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

magna cum laude
no italics.

maiden names
See “alumni names, class years.”

See “concentrations and minors.”

Acronym for Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee. MARC on second reference.

master’s degree
See “academic degrees.”

Capitalize when referring to the ceremony that takes place in the Kirkland Cottage at the start of each academic year. Otherwise lowercase.

Do not hyphenate unless the word following begins with a figure or capital letter: midcareer, midsemester, mid-Atlantic, mid-30s, mid-August.

Not 12 a.m.

Acceptable as an adjective in broad references to multiple races other than white: Hamilton seeks to admit more students from minority groups. When possible, be more specific by using such terms as Black Americans or Chinese Americans. Example: Most of the magazine's readers are Black women.  Not: Most of the magazine’s readers are minority women.

Do not use “minority” as a noun in the singular. But “minority students” or “minority communities” is acceptable.

See “concentrations and minors.”

Use numerals. Do not hyphenate when using as a compound modifier: Bob Smith ’50 pledged $5,000 to the Hamilton Fund. He made a $5 million gift to the campaign.

See “dates, months and times.”

more than, over, older than
Generally speaking, “over” refers to spacial relationships: The plane flew over the village. Use “more than” to indicate numeric amounts: He contributed more than $4,000 to the Hamilton Fund this year. When referring to age, use “older than”: All alumni older than 50 are eligible.

movie titles
Italicize. See “composition titles.”

One word, no hyphen.

See “biracial, multiracial.”

My Hamilton
Hamilton’s alumni and community directory. Two words.

Avoid overuse; use only when referring to items truly uncountable or immeasurable. Do not follow by “of”: The myriad stars on a clear summer night; the myriad riches of a liberal arts education.


name, nickname preferences
When possible, defer to the individual in deciding how a name should be published: Art Massolo ’64 or Arthur Massolo ’64; Professor of Music G. Roberts Kolb or Professor of Music Rob Kolb. In general, use full names for documents of record, invitations, honors, etc., and less formal names for everyday communications, including the Hamilton magazine, where a more conversational style is preferred. Do not use a middle initial unless it is a stated preference or useful as an identifier in a common name.

When referring to an alumna, always include her maiden name (the name she used as a student) followed by her married name, if appropriate: Susan Jones Brown ’82. See “alumni names, class years.”

nationalities and races
Do not hyphenate ethnic groups, such as African American, Asian American, or Native American. This applies even as a compound modifyer because it is considered a noun phrase: Sylvia Jones conducted research on African American perspectives of social injustice. 

Native American, American Indian
No hyphen. Both are acceptable terms for those in the U.S. when referring to two or more people of different tribal affiliations. For individuals, use the name of the tribe when possible: She is a member of the Oneida Indian Nation. Some tribes and tribal nations use “member;” others use “citizen.” When in doubt, use “citizen.” 

“Indian” is used to describe the peoples and cultures of the South Asian nation of India. Do not use for “American Indians.”

Hyphenate when used alone or as a compound modifyer.

newspaper titles
Italicize. See “composition titles.”

New York Times, The
“The” is part of the title and should therefore be capitalized and italicized.

Include quotation marks around nicknames and insert between first and last name: William “Chip” Jones. Avoid obvious nicknames: William “Bill” Jones.

People are “nonbinary” if their gender identity is not strictly male or female. Not synonymous with “transgender.” Explain in a story if the context doesn’t make it clear.

nonprofit, not-for-profit
Note use of hyphens. In general the prefix "non" is not separated by a hyphen.

Not 12 p.m.

Spell out the numbers one through nine, and use numerals for 10 and above. The same rule applies to first through ninth. See the AP Stylebook’s “numerals” entry for several exceptions — such as ages, GPAs, percents, years, and numbers beginning a sentence.


off-campus study/off-campus study program
Use hyphen. Also study-abroad program. However: He will study abroad.

Capitalize full names of campus offices and cite the office name first: Residential Life Office, not Office of Residential Life; Dean of Students Office, not Office of the Dean of Students. 

Capitalize. No periods.

