
Gamma Eta Atlanta Ga.
Georgia Tech
Institute of Technology
GMI-EMI Delta Eta Flint Mich.
of Guelph
Hampden-Sydney Va.
Iota Hanover Ind.
Harvard University Eta Cambridge Mass. Hawai’i University of Hawai’i Epsilon Rho Kaneohe Hawaii High Point High Point University Eta Xi High Point N.C. Houston University of Houston Delta Upsilon Houston Texas
Howard College Alpha Mu Marion Ala. Idaho University of Idaho Gamma Gamma Moscow Ind. Illinois University of Illinois Sigma Rho Champaign Ill. Illinois College Illinois College Sigma Jacksonville Ill. Indiana Indiana University Pi Bloomington Ind. Iowa University of Iowa Alpha Beta Iowa City Iowa Iowa State Iowa State University Tau Sigma Ames Iowa Iowa
University Alpha Epsilon Mt. Pleasant Iowa
Harrisonburg Va.
Hampden-Sydney Hampden-Sydney College Zeta
James Madison James Madison University
Baltimore Md.
John Carroll John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins
Hopkins University


University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province BETA THETA PI STYLE GUIDE / REVISED 2023 21
Kansas University of Kansas Alpha Nu Lawrence Kan. Kansas State Kansas State University Gamma Epsilon Manhattan Kan. Kennesaw State Kennesaw State University New Chapter Kennesaw Ga. Kentucky University of Kentucky Epsilon Omicron Lexington Ky. Kenyon Kenyon College Beta Alpha Gambier Ohio Kettering A Kettering University A Delta Eta Flint Mich. Kettering B Kettering University B Delta Eta Flint Mich. Knox Knox College Xi Galesburg Ill. Lawrence Lawrence University Gamma Pi Appleton Wis. Lehigh Lehigh University Beta Chi Bethlehem Pa. Louisville University of Louisville Delta Pi Louisville Ky. Loyola Chicago Loyola University Chicago Eta Omega Chicago Ill. Loyola Marymount Loyola Marymount University Eta Alpha Los Angeles Calif. LSU Louisiana State University New Chapter Baton Rouge La. Lynchburg Lynchburg College Zeta Alpha Lynchburg Va. Maine University of Maine Beta Eta Orono Maine Maryland University of Maryland, College Park Delta Omega College Park Md. McGill McGill University Epsilon Nu Montreal Que. Miami Miami University Alpha Oxford Ohio Miami (Fla.) University of Miami Eta Beta Coral Gables Fla. Michigan University of Michigan Lambda Ann Arbor Mich. Michigan State Michigan State University Gamma Psi East Lansing Mich. Middle Tennessee State Middle Tennessee State University Epsilon Theta Murfreesboro Tenn. Minnesota University of Minnesota Beta Pi Minneapolis Minn. Mississippi University of Mississippi Beta Beta University Miss. Missouri University of Missouri Zeta Phi Columbia Mo. Missouri-Kansas City University of Missouri-Kansas City Epsilon Lambda Kansas City Mo. MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology Beta Upsilon Boston Mass. Monmouth Monmouth College Alpha Alpha Monmouth Ill. NC State North Carolina State University Eta Rho Raleigh N.C. Nebraska University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alpha Tau Lincoln Neb.


University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province Nebraska at Omaha University of Nebraska at Omaha New Chapter Omaha Neb. New Jersey The College of New Jersey Eta Psi Ewing Township N.J. New Mexico University of New Mexico New Chapter Albuquerque N.M. North Carolina The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eta Chapel Hill N.C. North Dakota University of North Dakota Gamma Kappa Grand Forks N.D. Northeastern Northeastern University Eta Zeta Boston Mass. Northwestern Northwestern University Rho Evanston Ill. Nova Southeastern Nova Southeastern University Zeta Mu Davie Fla. Oglethorpe Oglethorpe University Chi Atlanta Ga. Ohio Ohio University Beta Kappa Athens Ohio Ohio State The Ohio State University Theta Delta Columbus Ohio Ohio Wesleyan Ohio Wesleyan University Theta Delaware Ohio Oklahoma University of Oklahoma Gamma Phi Norman Okla. Oklahoma State Oklahoma State University Gamma Lambda Stillwater Okla. Oregon University of Oregon Beta Rho Eugene Ore. Oregon State Oregon State University Gamma Mu Corvallis Ore. Pacific University of the Pacific Eta Kappa Stockton Calif. Penn State Pennsylvania State University Alpha Upsilon State College Pa. Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania Phi Philadelphia Pa. Pepperdine Pepperdine University Zeta Pi Malibu Calif. Pittsburgh University of Pittsburgh Eta Nu Pittsburgh Pa. Princeton Princeton University Theta Epsilon Princeton N.J. Puget Sound University of Puget Sound Delta Epsilon Tacoma Wash. Purdue Purdue University Beta Mu West Lafayette Ind. Quinnipiac Quinnipiac University Eta Sigma Hamden Conn. Randolph-Macon Randolph-Macon College Alpha Xi Ashland Va. Rhode Island University of Rhode Island Epsilon Chi Kingston R.I. Richmond University of Richmond Alpha Kappa Richmond Va. Rochester University of Rochester Eta Chi Rochester N.Y. Rockhurst Rockhurst University Eta Phi Kansas City Mo. Rutgers Rutgers University Beta Gamma Scotch Plains N.J.


