Capital Letters Live On at Quinnipiac

University drops logo opposed by many students because it featured university without a capital U.

February 20, 2017

Uppercase letters are back at Quinnipiac University.

In September, the university introduced a new way that its name would appear (above left). Students quickly noted and mocked the use of only lowercase letters to spell university.

Hundreds signed a petition demanding the return of uppercase. "The outrageous decision not to capitalize the 'U' in university (a proper noun), reflects poorly on everyone affiliated with this institution of higher learning. We feel that the most basic components of English grammar must be recognized in all settings, regardless of stylistic intentions," said the petition.

The university said at the time that it was not looking to make any changes, with a vice president telling WTNH News: “We have no intentions of looking back, only forward as we work to improve Quinnipiac’s stature and visibility in the higher education community."

But on Friday, uppercase letters were restored -- and not only to the U but to all the letters in university (above right).

The university statement on the shift said the following: "As part this process, we achieved additional design knowledge as we applied the new design elements across hundreds of different applications. As a result, we determined that our secondary and full wordmark 'Quinnipiac University' appears substantively different from our primary wordmark by giving too much weight to the word 'university' at a time when our goal is to shift attention to the 'Quinnipiac' brandmark. Therefore, today we are announcing a redesigned 'Quinnipiac University' full wordmark that achieves significantly better alignment with our primary wordmark, which simply uses 'Quinnipiac.' This new wordmark design structure is also more closely aligned to higher education industry convention -- namely how other prestigious institutions apply the word 'university' to their primary wordmarks."

Asked about the role of the students in protesting the September version of the name, Keith Rhodes, vice president for brand strategy and integrated communications at Quinnipiac, said via email, said that "to comment on the case of letters in a wordmark seems arbitrary given the level of disruption that higher education will experience over the next 10 years." Asked again about the student role in criticizing the earlier design, Rhodes said that the statement "doesn't say anything about lower or uppercase letters."

Brett D. Segelman, the student who organized the petition, said via email that the university "will never admit it," but students created pressure to change the September design.

On the petition website, he posted this note: "For those that have been close to me this past semester, you know that this has been a passionate cause of mine, out of a love for our school. Today, Quinnipiac revealed a new logo that achieves everything our petition of 1,200 signatures from September requested. If you signed, thank you. We did this together! Capitalize the U!"


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