University Nomenclature

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The nation's second oldest institution of higher learning, the College of William and Mary was named for its royal benefactors, King William III and Queen Mary II of England who created the school by royal charter in 1693. The usage and logo guidelines below were written to assist members of the media when referring to the College.

Formal Name: The College of William and Mary in Virginia

Appropriate First Reference: The College of William and Mary

Abbreviation: If an abbreviation is needed in headlines or TV chyrons, William & Mary or W&M would be appropriate.

The Ampersand: The ampersand was used extensively in 17th-and 18th-century documents, specifically in a Latin copy of the original William and Mary charter. While it is used in the College's logo and is appropriately used in abbreviations in headlines (W&M), the ampersand should not be used in text.

The School of Law: Though nationally known as the College of William and Mary School of Law, the law school was named the Marshall-Wythe School of Law to honor both George Wythe, occupant of the School's first chair of law, and John Marshall, who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835.

Graphic Identity: The College's primary identity is the College's wordmark "The College of William and Mary" combined with the coat of arms, which is placed to the left. Used together, the wordmark and seal make an excellent graphic when visual representation is needed.

The Coat of Arms: The College of William and Mary is the only American institution of higher learning with a royal coat of arms, which was issued in 1694 by the College of Heralds. The coat of arms has been simplified for the purpose of using it as a logo.