• Hamline Style A–Z

    In general, Hamline marketing materials are written using the Chicago Manual of Style, though in certain cases, treatment of numbers, percentage signs, and other elements are altered for design/scannability purposes. The Hamline Alumni Magazine and certain communications materials follow Associated Press. A reference of our style guide can be found below.

    Reference Guide

    academic year – Terms designating academic years are lowercased: first year, sophomore, junior, senior. Do not use freshman.

    admission – Admission is the correct term (Office of Undergraduate Admission, admission counselor, etc.). Do not use "admissions." 

    alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni – Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) when referring to a woman who has attended a school, alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school, and alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Use “alum” for informal publications only or in a direct quote.

                • Identify Hamline alumni by class year only if they are graduates of the College of Liberal Arts (Joe Doe ’98).

                • Identify alumni by class year and degree designation if they are graduates of any other school or program (Joe Doe JD ’98).

                • If a person holds more than one degree from Hamline, list the class year only of the undergraduate degree, a comma, and then the degree abbreviation and class year of the other degree (Joe Doe ’96, MFA ’99).

    There should be a space between the degree abbreviation and the apostrophe/class year. Note: the apostrophe should hook to the right, ’99, instead of to the left, '99.

    campus – Avoid using this word, as it causes confusion since Hamline offers classes at more locations than just its Saint Paul campus. Omit it, use “Hamline” instead, or clarify with "Saint Paul campus."

    city/state – The words "city" and "state" are lowercase when preceding the name of the city or state.

                • city of Saint Paul
                • state of Minnesota

    course names and numbers – Refer to the appropriate Hamline course catalog for official course names and numbers. Use Arabic numerals, and capitalize and spell out the subject in text copy when used with a numeral. Biology 101, “Principles of Cell Biology,” not BIO 101.

    degrees – Academic degrees should be capitalized when following a personal name, whether abbreviated or written in full.

    • John Smith EdD
    • Jane Smith, Doctor of Laws (hon.)
    • Jane Smith JD (no comma between name and degree unless person is referenced in running text)

    When academic degrees are referred to in terms such as doctorate, bachelor’s degree, master of science, etc., they are not capitalized. Note: doctorate degree is redundant. The adjectival form of doctorate is doctoral, and the preferred term is doctoral degree.

    Preference is to spell out the full name of a degree on first reference. However, the following degrees may be abbreviated (no periods) on first reference to fit space constraints: BA, BS, JD, PhD, MBA, MSW, MFA. The rest (Master of Nonprofit Management, etc.) should be spelled out on first reference.

    departments – Department names are capitalized only if you are using the formal name of the department or if the department is a language. 

    first year – A student in his or her first year in an undergraduate program; hyphenate when immediately preceding the word "student": "She's a first-year student" versus "She's a student in her first year."

    first-year seminar – Capitalize when referring to the program or part of a class title. When used generally, lowercase. Use FYSem as its acronym.

    The First-Year Seminar program offers a variety of first-year seminar options for students.

    freshman – Do not use. Instead, use “first-year student.”

    Founders Day – Note there is no apostrophe in “Founders.”

    honorary degree – Honorary degree recipients should be identified with the abbreviation for their specific honorary degree and the year it was conferred, followed by (hon.). A complete list of recipients can be found in the Alumni Directory or obtained from the Office of Marketing Communications. The list of honorary degree designations is as follows:

    DBA    Doctor of Business Administration
    DCL    Doctor of Civility
    DD       Doctor of Divinity
    DFA    Doctor of Fine Arts
    DH       Doctor of Humanities
    D Mus  Doctor of Music
    DSc     Doctor of Science
    EdD     Doctor of Education
    LHD    Doctor of Humane Letters
    LHM    Master of Human Literature
    LittD    Doctor of Letters
    LLD     Doctor of Laws
    Ped D  Doctor of Pedagogy

    terms – Lowercase all, except "May term" and "J-term." "Summer," "fall," and "spring" should never be capitalized.

    theatre, theater – Hamline's program is Theatre & Dance. Use theatre in all general references. For names of specific venues, check official spelling (Anne Simley Theatre, but Guthrie Theater).

    trustee(s), Hamline University Board of Trustees, board of trustees.