University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province BETA THETA PI STYLE GUIDE / REVISED 2023 23
Sacred Heart Sacred Heart University Theta Beta Fairfield Conn. Saint Louis Saint Louis University Zeta Tau St. Louis Mo. San Diego University of San Diego Zeta Omega San Diego Calif. San Diego State San Diego State University Epsilon Beta San Diego Calif. San Jose State San Jose State University Zeta Eta San Jose Calif. Sewanee The University of the South Gamma Chi Sewanee Tenn. SMU Southern Methodist University Gamma Omega Dallas Texas South Carolina University of South Carolina Upsilon Columbia S.C. South Dakota The University of South Dakota Gamma Alpha Vermillion S.D. South Florida University of South Florida Zeta Beta Tampa Fla. Southeastern Louisiana Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond La. Southern California University of Southern California Gamma Tau Los Angeles Calif. Southern Illinois Southern Illinois University Zeta Omicron Carbondale Ill. St. Lawrence St. Lawrence University Beta Zeta Canton N.Y. Stanford Stanford University Lambda Sigma Stanford Calif. Stevens Stevens Institute of Technology Sigma Hoboken N.J. Syracuse Syracuse University Beta Epsilon Syracuse N.Y. TCU Texas Christian University Eta Eta Fort Worth Texas Tennessee The University of Tennessee Delta Kappa Knoxville Tenn. Tennessee Tech Tennessee Technological University Epsilon Phi Cookeville Tenn. Texas The University of Texas at Austin Beta Omicron Austin Texas Texas A&M Texas A&M University Epsilon Eta College Station Texas Texas A&M-CC Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Zeta Rho Corpus Christi Texas Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington Delta Rho Arlington Texas Texas Tech Texas Tech University Delta Mu Lubbock Texas Toledo University of Toledo Epsilon Tau Toledo Ohio Toronto University of Toronto Theta Zeta Toronto Ont. Transylvania Transylvania University Epsilon Lexington Ky. Trinity Trinity University Alpha Omicron San Antonio Texas Truman State Truman State University Zeta Xi Kirksville Mo. Tulane Tulane University Beta Xi New Orleans La.


Short Name
/ College
Name City State / Province UC Berkeley University of California, Berkeley Omega Berkeley Calif. UC Davis University of California, Davis Davis Calif. UC Irvine University of California, Irvine Delta Sigma Irvine Calif. UCLA University of California, Los Angeles Gamma Nu Los Angeles Calif. UC Riverside University of California, Riverside Epsilon Sigma Riverside Calif. UC San Diego University of California, San Diego Zeta Gamma La Jolla Calif. UC Santa Barbara University of California, Santa Barbara Epsilon Pi Goleta Calif. UMass Dartmouth University of Massachusetts Dartmouth North Dartmouth Mass. Union Union College Nu Schenectady N.Y. UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas Zeta Kappa Las Vegas Nev. USNA United States Naval Academy Omega Newport R.I. Utah University of Utah Gamma Beta Salt Lake City Utah Utah State Utah State University Zeta Iota Logan Utah Vanderbilt Vanderbilt University Beta Lambda Nashville Tenn. Villanova Villanova University Zeta Epsilon Villanova Pa. Virginia University of Virginia Omicron Charlottesville Va. Virginia Tech Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. Alpha Phi Blacksburg Va. VMI Virginia Military Institute Alpha Theta Lexington Va. Wabash Wabash College Tau Crawfordsville Ind. Washington University of Washington Beta Omega Seattle Wash. Washington & Jefferson Washington & Jefferson College Gamma Washington Pa. Washington and Lee Washington and Lee University Alpha Rho Lexington Va. Washington in St. Louis Washington University in St. Louis Alpha Iota St. Louis Mo. Washington State Washington State University Gamma Theta Pullman Wa. Weber State Weber State University Delta Omicron Ogden Utah Wesleyan Wesleyan University Mu Epsilon Middletown Conn. West Chester West Chester University Zeta Sigma West Chester Pa. West Virginia West Virginia University Beta Psi Morgantown W.Va. Western Michigan Western Michigan University Delta Chi Kalamazoo Mich. Western Ontario The University of Western Ontario Delta Alpha London Ont. Western Reserve Western Reserve University Beta Cleveland Ohio
University / College


University / College Short Name University / College Greek Name City State / Province BETA THETA PI STYLE GUIDE / REVISED 2023 25
Westminster Westminster College Alpha Delta Fulton Mo. Whitman Whitman College Gamma Zeta Walla Walla Wash.
State Wichita State University Delta Gamma Wichita Kan.
Willamette University Gamma Sigma Salem Ore.
& Mary The College of William & Mary Zeta Upsilon Williamsburg Va.
Williams College Zeta Williamstown Mass. Wisconsin University of Wisconsin Alpha Pi Madison Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Zeta Zeta Oshkosh Wis.
Wittenberg University Alpha Gamma Springfield Ohio Wooster College of Wooster Alpha Lambda Wooster Ohio
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Eta Tau Worcester Mass. Wright State Wright State University Delta Phi Dayton Ohio Yale Yale University Phi Chi New Haven Conn.


There is no alternative to correct punctuation. Incorrect punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence, the results of which could be farreaching. For example …

Dear Bill,

You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy — will you let me be yours?


abbreviations and acronyms In general, avoid alphabet soup. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize. See also LC, RC and university.

