under way
Two words.

undocumented, illegal immigrant/alien
Do not use these terms to describe individuals who entered the U.S. without inspection or legal permission. When a story requires a person to be identified as such, follow these guidelines: Use “illegal” only in reference to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not an illegal immigrant or an illegal alien. An acceptable variation includes “living in (or entering) a country without legal permission.” 

One of a kind. Do not overuse or describe something as “very unique” or “rather unique.”

Student performance group. Note use of @. No spaces.

United States
Spell out when used as a noun on first reference. Use U.S. (with periods) as an adjective or on second reference.

One word.

Upstate New York, Central New York
Capitalize since the region should be widely known to most readers.

Refers to Uniform Resource Locator; a URL is an address on the Internet. No periods.



varsity teams
See “sports teams.”

vice president
No hyphen.

One word.

volunteer of the year award
The official name of the award presented annually to recognize an alumnus/a is The Jeff Little '71 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Volunteer Weekend
Hamilton event held each spring. Capitalize.



wait list
Two words.

Washington, D.C.
Apply state abbreviation rules (not postal abbreviations) in prose, except in the rare instance where a complete address is published with a zip code. An exception is in the Hamilton magazine where a casual style is acceptable to describe gatherings: Suzy, Tami, and Wendy enjoyed a mini-reunion in DC. See “state abbreviations.”

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

Short for World Wide Web. Lowercase. Also website, webpage, webcam, webcast, webmaster.

web addresses
Do not underline. No need to include http:// or, in most cases, www.

Use a period at the end of a sentence that ends with a web address: To register online, go to hamilton.edu/registration.


Hyphenate as an adjective.

Wertimer-Couper Award
Presented annually to an employee to recognize exceptional service to the College. Use official name, Ellie Wertimer-Patsy Couper Award, on first reference.



One word.



alumni class designation No comma before or after the year: Bob Smith ’80 is a new Hamilton Fund volunteer. To avoid confusion, use the complete year for alumni who graduated more than 100 years ago: Elihu Root, Class of 1864, is arguably Hamilton's most distinguished alumnus. To designate a graduate of Kirkland College: Susan Skerritt K’77. See “alumni names, class years.”

parent class designation No commas before or after the year and no space between “P” designation and year: Bob Smith P’08 visited campus on Family Weekend. For grandparents, use GP. See “parent names.”

plural 1970s or the ’70s. See “decades.”

ranges 2019-20 academic year, not 2019-2020 academic year.


Stacey Himmelberger

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search