                • Trustee Ronald Mitsch
                • Ronald Mitsch, a Hamline trustee

    Buildings, Locations, and Offices 

    Acronyms – Are not to be used in publications. However, we’ve included a list of acronyms commonly used in conversation and internal communication:

    ACTC  Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities
    AHA  Associations of Hamline Alumni
    ANDC  Anderson Center
    BSC  Bush Center
    BML  Bush Memorial Library
    CDC  Career Development Center
    CEUT   Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching, School of Education
    CGEE  Center for Global Environmental Education, School of Education
    CLA   College of Liberal Arts
    CSO  Career Services Office, School of Law
    CSA  Campus Staff Association
    CSS  Computer Support Services
    C2C  Commitment to Community
    CWP   Creative Writing Programs, College of Liberal Arts
    DFA  Drew Fine Arts Center
    DRH  Drew Hall
    DSC  Drew Science Center
    DRI   Dispute Resolution Institute, School of Law
    EH  East Hall
    GLC  Giddens/Alumni Learning Center
    HSB   School of Business
    HSE   School of Education
    HR    Human Resources
    HUB   Hamline University Basement
    HUSC  Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress
    ITS    Information Technology Services
    KC  Klas Center
    MC   Marketing Communications
    MIAC  Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
    NAIA   National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
    NCAA  National Collegiate Athletic Association
    NCGA  National Collegiate Gymnastics Association
    PAA    Piper Athletic Association
    RSC  Robbins Science Center
    SAS   Student Administrative Services
    SBA   Student Bar Association, School of Law
    WF   Walker Fieldhouse

    addresses – Always use 1536 Hewitt Avenue as the mailing address or return address on any Hamline publication. When including a mailstop, the hyphen goes after MS, not after the secondary letter (for example, MS-C1917, not MS C-1917).

        • When you reference Hamline’s location in text, spell out the state. It is acceptable to abbreviate the state in mailing addresses.

             Example: Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104-1284

        • Spell out street names (avenue, road) unless abbreviations are necessary to fit space limitations. When abbreviations are necessary, use periods (Ave., St.).

         • Mailing addresses should be formatted like so (note no comma after each line): 

                  Hamline University
                  1536 Hewitt Avenue  
                  Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284

    cardinal directions – For single-letter cardinal directions, use the abbreviation followed by a period: N., S., E., W. For double-letter directions, use the abbreviation without a period: NW, NE, SW, SE. If a cardinal direction is part of the name of a building or street (West Hall, North Shore Drive), do not abbreviate.

    dormitory – Please avoid this term and use instead residence hall, house, or apartment.



    a.m. – Abbreviations for divisions of the day are set in small caps or lowercase. Numerals and periods are used with these abbreviations.

    ampersand  Ampersands (&) are only used in creative assets (banners, header images, posters, etc.) if they're included in a name. They're never used in running copy. The only exception is if they're a part of the official title of an entity outside of Hamline University, such as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

    italics - Used for the titles of books, periodicals, plays, radio programs, paintings, movies, and long musical compositions.

    capitalization – Lowercase internal elements of an organization or institution when the names are those widely used in generic terms. For example:

                • board of trustees, history department

    Capitalize internal elements of an organization when they have names that are not widely used generic terms. 
               • Piper Athletic Association, Dispute Resolution Institute, President's Staff.

    colons – First word of a phrase following a colon is capped if that phrase is a complete sentence.

    commas – Use serial commas to avoid confusion. For example: Hamline University has an undergraduate college, a law school, and three graduate schools.

    dashes – There are three kinds of dashes used in common publications: hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes.