BEFORE A NAME Abbreviate the following titles when used before a full name: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Mr., Miss, Ms., Mrs., Rep., the Rev., and Sen. See also Mr., Mrs. and military titles

ages Always use figures. The girl is 8 years old, the 3-year-old law. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years. Ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens: A 19-year-old member. The chapter president is 19 years old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The chapter advisor is in his 30s. See also numerals

Dear Bill,

You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

Yours, Marie

On a second look, you’ll see these two letters are composed of almost the exact same words, and that correct punctuation makes all the difference.

This section of the Style Guide is here to help you make the right decisions about how and when to use certain punctuation marks. For more detail and philosophy behind punctuation, consult the AP Stylebook and “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

AFTER A NAME Abbreviate junior or senior after an individual’s name. Abbreviate association, company, corporation, incorporated and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity.

AVOID AWKWARD CONSTRUCTIONS Do not follow an organization’s full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.

addresses Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues

a.m., p.m. Lowercase, with periods. Avoid the redundant 10:00 a.m. this morning. Also acceptable is 10:00 o’clock this morning.

ampersand (&) Use the ampersand when it is part of a publication or company’s formal name. It should not otherwise be used in place of and: The Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values, but not friendship & fidelity

anniversary The word is to be lowercase when referring to a specific event. The Gamma Pi Chapter held its 75th anniversary celebration.

annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. Do not use the term first annual. Instead, use inaugural. The second year would be the first opportunity to use the phrase. See also prefixes

Aa, an Use the article a before consonant sounds: a historic event, a one-year term (sounds as if it begins with a w), a united stand (sounds like you).

Use the article an before vowel sounds: an energy crisis, an honorable man (the h is silent), an NBA record (sounds like it begins with the letter e), an 1890s celebration.

The U.S. Postal Service’s two-letter abbreviations for street addresses and states should only be used on the envelope and the address appearing at the top of a letter. See also state and state names

CAPS PERIODS Use capital letters and periods according to the listings in this guide or its references. If an abbreviation is not listed, use capital letters. Omit periods unless the result would spell an unrelated word.

apostrophe (’) Follow these guidelines:

PLURAL NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S Add ’s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights.

PLURAL NOUNS ENDING IN S Add only an apostrophe: the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys, the horses’ food

SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S Add ’s unless the next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat.



Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel, Agnes’ book, Ceres’ rites, Descartes’ theories, Michael Roupas’ eNewsletter.

PRONOUNS Pronouns have separate forms for the possessive. None involves an apostrophe: mine, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, whose Caution: Always double-check to be sure that the meaning calls for a contraction when using an apostrophe with a pronoun: you’re, it’s, there’s, who’s

COMPOUND WORDS Add an apostrophe or ’s to the word closest to the object possessed: the regional leadership director’s decision, the major generals’ backpacks

JOINT POSSESSION Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Tom and Lance’s house. Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books.

OMITTED FIGURES The class of ’72. The roaring ’20s.

Bbold Use bold type only when it aids in indexing and cross-referencing, and when emphasizing a deadline date. The deadline for the Institute registration is April 1, 2017.

brackets ([ ]) Brackets work like parentheses to set off inserted material, but usually function within quoted material: “Sometimes he [Scott] will do voice impersonations.” Do not use brackets as “parentheses within parentheses.” If a sentence becomes contorted enough to warrant parentheses within parentheses, write it another way.

Ccapitalization In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here.

Many words and phrases are listed in this guide. If there is no relevant listing is this guide, consult its references that are listed in the “Forward.”

PROPER NOUNS Capitalize nouns that constitute the unique identification for a specific person, place or thing.

PROPER NAMES Capitalize common nouns such as award, fraternity, party, river, street and west when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place or thing: The Oxford Cup, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Democratic Party, Auglize River, Bonham Road, West Virginia

Lowercase the common noun elements of names in all plural uses: Sisson awards, Beta Theta Pi and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternities, Democratic and Republican parties, lakes Erie and Ontario.

COMPOSITIONS Apply the guidelines listed here to book titles, movie titles, song titles, television program titles and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art.

Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.

Capitalize an article — the, a, an — or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.

TITLES Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas.

Use lowercase at all times for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles. See also titles of people.

See also italics and quotation marks.

captions Italicize entire caption, even if original text is supposed to be italicized (i.e. school names, publications).

colon (:) The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc.

Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence: He promised this: The company will make good all the losses. But: There were three considerations: expense, time and feasibility.

EMPHASIS The colon often can be effective in giving emphasis: He had only one hobby: eating.

LISTINGS Use the colon in such listings as time elapsed (1:31:07.2), time of day (8:31 p.m.), biblical and legal citations (2 Kings 2:14; Missouri Code 3:245-260).

DIALOGUE Use a colon for dialogue. In coverage of a trial, for example:

Bailey: What were you doing the night of the 19th?

Mason: I refuse to answer that.

Q AND A: The colon is used for question-andanswer interviews:

Q: Did you strike him?

A: Indeed I did.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS Colons go outside quotation marks unless they are part of the quotation itself.



comma (,) The following guidelines treat some of the most frequent questions. Consult the AP Stylebook or Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary for complete usage.

IN A SERIES Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry. Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.

WITH EQUAL ADJECTIVES Use commas to separate a series of adjectives equal in rank. If the commas could be replaced by the word and without changing the sense, the adjectives are equal: a thoughtful, precise manner; a dark, dangerous street

Use no comma when the last adjective before a noun outranks its predecessors because it is an integral element of a noun phrase, which is the equivalent of a single noun: a cheap fur coat (the noun phrase is fur coat); the old oaken bucket; a new, blue spring bonnet.

