Writing Style Guide


This applies to anything produced and disseminated, including emails, letters, the website, newsletters (print or online), marketing and promotional materials, news releases, and more. The quality of a communication from one department reflects on the image of the entire university. Maintaining a consistent voice and grammatical style in all materials helps elevate the university's reputation with our many constituents.

The Saint Mary's University Writing Style Guide serves as a resource to aid clear and consistent writing in all communications universitywide.

Saint Mary's writing style generally adheres to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, which is a widely accepted journalistic standard used by newspapers and magazines. However, there are unique grammatical styles, phrases, and terms that apply to our Lasallian Catholic institution. We follow certain conventions for religious terms from the Catholic News Service Stylebook and follow the style for Lasallian terms established by Saint Mary's Press. The Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Writing Style Guide is a compilation of rules and references often questioned, as well as style points unique to Saint Mary's.

This is a "living document," updated and maintained by the Marketing and Communication Office. Note that printed copies will become outdated. The online version will always be the most current.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Appendix A: Campus, Facilities, Named Spaces
Appendix B: Schools and Departments


In general, abbreviations should be avoided. However, the following are commonly abbreviated: academic degrees (M.Ed.), identification (Dr.) and addresses (Ave.). See entry for addresses. See entry for states. See entry for Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. See entry under FSC for detail on religious order abbreviations.

academic program
A set of courses culminating in an academic degree or award.

Identify programs, organizations and associations by their full names at first reference. After the full name, an acronym can be introduced in parentheses. Example: Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE). At second reference, the acronym can stand alone. Example: CTIE was founded in 1994.

  • exception: Abbreviate programs and organizations that are more commonly known to the general public by their abbreviations than by their full names. Example: IBM, NCAA.
  • periods are normally not used in acronyms containing three or more letters. Example: USA, USPS, SSN, IHM, FSC. However, some abbreviations require periods. Example: Ph.D., a.m. Also use periods if the acronym spells a common word. Example: U.S., S.O.U.L.

academic credentials
For external use, if mention of degrees is necessary to establish credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation by using a descriptive phrase. Example: John Smith, who has a doctorate in psychology, will serve as chair. Also see entry for identification / titles, class year and doctor.

  • use terminal abbreviations such as Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., D.M.A., M.B.A., and M.F.A. to identify individuals by degree on first reference. Use these abbreviations only after a full name, and set off with commas. Periods should always be used in abbreviations of academic degrees, and there are no spaces in abbreviations with internal periods. Example: Greg Gaut, Ph.D., served as program director for the summer seminar.
  • in first reference, John Smith, Ph.D. is permissible. On second reference, Dr. John Smith or Dr. Smith is permissible.
  • "Dr." before a name is acceptable in internal communications to indicate either an academic doctoral degree or a physician's credential. For external use, use Ph.D., M.D., or similar abbreviation after the name.
  • do not use the redundant Dr. John Smith, M.D., or Dr. Steve Smith, Ph.D.
  • do not use "Dr." for honorary degrees.

In a mailing address, use the two-letter state abbreviation. See entry for states Abbreviate Ave., Blvd. and St. in a numbered address; spell these out when part of a formal street name without a number. Example: 2500 Park Ave. We are located on Park Avenue. Always spell out Drive, Road, etc. Notes: Refer to Brand Visual Identity Guide for address styling in design. Include USA after the ZIP Code in stationery, letterhead, admission publications, website, and any publication that may be mailed or viewed internationally. The following are official addresses for campuses and centers:

  • Apple Valley Center
    (This is the site location only. Correspondence should be directed to the Twin Cities Campus address.)

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    Apple Valley Center
    14200 Cedar Ave.
    Apple Valley, MN 55124-5627
  • Nairobi Programs

    (Christ the Teacher Institute for Education)
    (Maryknoll Institute of African Studies)
    Tangaza College
    P.O. Box 15055
    Nairobi, KENYA
  • Rochester Center

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    Rochester Center
    1926 College View Road SE
    Rochester, MN 55904-8201
  • Twin Cities Campus

    (Person or Program, Specific Department)
    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Ave.
    Minneapolis, MN 55404-4403
  • Winona Campus

    (Person or Program, Specific Department)
    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    700 Terrace Heights #(campus box number).
    Winona, MN 55987-1399

At Saint Mary's we value all of our faculty, and using the word adjunct is best avoided. Instead use the person's official university title. Note, part-time teacher and part-time instructor are acceptable generic references. As a group, refer to as part-time faculty, part-time teachers or part-time instructors. Or, specific rank can be used: lecturer (or instructor), assistant professor, associate professor, professor, professor emeritus.

Admission, Office of
Office of Admission is the department, but use admissions when referring to the process.

adult learners
Lowercase. Use sparingly because it sounds like educational jargon. Students or individuals might suffice.