                • Hyphens are used to link words with prefixes or to break words at the end of lines. They are also used in telephone numbers. 

                • En-dashes are slightly longer than hyphens and are used between page numbers, dates, and times. For example: pages 14–16, 1704–1851, 4–6 p.m.

                • Em-dashes are even longer (usually two hyphens, which Microsoft Word often automatically changes into an em-dash) and are used in sentences to signal an abrupt break.

                • Hamline University—Minnesota’s first university—was founded in 1854 by Methodist pioneers.

    dates – Do not use all-numeral style (4/11/09). Instead, convert it to April 11, 2009. Do not abbreviate names of days or months in text. Do not use a hyphen or dash with “from” or “between.” Spell it out instead. For example:

                • From May 7 to May 14, not from May 7–14.
                • Between June 8 and June 11, not between June 8–11.

    decades – They can either be spelled out or expressed in numerals with a RIGHT apostrophe before the numerals. There is no apostrophe between the numeral and the “s.”

                • During the eighties and nineties or the ’80s and ’90s.

    dollar – If the number is spelled out, so is the unit of currency, and if numerals are used, the symbol is used (twenty-five dollars or $25). Do not duplicate and write $25 dollars; use $ or “dollars,” not both. Do not use “.00” for even dollar amounts ($5 not $5.00).

    e.g. – Means “for example.”  “i.e.” means “that is” and is usually followed by a comma.

    ellipses – Should have periods between them: ". . ." not "..."

    email – Lowercase. No hyphen.

    ethnicities – Do not use a hyphen in phrases such as “African American” and “Latino American.” Only use hyphens when a part of the word is abbreviated to make a compound phrase “Indo-European.” The preferred term for people of African descent is Black (capital B), unless an individual prefers otherwise. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) is acceptable, but clarify on first reference.

    events – Capitalize special events. For a list of official university events, see Appendix C.

    fundraise - Does not require a hyphen.

    identification – In general, identify people with name, job title, and school affiliation on first reference. In subsequent references, use last name only with no title.

    i.e. – Means “that is” and is usually followed by a comma.  “e.g.” means “for example.”

    internet – Lowercase.

    it’s and its – “It’s” is always a contraction of “it is.” “Its” refers to the possessive of “it.” 

    majors/minors – Lowercase all majors and minors unless referring to a language. When a student has two majors, do not say that he/she is a “double major.”

                • math major
                • English major

    Methodist – In most cases, do not use. Proper usage should be “United Methodist,” which is always capitalized.

    mission statement – Do not capitalize.

    months – Do not use a comma in between the month and year if there is no specific date.

                • May 2002, not May, 2002

    more than vs. over – Use "more than" when referring to a numeric value: “ . . . serves more than 4,400 students.” Use "over" when referring to a location.

    names – Alphabetize names in the following way:

                • Breanne Hanson Hegg — Hegg, Breanne Hanson
                • Máel Embser-Herbert — Embser-Herbert, Máel

    If a person abbreviates his/her first and middle names with initials, put a space between the initials.

                • J. K. Rowling

    numbers – Numbers one through nine are spelled out. (Note: this is a rule of the Associated Press style guide, not the Chicago Manual of Style.) Ordinal numbers are spelled out as well (first, tenth, one hundredth, etc. However, use numerals when referring to credits (example: Students can earn 4 credits through a J-term course).

    offices – Capitalize the proper title for an office and lowercase generic references.

                • Marketing and Creative Services or marketing office

    online – Lowercase and do not hyphenate.

    order of events – When describing an event, the following sequence of information should be used: event, date, time, and place.

              • President's Holiday Party, December 7, 2018, 8 p.m., president's home

    parentheses – Include the period inside of the parentheses when a full sentence exists on its own.

                • (He ran home.)

    If the parentheses are included as part of a longer sentence, place the period outside of the parentheses.