WITH CONJUNCTIONS When a conjunction such as and, but or for links two clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences, use a comma before the conjunction in most cases: She was glad she had looked, for a man was approaching the house.

INTRODUCING DIRECT QUOTES Use a comma to introduce a complete one-sentence quotation within a paragraph: Murray said, “Does it look like I’m laughing?”

Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quotation: Bob said that he “loves M&Ms and their hard candy shell.”

BEFORE ATTRIBUTION Use a comma at the end of a quote that is followed by attribution: “I lost my computer,” confessed Mayberry. Do not use a comma, however, if the quoted statement ends with a question mark or exclamation point: “Why should I?” he asked.


Use a comma to set off an individual’s chapter and year of graduation: Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75, is the Foundation director. See also Names of Betas

NAMES OF STATES AND NATIONS USED WITH CITY NAMES His journey will take him from Dublin, Ireland, to Fargo, N.D., and back. The Selma, Ala., group saw the governor. Use parentheses, however, if a state name is inserted within a proper name: The Huntsville (Ala.) Times. See also states.

WITH YES AND NO Yes, I will be there.

IN DIRECT ADDRESS Mother, I will be home late. No, sir, I did not take it.

SEPARATING SIMILAR WORDS Use a comma to separate duplicated words that otherwise would be confusing: What the problem is, is not clear.

IN LARGE FIGURES Use a comma for most figures greater than 999. The major exceptions are street addresses (1234 Main St.), broadcast frequencies (1460 kilohertz), room numbers, serial numbers, telephone numbers and years (1876).

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES Commas always go inside quotation marks.

WITH FULL DATES When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma: Feb. 14, 1987, is the target date. See dates


Commas always go inside quotation marks.

Ddash ( — ) Used to mark a sudden break or abrupt change in thought: Kip offered a plan — it was unprecedented — to abolish alcohol abuse.

ATTRIBUTION It is also used to precede a credit line or a run-in credit signature: “But the greatest of these is love.” — I Corinthians 13:13

SERIES WITHIN A PHRASE When a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas, use dashes: Andy listed the qualities — intelligence, humor, independence — that he liked in a consultant

WITH SPACES Put a space on both sides of a dash in all uses except the start of a paragraph.

dates Always use Arabic figures without th, st, and nd.: March 22, not March 22nd. No comma between month and year if the day is omitted: November 1999. Include a comma after the year if the full date is given: Nov. 2, 2000, will be the day of the food drive. Abbreviate month when full date is used.

dissociate Not disassociate or disassociate.

dollars Always lowercase. Use figures and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure.


Eellipsis ( ... )

Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces.

Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents.

PUNCTUATION GUIDELINES If the words that precede an ellipsis constitute a grammatically complete sentence, either in the original or in the condensation, place a period at the end of the last word before the ellipsis. Follow it with a regular space and an ellipsis: I no longer have a strong enough political base. …

When the grammatical sense calls for a question mark, exclamation point, comma or colon, the sequence is word, punctuation mark, regular space, ellipsis: Will you come? …

When material is deleted at the end of one paragraph and at the beginning of the one that follows, place an ellipsis in both locations.

QUOTATIONS In writing a story, do not use ellipses at the beginning and end of direct quotes:

“It has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base,” Nixon said.

Not “... it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base ... ,” Nixon said.

essential clauses, nonessential clauses

These terms are used here instead of restrictive clause and nonrestrictive clause to convey the distinction between the two in a more easily remembered manner.

Both types of clauses provide additional information about a word or phrase in the sentence.

The difference between them is that the essential clause cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence — it so restricts the meaning of the word or phrase that its absence would lead to a substantially different interpretation of what the author meant.

The nonessential clause, however, can be eliminated without altering the basic meaning of the sentence — it does not restrict the meaning so significantly that its absence would radically alter the author’s thought.

PUNCTUATION An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas. A nonessential clause must be set off by commas.

The presence or absence of commas provides the reader with critical information about the writer’s intended meaning. Note the following examples:

Reporters who do not read the Stylebook should not criticize their editors. (The writer is saying that only one class of reporters, those who do not read the Stylebook, should not criticize their editors. If the who ... Stylebook phrase were deleted, the meaning of the sentence would be changed substantially.)

Reporters, who do not read the Stylebook, should not criticize their editors. (The writer is saying that all reporters should not criticize their editors. If the who ... Stylebook phrase were deleted, this meaning would not be changed.)

etc. Et cetera (etc.) means “and so forth.” Avoid ending a list with etc. It is more emphatic to end with an example, and in most contexts readers will understand that the list is not exhaustive.

exclamation point (!) Use sparingly. With each successive use, you diminish the impact of the exclamation point. Using two exclamation points diminishes the impact four-fold; three exclamation points, nine-fold.

EMPHATIC EXPRESSIONS Use the mark to express a high degree of surprise, incredulity or other strong emotion.

AVOID OVERUSE Use a comma after mild interjections. End mildly exclamatory sentences with a period.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES Place the mark inside quotation marks when it is part of the quoted material: “How wonderful!” he exclaimed. “Never!” she shouted.

Place the mark outside quotation marks when it is not part of the quoted material: I hated reading Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”!