One word, no hyphen, when referring to use of the internet. However, use two words when meaning “into service”: The new facilities came on line this month.

oral communication
Hamilton offers courses in oral communication (not communications with an “s”). Also Oral Communication Center. See “communication, concentration in.”

organizations and clubs
See “clubs and organizations.”

Outreach Adventure
Hamilton pre-orientation program. Capitalize.

over, more than, older than
See “more than, over, older than.”


Pacific Islander
Use to describe Indigenous people of the Pacific Islands (i.e., Hawaii, Guam, and Samoa). Do not describe as “Asian Americans,” “Asians,” or “of Asian descent.”

See “family/families.”

parent names
To designate an individual as a parent of a Hamilton student or graduate, use the name followed by a “P” and the year of graduation (no space between “P” and class year): Robert Brown P’82. For a couple: Robert and Susan Brown P’82.

For a parent of more than one individual, use comma and no space between years: Robert and Susan Brown P’82,’89.

For a parent who is also a Hamilton alumnus/a, see “alumni names, class years.”

For a grandparent or grandparents, use GP: Marvin and Virginia Marks GP’15,’22.

part-time, full-time
See “full-time, part-time.”

people of color
Acceptable when necessary in broad references to multiple races other than white: Hamilton's goal is to hire more people of color. However, many object to the term for various reasons, including that it lumps together into one monolithic group anyone who isn’t white. Consider rewording: people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds; diverse groups; various heritages; different cultures.

Use the % sign when paired with a number, with no space. Always use figures, even if the numbers are less than 10: Fewer than 3% of seniors did not make a gift to the Hamilton Fund.

periods of time, ages of history
See “ages of history, periods of time.”

Avoid abbreviation and use doctorate: He earned his doctorate at UCLA. Do not use “doctorate degree.” See “academic degrees.”

Phi Beta Kappa
Select students are elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the country. Capitalize.

One word, no hyphens.

phone numbers
Use hyphens (not parentheses, periods or slashes) between the area code and number: 315-859-4000. Do not include “1” before any 10-digit number.

photo identification
Use (from left) or (left to right) to identify individuals in photos.


Compound words For those terms that include two or more separate words or a hyphenated word, add “s” to the most significant word: attorneys general, daughters-in-law, lieutenant colonels.

Multiple letters Add “s” with no apostrophe: The VIPs gathered at the event.

Numerals Add “s” with no apostrophe: She was in her 40s when she received tenure.

Common nouns that end in “s” or “ss” Add an apostrophe and “s” unless the word that follows also begins with an “s”: the class’s graduation, the class’ senior dinner.

Single letters Add an apostrophe and “s” to avoid confusion: He earned A’s and B’s on his report card.

plural/possessive proper nouns

Plural names ending in es, s, or z Add “es”: Charleses, Joneses, Gonzalezes. Do not use an apostrophe to form a plural.

Possessive names ending in es, s or z Add only an apostrophe: Dickens’ novel; Jones’ research; Ellis’ gift.

Joint possessive Add apostrophe only with the last name in a series: Sue, Joe, and Robin’s graduation took place in May.

Individual possessive Add apostrophe with both names: Sue’s and Joe’s diplomas were hung in the office.

p.m. and a.m.
Use periods. Lowercase. See “dates, months and times.”

See “people of color."

One word, no hyphen.

Generally do not hyphenate when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant: predecease, premarital, reconvene. With the exception of cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel: re-elect, pre-eminent, re-establish.

Procter & Gamble
Company formerly headed by A.G. Lafley ’69. Not Proctor, which is the spelling of the school in Utica. Use ampersand.

Use professor on second reference for a tenured faculty member or one in a tenure-track position. On first reference, use the official title (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor) found in the directory. Also be sure to note if the person is visiting or holds an endowed chair. See “faculty,” “titles” and “faculty chairs.”

See “endowed professorships” and “titles.”

program, department chairs
See “chairs, department and program.”

Program in Washington
Official name is Hamilton Program in Washington, not Term in Washington.

programs and departments
See “departments and programs.”

See “they, them, their.”


Pulitzer Prize
Pulitizer Prize winner; Pulitizer Prize-winning author.


Stacey Himmelberger

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