                • She became worried when she couldn’t find her son (he had run home).

    percent – In scientific and statistical copy, use the symbol % for a percentage; in humanistic copy, the word "percent." There is no space between the numeral and the symbol %, but a space is added before the spelled-out form. Numerals are always used with percent or %, unless it is the first word in a sentence.

                • Nearly 80 percent of students receive financial aid.
                • Ninety-nine percent of faculty have doctorates or the highest degrees in their field.

    postbaccalaureate - like most post- words, it does not require a hyphen.

    p.m. – Abbreviations for divisions of the day are set in small caps or lowercase. Numerals and periods are used with these abbreviations.

    president – Uppercase when used as a title before the name. Lowercase in all other instances.

    pronouns – In casual text (website, undergraduate admission materials, etc.), use "them" as the collective pronoun as opposed to "he or she." In formal text, use "he, she, or they." When using they/them/theirs pronouns in reference to an individual, put an asterisk next to the word. Under the text, specify, "*personal pronoun." Never use the term "preferred pronoun."

    quotation marks – Use double marks to enclose the exact words of a speaker, to set off a character or word when it represents itself rather than its usual meaning, or to indicate short works. Single marks are used for quotes within quotes. The period and comma always go inside the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within the quotes when they apply to the quoted material.

    Saint Paul – Always refer to Saint Paul as “Saint Paul,” not “St. Paul.” “Saint Paul” is the official name of the city. Other cities’ names differ, for example St. Cloud, St. Louis Park. When in doubt, check the city government's website.

    seasons – The four seasons are lowercased unless personified, as in poetry, or used in relation to an issue of a magazine or journal. For example:

                • Then Spring—with her warm showers—arrived.
                • The icy blasts of winter had departed.

    semicolons – May be placed between two independent clauses (i.e. each part of the sentence could exist on its own if separated). Otherwise, a comma should be used.

                • Sarah planned to major in French and English; her roommate, Kirsten, was undecided.

    spacing – Use only one space after sentence endings (periods, question, and exclamation marks).

    state/city – The words "city" and "state" are lowercase when preceding the name of the city or state.

                • city of Saint Paul
                • state of Minnesota

    street, avenue, or road – Abbreviations are acceptable; however, the unabbreviated form is appropriate in formal “display” usage such as invitations.

    student – Do not capitalize as a title. When referring to the number of students at Hamline, do not use “over,” use “more than.” For example, “. . . serves more than 4,400 students.”

    telephone numbers – Use hyphens to separate the area code from the exchange and the exchange from the number. Do not use parentheses or periods. For 800 numbers, use 800 in place of the area code. Do not precede with “1.”

    time – Times of day in even, half, and quarter hours are usually spelled out in text matter, but numerals are used when the exact moment of time is to be emphasized. In general, omit zeros for even hours (7 p.m., 8:30 a.m.). Numerals are to be used with a.m. and p.m. abbreviations, but not with o’clock. “Noon” and “midnight” are lowercased and stand alone.

    titles – Avoid abbreviation of formal titles. Any person with a university or other title should be identified with his or her full, formal title in the first reference. Generic forms of the title may be used in subsequent references.                                                                       

    Capitalize the title if it appears before the person’s name, but do not set the title off with a comma. Do not capitalize titles if they appear after the person’s name, but do set the title off with commas (Fayneese Miller, president, said . . . ).      

    Some titles denote an elected or appointed position within governmental or judiciary systems. For courtesy, capitalize and use these titles before a name only. Some of these titles include: Judge or The Honorable, Congress member, Commissioner, Justice, Representative, and Senator.

    university – Lowercase when used in any context except when preceded by Hamline.

    URL (Uniform Resource Locator/web addresses) – hamline.edu (“http://www.” should be dropped). Do not italicize or underline URLs. 

    US – The United States should be abbreviated US.

    utilize – means “to make practical use of.” Do not confuse with “use.”

    web address, website, web page, web – In general, use lowercase. See URL.