MISCELLANEOUS Do not use a comma or a period after the exclamation mark:

Wrong: “Halt!”, the corporal cried.

Right: “Halt!” the corporal cried.

Hhyphen (-) Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words.

Use of the hyphen is far from standardized. It is optional in most cases, a matter of taste, judgment and style sense. But the fewer hyphens the better; use them only when not using them causes confusion.

AVOID AMBIGUITY The president will speak to small-business men. (Business men normally is one word. But the president will speak to small businessmen is unclear.) Others: He recovered his health. He re-covered the leaky roof.

COMPOUND MODIFIERS When a compound modifier—two or more words that express a single concept—precedes a noun, use hyphens to link



all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in -ly: a full-time job, a know-it-all attitude, the newly initiated brethren.

Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: The event will be alcohol free. This is an alcohol-free chapter.

Many combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they occur after a noun: She works full time. His attitude suggested that he knew it all.

When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in –y to another word: Thirty-six men earned 29 gold medals. Three hundred forty-seven died that day.

Iinitials Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name: E.B. Wilson, B. Hume Morris.

italics Titles of books, movies, newspapers, novellas that are separately published and works of art such at paintings and sculptures are placed in italics. See also capitalization, quotation marks and entries for the Fraternity’s publications.

Use italics to emphasize a word or achieve a special meaning, but use very sparingly.

Use italics to isolate words and phrases in a foreign language, or to separate special terminology.


SECTION Keep them italicized: Kathy Guyette Gosnell is the mother of Refounding Father Duncan King, Kentucky ’14.

Mmonths Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.

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. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the accident occurred. See also dates

Mr., Mrs. Refer to both men and women by first and last name, without ‘courtesy titles,’ on first reference: Susan Smith or Robert Smith. Refer to both men and women by last name, without courtesy titles, in subsequent references. Use the courtesy titles Mr., Miss, Ms. or Mrs. only in direct quotations or after first reference when a woman specifically requests it: for example, where a woman prefers to be known as Mrs. Smith or Ms. Smith

MARRIED WOMEN The preferred form on first reference is to identify a woman by her own first name and her husband’s last name: Phyllis Bowie On second reference, use the last name unless a woman initially identified by her own first name prefers Ms.: Mrs. Bowie.

UNMARRIED WOMEN For women who have never been married, use Miss, Ms. or no title on second reference. For divorced women and widows, the normal practice is to use Mrs. or no title on second reference. If unsure of marital status, use the term Ms

Nnumerals Spell out whole numbers below 10, or when beginning a sentence. Use figures for 10 and above: nine, 10. For numbers higher than 999, use commas; 1,234. Place a hyphen between the numeral and the year when designating the length of membership: 50-year member. See Names of Betas for how to write a Beta’s graduation year.

Exception 1: Use numerals for dates, addresses, and sports scores.

Exception 2: A year is the only number that may begin a sentence as a numeric figure. 1996 was a good year

DIMENSIONS Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc.: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the car is 17 feet long, the storm left 5 inches of snow!

AGES always use figures: The law is 8 years old, the 3-week-old war, the three-week war.

Plural numbers do not get an apostrophe: The tradition began in the 1920s.

Write a span of years with an en dash (see hyphens) and no apostrophe: Greg attended college from 1990–94

LARGE NUMBERS When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word: twenty-one; one hundred twenty-two.

For very large, round numbers exceeding 999,999, use a figure followed by million, billion or trillion. We collected 1.2 million pounds of food this year

TELEPHONE NUMBERS The preferred format is: 513-523-7591, ext. 228, is Scott Allen’s phone number

The numeral “1” is assumed when actually placing a call and need not be written.


The period (.) is used only on Fraternity letterhead, business cards and in The Beta Theta Pi magazine: 513.523.7591.

Pparentheses ( ) The temptation to use parentheses is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted. Try to write it another way. If a sentence must contain incidental material, then commas or two dashes are frequently more effective. There are occasions, however, when parentheses are the only effective means of inserting necessary background or reference information. When they are necessary, follow these guidelines:

PUNCTUATION Place a period outside a closing parenthesis if the material inside is not a sentence (such as this fragment).

(An independent parenthetical sentence such as this one takes a period before the closing parenthesis.)

percent One word. The percent sign (%) can be used immediately after a numeral, with no space. Continue to spell out percent in casual use. Percent takes the singular verb standing alone or when singular words follow an of construction: She said he has a zero percent chance of winning. He said 50% of the membership was there. It takes the plural verb when a plural word follows an of construction: He said 50% of the members were there.

Use figures for percent and percentages: 1%, 2.5% (use decimals, not fractions), 10%, 4 percentage points.For a range, 12 to 15 percent, or between 12 and 15 percent. For amounts less than 1%, precede the decimal with a zero: The cost of living rose 0.6%.

periods (.) There will be one space after a period at the end of a sentence, not two.


A period is preferable if a statement is more a suggestion than a question: Why don’t we go.

INITIALS John F. Kennedy, T.S. Eliot (No space between T. and S., to prevent them from being placed on two lines in typesetting.)

prefixes Generally, compounds formed from a prefix and a word are usually styled solid and without a hyphen:

interagency precondition misshapen refurnish overhand suborder

postwar unhelpful

Three rules are constant, although they yield some exceptions to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary:

1. Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.

anti-inflation de-emphasize


2. Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized.

anti-Greek post-Victorian

3. Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes. sub-subparagraph

4. For many other words, the sense is the governing factor: recover (regain) re-cover (cover again) reform (improve) re-form (form again) resign (quit) re-sign (sign again)

Otherwise, follow Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. Use a hyphen for words not listed there unless the hyphen would distort the sense.

