Preferred spelling; not “Chanukah.”

half-century annalist/half-century annalist's letter
Traditionally presented during Reunion Weekend by a member of the 50th reunion class. Lowercase: He will give the half-century annalist’s letter. He will serve as his class’s half-century annalist.

Acronym for Hamilton Alumni Leadership Training program. HALT on second reference.

Acronym for Hamilton Alumni Recruitment Team. HART on second reference.

Hamilton Annual Fund
Use "Hamilton Annual Fund" on first reference and "the Hamilton Fund" on second reference:  Gifts to the Hamilton Annual Fund support current students.

Hamilton College
On first reference with external audiences, use Hamilton College. It is not necessary to use “College” on second reference; Hamilton can stand alone. When referring specifically to Hamilton, capitalize College on second reference.

Hamilton graphic identity
For guidelines on usage of the Hamilton logo (wordmark plus cupola) and wordmark, athletic logos, College colors, mascot and seal, refer to the Graphic Identity Style Guide.

Hamilton in France
Formerly Junior Year in France.

Hamilton Fund
Use on first reference: Your gift to the Hamilton Fund supports current students. Formerly known as the Annual Fund.  If it's necessary to explain to readers that the fund reflects annual giving, add the year: He made a gift to the 2020-21 Hamilton Fund. He has supported the Hamilton Fund for the last 10 consecutive years.

Hamilton magazine
Hamilton College's magazine is known as Hamilton.  The former name, Hamilton Alumni Review, should no longer be used.

Hamilton mascot
The College mascot that appears at various campus events is known as Alex (short, of course, for Alexander Hamilton). See these guidelines for using Alex's likeness.

Hamilton Program in Washington
Not Term in Washington.

Hamilton’s annual triathlon and walk. One word.

Acronym for Hamilton Association for Volunteering, Outreach, and Charity. HAVOC on second reference.

Acronym for Higher Education Opportunity Program. The official name of the program is Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program. HEOP is still acceptable on second reference and in informal use as a modifier: A HEOP student, Jim Smith ’15 gave the address.

Hill, the
Short for College Hill. Capitalize when using as a synonym for Hamilton, usually in communications to alumni or the campus community.

Hill Card
Card issued to members of the Hamilton community that serves as their campus ID and provides access to residence halls and a number of campus services. Capitalize.

his or her
Although grammatically correct, avoid the use of “his or her”: Everyone should take his or her seat. Instead rewrite: The students should take their seats.

A person from — or whose ancestors were from — a Spanish-speaking land or culture. “Latino,” “Latina,” or “Latinx” are sometimes preferred. Follow the person’s preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as “Cuban,” “Puerto Rican,” or “Mexican American.”

When preceded by an article, use “a” and not “an”: The event marked a historic occasion.

home page
Two words. Lowercase.

One word.

honorary degrees
Designate an individual who holds an honorary degree from Hamilton with an “H” before the year the degree was awarded (no space between the “H” and year): John “Bucky” Pizzarelli H’03 performed. For clarification, however, consider instead on first reference: John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, who received an honorary degree from Hamilton in 2003, performed.

Upon graduation, students may earn honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. No italics.

Refers to the long-standing tradition of Hamilton fraternities, which hosted these much-anticipated events several times a year. One word and lowercase: He met his future wife at a houseparty.

Hub, the
See Hamilton Hub.


illegal immigrant/alien, undocumented
See “undocumented, illegal immigrant/alien.”

Indigenous (adj.)
Use the capitalized term to refer to original inhabitants of a place: Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples represent some 62% of the population.

initials, with names
Do not use a space between two or more initials: Robert S.J. Smith ’54.

in memoriam
Not “in memorium.”

insure, ensure
See “ensure, insure.”

One word, no hyphen.


no hyphen.

intramural sports
See “sports teams.”

introductory words/phrases
first (not firstly)
second (not secondly)
most important (not most importantly)

Use “regardless” or “irrespective.”

its, it
Its is possessive. It’s is a contraction of “it is.”


joint possession
If the object or objects belong to the union of two or more people, show possession only for the last possessor listed: Steve and Mary’s wedding. If, however, the object or objects belong to each individual, show possession for all possessors: Steve’s and Mary’s vows were beautiful.

journal, magazine titles
Italicize. See “composition titles.”

Jr., Sr., III, IV
Use a comma before Jr. and Sr. However, do not place a comma before III or IV.

Not “judgement.”

June 19, the commemoration date of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, became a federal holiday in 2021. Also known as Juneteenth Independence Day and Freedom Day.


kick off, kickoff
Use kickoff as a noun: The campaign kickoff. The kickoff was spotted on the 10-yard line.
Use kick off as a verb: The event will kick off Reunion Weekend. 

Kirkland College alumnae
Designate a graduate of Kirkland College with a “K” before the class year (no space between “K” and class year): Elizabeth Smith Jones K’76. See “alumni names, class years.”

“Know Thyself”
Hamilton's motto, which first appeared in Greek at the top of the College seal dating back to the College's founding more than 200 years ago. When referring to the motto, include the quote marks.



Latino, Latina, Latinx
Often the preferred noun or adjective for a person from a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. Some prefer the gender-neutral term Latinx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organizations, or descriptions of individuals who request it. 

law degree
Avoid the abbreviated J.D.: He received his law degree from George Washington University. See “academic degrees.”

less, fewer
See “fewer, less.”

Levitt Leaders
Levitt Leaders are students chosen to participate in the Levitt Leadership Institute. Capitalize.

liberal arts
Plural when used as a noun: The liberal arts are at the heart of the Hamilton experience. As an adjective, it will most likely modify a singular noun and take a singular verb; do not hyphenate: A liberal arts education is the best preparation for a fulfilling life.

One word.

Jeff Little ’71 Volunteer of the Year Award, The
The official name of the award presented annually to recognize an alumnus/a.

Preferable collective reference to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning and/or queer.

log in, log off, log out
Two words when used as a verb: Go log in to your computer to make a gift.

login, logoff, logout
One word as a noun or adjective: The most common login password is 1234.

See “Graphic Identity Style Guide.”

One word as an adjective: He is a longtime supporter of the arts.

Do not hyphenate between adverbs ending in -ly and adjectives they modify: An easily remembered rule; the nationally ranked soccer team.


Stacey Himmelberger

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