On September 30, 1791, an act confirmed an agreement which united the University of the State of Pennsylvania with the College, Academy, and Charitable School and provided that the name of the institution would be "The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania." (1) To facilitate communication both internally and externally, the institution's name is commonly simplified as the "University of Pennsylvania."

The University regulates use of its name, including University of Pennsylvania, Penn, the names of its schools and programs, its shield and related insignia, trademarks and logos ("insignia") to ensure that such use is related to the University's educational, service and research missions and promotes its objectives. Responsibility for overseeing use of the University's names and insignia lies with the Secretary of the University.

Guidelines About Uses

Official Use

When representing the University in an official capacity, all units of the University and members of the faculty and administration must use "University of Pennsylvania" in their publications and documents. Approved University stationery must be used for official correspondence. Approved uses can be found in the style guide University Brand Standard Website.

University names and insignia that adhere to the style guide may be used in connection with any academic University program provided that the program has been approved in advance by the responsible department chair and dean or director, and Provost, as appropriate. University units, faculty, staff and student organizations that wish to use University names or insignia in connection with any non-academic University program, activity, service or product must obtain the approval of the Secretary of the University before proceeding. Requests to use University names or insignia must first be presented to the appropriate department chair and dean, director, or, in the case of student organizations, to the Vice Provost for University Life or designee, for review. If approved by the dean, director, or Vice Provost, a request with supporting information must be submitted to the Secretary for review. The Secretary will review the proposed use and determine whether it is properly related to the University's missions and, in consultation with the Provost, Executive Vice President and others as appropriate, whether the benefits of the proposed use outweigh any risks associated with the use. The Secretary may approve the proposed use, with or without conditions, or disapprove the proposed use.

Permitted Uses by Outside Entities

University names or insignia may be used on manufactured products or in connection with services or products offered by outside entities only under license from the University. Requests for such licenses  are processed jointly through the Office of the Vice President for Business Services ("Business Services") and the Penn Center for Innovation ("PCI"), and with guidance from the Office of the University Secretary.

Non-University businesses and organizations (e.g. sponsors of University programs or activities, vendors, and similar entities) often seek to use University names or insignia in promotional or advertising materials. In such instances when permission is granted, recognition must not suggest University endorsement of these organizations' activities or products. Therefore, University names or insignia may not be used in connection with any non-University organization's name or logo without prior approval of the Secretary of the University. In general, the Secretary will approve uses which recognize or acknowledge the outside entity's contribution to the University program or activity. Uses which, in the Secretary's judgment, may suggest University endorsement or approval of the goods or services will not be permitted.

Private Use

University faculty, staff and students may refer to their affiliation or status with the University in connection with personal activities, including consulting, provided that the affiliation or status is accurately represented and any title or position is accurately identified, and provided that such use does not imply University endorsement of the activity. In some cases, a disclaimer of University endorsement may be required. (See, for example, Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, section II.E.10.) Use of University insignia in connection with personal activities is prohibited. The University's name must not be used in any announcement, advertising matter, publication, correspondence, or report in connection with personal or non-University activities if such use in any way could be construed as implying University endorsement of or responsibility for any project, product, or service.

Contact Us About Uses

The Office of the University Secretary is the official guardian of the University’s marks, insignia and brand. However, there are various entities around campus that are involved in the usage of these marks:

The Penn brand is an integral component of the overarching Penn experience. These symbols play an important role in promoting the University and as such, it is important that the logo not be physically altered.

Penn Brand Standards for Faculty, Students, Staff, Departments and Centers.

Penn Branded Merchandise and Penn Approved Vendor Information  for Faculty, Students, Staff and Departments.

Student questions, please contact: Katie Hanlon Bonner, Office of Student Affairs. 

For information for vendors interested in becoming licensed with Penn or individuals wanting to buy branded merchandise on behalf of their departments,
please contact: info-bsd@pobox.upenn.edu
or see this website: Penn Branded Merchandise and Licensing Information.

For use of Penn’s campus or marks in film, video, photography or like media, please contact: Ron Ozio, University Communications.  

For copies of case studies from the Wharton School please contact: coursematerials@wharton.upenn.edu

For copies of faculty papers please contact: The Provost’s Office

Outside vendors, including recruiting firms, are not permitted to use Penn marks in their marketing material including presentations, plans or drawings.  

If you are not sure of the correct point of contact, please direct your inquiry to:
The Office of the University Secretary.

Related Policies

All faculty, staff and students are reminded that University equipment, stationery, campus mail service, and electronic media are to be used solely for University business by authorized University personnel and by officially recognized campus organizations. See Human Resources Policy No. 3. Additional information on faculty and staff involvement in extramural activities and organizations can be found in the Conflict of Interest Policy for Faculty Members, and Human Resources Policy No. 5 and Policy No. 6.

1 Statutes of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, p. 1.

Almanac, Vol. 62, No. 18, January 12, 2016 
Almanac, Vol. 60, No. 7, October 1, 2013 
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 33, May 16, 2000 

For permission, please contact:

Alison McGhie
Office of the University Secretary
University of Pennsylvania
1 College Hall, Room 211
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
(215) 898-7005
(215) 898-0103 Fax

Office of the University Secretary 
1 College Hall, Room 211
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303

Phone (215) 898-7005
Fax (215) 898-0103

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