Qquestion mark (?) Follow these guidelines:


Who started the riot?

Did he ask who started the riot? (The sentence as a whole is a direct question despite the indirect question at the end.)

You started the riot? (A question in the form of a declarative statement.)

INTERPOLATED QUESTION You told me —Did I hear you correctly? — that you started the riot.

MULTIPLE QUESTIONS Use a single question mark at the end of the full sentence:

Did you hear him say, “What right have you to ask about the riot?”

Did he plan the riot, employ assistants, and give the signal to begin?

Or, to cause full stops and throw emphasis on each element, break into separate sentences: Did he plan the riot? Employ assistants? Give the signal to begin?

Caution: Do not use question marks to indicate the end of indirect questions:

He asked who started the riot. To ask why the riot started is unnecessary. I want to know what the cause of the riot was. How foolish it is to ask what caused the riot.


Do not use quotation marks. Paragraph each speaker’s words:



Q: Where did you keep it?

A: In a little tin box.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS Inside or outside, depending on the meaning: Who wrote “Gone With the Wind”? He asked, “How long will it take?”

MISCELLANEOUS The question mark supersedes the comma that normally is used when supplying attribution for a quotation: “Who is there?” she asked.

quotation marks (“ ”) Use open-quote marks (“) and close-quote marks (”).


The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark and exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence: “It’s an excellent fraternity education program. ” Was their float theme “Beat the Wolverines”?

The only exception is when that last little item enclosed in quotation marks is just a letter or a number, in which case the period or comma will go outside the closing quotation marks: The only grade that will satisfy her is an “A”. On this scale, the highest ranking is a “1”, not a “10”.

RUNNING QUOTATIONS If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by a paragraph that continues the quotation, do not put close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph. Do, however, put open-quote marks at the start of the second paragraph. Continue in this fashion for any succeeding paragraphs, using close-quote marks only at the end of the quoted material.

If a paragraph does not start with quotation marks

but ends with a quotation that is continued in the next paragraph, do not use close-quote marks at the end of the introductory paragraph if the quoted material constitutes a full sentence. Use close-quote marks, however, if the quoted material does not constitute a full sentence. For example: He said, “I am shocked and horrified by the incident.

“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty.”

But: He said he was “shocked and horrified by the incident.”

“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty,” he said.

COMPOSITION TITLES Use quotation marks to enclose articles in periodicals, captions, chapters of books, dissertations, editorials, essays, headings, headlines, lectures, novellas that are published in a collection, papers, radio and television programs, short poems, short stories and songs.

QUOTES WITHIN QUOTES Alternate between double quotation marks (“ or ”) and single marks (‘ or ’). If two quoted elements end at the same time, put the period before the single mark (’) and the double mark (”): Peyser said, “Mason told me it means ‘Naught without labor.’”

QUOTING IMPERFECT MATERIAL When you are quoting something that has a spelling or grammar mistake or presents material in a confusing way, insert the term sic in italics and enclose it in brackets. Sic means, “This is the way the original material was.”: She wrote, “I would rather die then [sic] be seen wearing the same outfit as my sister.”

INCH AND FOOT MARKS It is preferred to use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc.: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the car is 17 feet long, the storm left 5 inches of snow. However, if you are going to use quotation marks: Look out! That dude is 6’8”!

Sseasons All seasons are lowercase: spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives such as springtime unless part of a formal name: Summer Olympics. The spring issue of The Beta Theta Pi magazine

semicolon (;) In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.

The basic guidelines:

TO CLARIFY A SERIES Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas:

He is survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan, of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Neb.

Note that the semicolon is used before the final and in such a series.


semicolon when a coordinating conjunction such as and, but or for is not present: The package was due last week; it arrived today.

If a coordinating conjunction is present, use a semicolon before it only if extensive punctuation also is required in one or more of the individual clauses: They pulled their boats from the water, sandbagged the retaining walls, and boarded up the windows; but even with these precautions, the island was hard-hit by the hurricane.

Unless a particular literary effect is desired, however, the better approach in these circumstances is to break the independent clauses into separate sentences.


PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES Place semicolons outside quotation marks.

sports The names of sports are not capitalized. The Bethany football team; Matt Jones was a three-year letterman in football.

superscript Do not use superscript. Beta’s 175th anniversary; not Beta’s 175th anniversary.

Yyear-end, yearlong, year-round years Use figures, without commas: 1975. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma: Feb. 14, 1987, is the target date Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s.

Years are the lone exception to the general rule in numerals that a figure is not used to start a sentence: 1976 was a very good year.

Ttimes Use figures except for noon (12:00 p.m.) and midnight (12:00 a.m.). Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Avoid redundancies: 10 a.m. this morning

See also numerals.

See also dates and numerals.

Uunderlining Use to indicate italics when an italic font is not available.

Wwho, whom (pronouns) Who is the pronoun used for references to human beings and to animals with a name. It is grammatically the subject (never the object) of a sentence, clause or phrase: The woman who rented the room left the window open. Who is there?

Whom is used when someone is the object of a verb or preposition: The woman to whom the room was rented left the window open. Whom do you wish to see?

