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Brand Style Guide

Brand Messaging

Our messaging must always convey our core purpose and core values, with a consistency of tone, voice and style.

Core Values

Our core purpose and values must be reflected in our communications to establish and reinforce Vanderbilt’s identity. Our messaging framework is not intended to provide specific language, but rather a set of messaging priorities to guide what stories we tell and how we tell them. The following messaging framework illustrates our core mission and the means to achieve it.

We create and deploy the ideas, knowledge and
leaders that drive positive change in the world. 

We build a diverse and inclusive community

We make education accessible

We educate the whole person

We foster collaborative cross-disciplinary research

We elevate the mission

Brand Framework

Tone and Voice

Vanderbilt is forward-looking and optimistic. Vanderbilt is passionate about the transformational power of education. Vanderbilt is a fierce advocate for every individual’s right to an affordable, quality education.

Vanderbilt is unrelenting in its quest for knowledge and is unafraid to ask the most difficult questions facing humanity and then seek answers. At its core, Vanderbilt believes that the creation of new knowledge happens best when wide-ranging perspectives are considered. And for those perspectives to truly inform our endeavors, we must nurture a welcoming and inclusive environment in which the entire spectrum of human development – intellectual, emotional and spiritual – is considered.

Vanderbilt's worldview should be reflected in the tone and voice used in university communications. Key words and concepts include:

  • bold
  • civil
  • collegial
  • collaborative
  • community
  • diverse
  • engaged
  • excellence
  • impact
  • inclusive
  • innovative
  • open
  • trans-institutional
  • multidisciplinary

Editorial Style

The Vanderbilt editorial style guide is a resource specifically for Vanderbilt communicators that addresses issues of style and grammar that are likely to be encountered while producing communications for the university, as well as preferred ways for referring to our programs, places and people.

The guidelines are based, in part, on The Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style; however, the guide expands on these sources to create a reference specific to Vanderbilt. Please use this editorial style guide as the primary resource for questions of style in Vanderbilt communications. Above all, always aim for consistency, clarity and accuracy.

Explore Vanderbilt’s editorial style guide »