See essential clauses, nonessential clauses for guidelines on how to punctuate clauses introduced by who, whom, that and which.



anyone, any one Anyone, pronoun: Is anyone there? Any one, adjective: I’d like any one of those desserts.

Aadvice, advise Advice is a noun meaning suggestion, advise a verb meaning to suggest: I advise you to follow Andy’s advice.

accept, except Accept is a verb meaning to receive: Jason will accept the award. Except is usually a preposition meaning to omit or exclude. Kevin ate everything except the pickles

affect, effect Affect, as a verb, means to influence: The game will affect the standings. Affect, as a noun, is best avoided. It occasionally is used in psychology to describe an emotion, but there is no need for it in everyday language.

Effect, as a verb, means to cause: He will effect many changes in the company. Effect, as a noun, means result: The effect was overwhelming. He miscalculated the effect of his actions. It was a law of little effect.

affective, effective Affective means emotional, effective means impressive or operative: Matt’s affective speech reviewed many effective leadership styles.

all ready, already All ready means completely prepared. Already means previously. Mike was all ready for the concert, but his friends had already left.

all right Never alright. Always written as two words unless used a modifier: He is an all-right guy.

a lot, allot As a noun, always written as two words. As a verb: We allot two out of three

assume, presume Assume means to take as true without evidence. Presume means to take as true for a specific reason. He assumed nobody was home because the lights were off. He presumed nobody was home because he knocked and nobody answered attainable, obtainable Synonyms. Attain means to reach, achieve or accomplish. Obtain means to come into possession of, get or acquire. Let your ear be the judge.

Ccan, may Can implies ability: I can (I am able to) swim May denotes permission: May I please borrow your dictionary?

cannot Not can not

capital, Capitol Capital refers to the city where a seat of government is located. Do not capitalize. Oxford is the fraternity capital of Ohio.

When used in a financial sense, capital describes money, equipment or property used in a business by a person or corporation.

Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington, D.C. Follow the same practice when referring to state capitols: The Virginia Capitol is in Richmond.

Bbackward Not backwards

because, since, as Use because to denote a specific cause-effect relationship: He went because he was told.

Since is acceptable in a casual sense when the first event in a sequence led logically to the second but was not its direct cause: They went to the game, since they had been given the tickets As can be substituted in the place of because, but it is best to use because.

bona fide Not bonified. It means in good faith, without fraud: The house corporation demonstrated its good faiths by making a down payment The chapter put forth a bona fide effort to recruit more men, but to no avail.

cents Spell out the word cents and lowercase, using numerals for less than a dollar: 5 cents, 12 cents. Use the $ sign and decimal system for larger amounts: $1.01, $2.50.

collected, raised Collect means to gather or accumulate. Raise means to elevate, increase, or grow. Our chapter collected 10,000 pounds of food

continual, continuous Continual means to happen in steady succession. Continuous means uninterrupted. The alarm’s continual beeping was driving me crazy. The chapter danced for 26 continuous hours.

council, councilor A council is a deliberative body. A councilor is one who is a member of a deliberative body.

counsel, counselor To counsel is to advise. A counselor is one who advises.


criteria Criteria is the plural of criterion, which means a standard, rule or test on which a judgment or decision can be based. The only criterion for the job is a willingness to work overtime

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

Iinfer, imply To infer is to deduce or conclude from the evidence at hand. To imply is to hint or suggest.

Ddata, datum Data is the plural of datum. each other, one another Two people look at each other. More than two look at one another. Either phrase may be used when the number is indefinite: We help each other. We help one another.

Wrong: The trend is toward more machines and less people. (People in this sense refers to individuals.) She was fewer than 60 years old. (Years in this sense refers to a period of time, not individual years.)

Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. (Individuals.) I had less than $50 in my pocket (An amount.) I had fewer than 50 $1 bills in my pocket. (Individual items.)

internet Alway lowercase. Avoid using the Net or Internet Super Highway in formal writing. See also email, online, website and World Wide Web.

in, into In indicates location or condition; into indicates movement or a change in condition. They found the lost letters in a box after moving into the house.

it’s, its It’s is a contraction for it is or it has: It’s up to you. It’s been a long time.

Ee.g. and i.e. Words and phrases derived from Latin are commonly abbreviated in contexts where readers can reasonably be expected to recognize them. They are punctuated, not capitalized, and usually not italicized.

Exempli gratia (e.g.) means “for example” and id est (i.e.) means “that is.”

email Acceptable for electronic mail. Lowercase and with no hyphen. Email address should always be written lowercase. See also internet, online, website and World Wide Web

enclose Not inclose.

ensure, insure Use ensure to mean guarantee: Steps were taken to ensure accuracy. Use insure for references to insurance: The policy insures Pete’s life.

Ggirl Do not use. Undergraduate females are considered women or young women.

good, well Good is an adjective, well is an adverb. Tom has felt good about his golf game since he played well last Saturday

Its is the possessive form of a the pronoun: The Fraternity won its first award

Llay, lie The action word is lay. It takes a direct object. Laid is the form for its past tense and its past participle. Its present participle is laying

Hhistoric, historical A historic event is an important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event. Using the article a or an is a choice of personal style.

hometown One word. Use a comma to set off an individual’s hometown when it is placed in apposition to a name, whether of is used or not: Tim Johnson, of Vermillion, S.D.; Mary Richards, Minneapolis.

Lie indicates a state of reclining along a horizontal plane. It does not take a direct object. Its past participle is lain. Its present participle is lying.

When lie means to make an untrue statement, the verb forms are lie, lied and lying

Some examples:


Right: I will lay the report on your desk. The senior tried to lay the blame on the freshman

Wrong: He lays on the beach all day.

I will lay down

Right: He lies on the beach all day.



I will lie down IN


Right: I laid the report on your desk. The senior has laid the blame on the freshman

Wrong: He lay on the beach all day. He has lain on the beach all day. I lay down. I have lain down


Right: I am laying the report on your desk. The senior is laying the blame on the freshman

Wrong: He is lying on the beach. I am lying down

lead, led Lead, as a present tense verb, means to be a leader, to go first: He leads his chapter with the highest grade point average.

Lead, as a noun, is a heavy metal.Led, as a past tense verb, means went first: John led the chapter to victory in the relay race.

lifelong, lifestyle, lifetime, life-size, life span

like, as Use like as a preposition to compare nouns and pronouns. It requires an object: Donavan plays soccer like a pro

The conjunction as is the correct word to introduce clauses: Mike guards the goal as he should

long term, long-term Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: We will win in the long term. He has a long-term assignment. See also hyphen

long time, longtime They have known each other a long time. They are longtime partners

See also hyphen.

login, logon, logoff All one word in noun form. Use as two words in verb form: I log in to my computer.

2,000 pounds of food. In 2014, the Associated Press announced the two words can be used interchangeably.

Mmarathons Most marathon-type events are spelled without hyphens: bikeathon, walkathon, telethon.

maybe, may be Maybe is an adverb meaning possibly. May be is a verb phrase. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow. Tomorrow may be a brighter day.

media, medium Media is the plural of medium: Of all the media that cover the Olympics, television is the medium that best captures the spectacle of the events

Ppeople, person Use person when speaking of an individual: One person got out of line. The word people is preferred to persons in all plural uses: Hundreds of people attended the Convention. There were 17 people at the workshop.

principal, principle Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree: He is the school principal. He was the principal player in the trade

Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine or motivating force: The rules exist to protect the principles and integrity of the Fraternity

Nnonprofit One word, no hyphen. See also 501(c)(3)

Rraised, reared Animals and plants are raised, people are reared

OOK, OK’d, OK’ing, OKs All spellings are acceptable, but avoid in formal writing. Not okay.

online, offline Do not hyphenate the adjective form for the computer connection term. Two words in all other cases. See also email, internet, website and World Wide Web.

over, more than Traditionally, over generally refers to spatial relationships: The plane flew over the city. It can, at times, be used with numerals: He is over 50. But more than is usually better with quantity amounts: The chapter collected more than

recur, recurred, recurring Not reoccur.

resume, résumé Resume is a verb meaning to continue, résumé is a noun.

roommate One word, no hyphen.

Ssemiannual, semimonthly, semiweekly Twice a year, month and week, respectively. Semiannual is a synonym for semiyearly and biannual. Do not


confuse that with biennial, which means every two years. See also prefixes

shall, will Use shall to express determination: We shall win Greek Week. Either shall or will may be used in first-person constructions that do not emphasize determination: We shall hold a meeting. We will hold a meeting. For second- and thirdperson constructions, use will unless determination is stressed: You will like it. He will not be pleased.

syllabus, syllabuses Not syllabi

pronoun is less necessary, and use commas: The team, which finished last a year ago, is in first place. See also essential clauses, nonessential clauses

their, there, they’re Their is a possessive pronoun: They went to their house There is an adverb indicating direction: We went there for dinner. There also is used with the force of a pronoun for impersonal constructions in which the real subject follows the verb: There is no food on the table They’re is a contraction for they are

to, too, two To is a preposition; too is an adverb meaning also or a lot; two is a number.

website A location on the World Wide Web that maintains one or more pages at a specific address. Also, webcam, webcast and webmaster. The shorthand web is lowercase: web page and web feed. See also email, internet, online and World Wide Web.

who’s, whose Who’s is a contraction for who is, not a possessive: Who’s there? Whose is the possessive: I do not know whose coat it is.

within Avoid within as a substitute for in: There is good morale in the Fraternity.

Tteammate, teamwork One word, no hyphen.

than, then Than is a conjunction used in comparisons; then is an adverb denoting time. That pizza is more than I can eat. Paul laughed, and then we recognized him

that (conjunction) Use the conjunction that to introduce a dependent clause if the sentence sounds or looks awkward without it. That may be omitted when a dependent clause immediately follows a form of the verb to say: The president said he had signed the bill.

That should be used when a time element intervenes between the verb and the dependent clause: The president said Monday that he had signed the bill. When in doubt, include that Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.

that, which (pronouns) Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name. Use that for essential clauses, important to the meaning of a sentence, and without commas: I remember the day that we met. Use which for nonessential clauses, where the

toward Not towards.

T-shirt Capitalize the t.

World Wide Web Always capitalize. It is preferred to use the internet. See also email, internet, online and website

worldwide No hyphen.

UUnited States Spell out when used as a noun. Use periods in the abbreviation, U.S. within texts. In headlines, it’s US (no periods).

Yyour, you’re Your is the possessive case of you: Your fraternity education program is improving. You’re is the contraction for you are: You’re right on time for the officer meeting

VVIP, VIPs Acceptable in all references for very important person(s).

voicemail One word.

Wweather, whether Weather means the physical elements such as snow and rain. Whether is used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives.





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