Use "-er" spelling.

affiliate programs and institutes
Refer to Appendix A.

alma mater, Alma Mater
Capitalize and italicize if referring to the Saint Mary's school song.

alumni association
Lowercase except when preceded by Saint Mary's University: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

alumni references
Also see entries for class year and identification/titles.

  • alumnus — one male graduate
  • alumni — multiple all-male graduates, or mixed male and female graduates
  • alumna — one female graduate
  • alumnae — a group of female graduates (used only at all-female schools such as St. Catherine University)
  • alum/alums — acceptable for informal usage to show any mixture of male or female graduates. Preferred by Brother William in his communications.

ampersands (&)
Do not use when spelling out Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. Avoid ampersands; use "and" instead. Only use ampersands when part of an official name, such as Procter & Gamble. See entry for Twitter.

Apple Valley Center
Uppercase "Center" when used with full name. See entry for address.

Lowercase names of sports, even if the sport is preceded by the name of the school or the school mascot. Example: Saint Mary's track and field, Cardinal volleyball. Style "Cardinal athletics" and "Cardinal Pride" appropriately. Capitalize Athletic Department.

  • don't use SMU acronym. It will be phased out on center court, scoreboards, uniforms and other fixed places. "Cardinal" or "Cardinals" may also be used.
  • Do not use "girls", "ladies" or "boys." Instead use "women" or "men."


bachelor, bachelor's
Also bachelor's, bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor's degree, baccalaureate, B.A. in (degree name with initial capitalization) and Bachelor of Arts in (degree name with initial capitalization) or Bachelor of Science. All are acceptable depending on context. See also entries for: academic degrees, majors / minors, master.

  • in less formal occasions, use "bachelor's degree" or "bachelor's."
  • when referring to type of degree, use "bachelor of arts" or "bachelor's degree program."
  • when referring to a specific degree, capitalize the degree and major. Example: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

Blackboard provides an online learning environment to complement and supplement traditional and distance learning courses, and is used as a university resource and message center.

Board of trustees, board, trustees, board of regents, national alumni board – lowercase except when preceded by Saint Mary's University. Example: Saint Mary's University Board of Trustees.

Male member of a Catholic religious order, such as the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Always spell out and capitalize ("Brother John Smith, FSC" or "Brother John") unless the name appears in the annual donor list. Then it may be abbreviated to "Br." Use FSC in a formal, full name on first reference.

Brother William Mann
Also accurate:
Brother William Mann, FSC, president of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota President Brother William Mann, FSC.

  • For external use, use full title in first reference, and Brother William thereafter. Never use Brother Mann. Don't use his credential (D.Min.), except in a list of trustees. Brother President is acceptable when formally addressing him. Use Brother William in internal publications where readers can be expected to know he is president. For Tweeting or other social media where extreme brevity is required, Pres. Bro. William Mann is preferred.

Brother Louis DeThomasis
Also accurate:
Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D., president emeritus of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota President Emeritus Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D.

  • Use full title on first reference, and Brother Louis thereafter.
  • approved reference: Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D., was the 11th president of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, serving from 1984–2005, and again from 2007–2008

Brother Robert Smith
Also accurate:

Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D., vice president for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs
Vice President for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D.

  • Use full title on first reference, and Brother Robert thereafter.

Brothers of the Christian Schools
Also known as De La Salle Christian Brothers (preferred). Note there are more than one grouping of Christian Brothers that are in completely different orders. See also Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.


Capitalize when referring to specific campuses. Examples: Twin Cities Campus, Winona Campus. If referring to both campuses, use lower case. Example: Staff at both the Twin Cities and Winona campuses.

See entry for wide.

See entries for academic degrees, job titles, book and magazine titles and other specific topics.

capstone, cornerstone
Lowercase unless referring to the name of an actual class. Cornerstone and capstone are the first and last classes, respectively, in which students enroll. Example: The seniors will present their capstone papers today. Professional Capstone Experience: Portfolio Assessment (ED490) is offered in the spring semester.

Cardinal athletics
Lowercase athletics.

Cardinal 'M' Club
A membership program to benefit the athletic programs at Saint Mary's. M is set off by single quotes. Use this style in text.

Cardinal Pride
Uppercase Pride in this slogan.

Capitalize when referring to the mascot or athletic teams of Saint Mary's.

Always uppercase when referring to the Roman Catholic Church.

Capitalize when referring to specific Saint Mary's locations, such as the Oakdale Center or Apple Valley Center.

certificate program
A set of courses that culminates in the award of an undergraduate or graduate certificate.

Except for persons outside Saint Mary's, whose titles should not be changed, use lowercase "chair." Example: Dr. Tom Smith, History Department chair; Dr. Tom Smith, chair of the Department of History. Do not use "chairperson." Also see entry for identification/titles.

Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE)
See entry for Nairobi programs.

Christian Brothers
Never used alone. See entries for "De La Salle Christian Brothers." See entry for Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Christian Brothers Residence
Name of building on Winona campus.

Lowercase when referring to a building; use initial capitalization when part of a proper name or if referring to the Roman Catholic Church as a body (even if "Catholic" is not included).

Some cities can stand alone in text without reference to a state, e.g., Minneapolis, New York City and Chicago. Winona, Rochester, Apple Valley and Oakdale can generally be used alone in text, particularly in internal communications or in-state press releases.

class representatives
(Formal); class reps (informal).

class year
Capitalize "class" when referring to a Saint Mary's graduating class. Example: Class of 1985. Lowercase "class" when it appears alone. See entry for honorary doctorate. Use of class years is encouraged whenever appropriate.

  • when abbreviating class year, use the reverse apostrophe before the numerals (shift + option + right bracket on Apple computers). Do not precede class year with a comma. Example: John Smith '79, Brother John Smith, FSC '79.
  • to denote Saint Mary's bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.): John Smith '79.
  • to denote Saint Mary's master's degree: John Smith M'85.
  • to denote Saint Mary's doctoral degree: John Smith D'90.
  • to denote Saint Mary's certificate: John Smith C'90.
  • to denote multiple Saint Mary's degrees: John Smith '79, M'85, D'90
  • if there is a last name change after degree is awarded, use the format of first name, (maiden name), last name, class year: Meg (Leuer) Richtman '97.
  • when last names become joined and hyphenated: Joan Smith-Johnson '06
  • to denote Christian Brothers with degrees: Brother Robert Smith, FSC '76, Ph.D.

Externally, class years should be explained. Example: Tony Piscitiello, a 1969 graduate of Saint Mary's, received an honorary doctorate; Tony Piscitiello received his bachelor's degree in 1969 and his master's degree in 1980, both from Saint Mary's University.

coed, coeducation, coeducational
Not hyphenated. Do not use coed when referring to a female student. Use coed or coeducational residence halls.

(the) College
Use initial uppercase c for "College" when referring to the Winona Campus residential undergraduate bachelor of arts program, or in certain administrative titles, such as Vice President for Academic Affairs—the College. Use of the term College, or the College, is equivalent to using the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.

DO use a comma before the last conjunction ("and" or "or") in a simple series. In other words, use the serial comma. Example: They studied math, English, and history.

  • Use a comma to avoid confusion when items in the series contain conjunctions. Example: The couples included Mark and Judy, Mike and Becky, and John and Sue.
  • Commas are always placed inside quotation marks. See entry for quotation marks.
  • When a conjunction such as "and," "but," and "for" links two clauses that can stand alone as separate sentences, use a comma before the conjunction. Example: The dog is in the house, and the cat is in the yard.
  • Add a comma after the state when writing a city and state location. Example: Winona, Minn., is a great place to live.
  • Add a comma after the year when writing a date. Example: Feb. 14, 2001, was their first holiday together.

Capitalize only when in a formal reference such as Saint Mary's University Spring 2014 Commencement.

committees, campaigns, clubs
Capitalize the official names of committees, clubs and campaigns. Example: General Education Committee; Legacy for Learning: A Campaign for Students; Public Relations/Business Club. However, lowercase references such as "the program," "the committee," or "the campaign."

See entry for wide.

core curriculum

course names
Capitalize course titles. Example: Analytical Chemistry.

curriculum vitae
(Singular); curricula vitae (plural); vita (informal singular). Professional résumés.


dashes and hyphens
Dashes and hyphens may look similar, but they have very different uses. Dashes and hyphens should be used correctly and consistently. Also see entries for hyphenation and phone and fax numbers.

Hyphen (-): to hyphenate words (often to avoid confusion of dual meaning), dual last names and phone numbers. Examples: one-year subscription, John Smith-Hanson, 800-635-XXXX

En dash (–): to separate phone numbers, or to show duration or range. Do not surround with spaces. Examples: 9–5; pp.112–600; Jan. 15–31; K–6 education

Em dash (—): used to indicate a pause, set apart clauses, or as a spacing character. Do not put spaces before and after the em dash in text. Example: Apple pie, baseball, and automobiles—these are traditional American icons. em dashes with spaces before and after are acceptable when they are used as spacers, such as in news release datelines, sports applications, and charts. Create an em dash with shift-option-hyphen (Mac) or ALT 0151 (Windows)—hold down the ALT key and type 0151 on the numeric keypad. Create an en dash with option-hyphen. On keyboards that have no ability to create a dash, two hyphens (--) can be substituted. In many systems, two hyphens automatically become a dash when you space before and after the next word. In Google Docs, it's under Symbols.

When writing, abbreviate the month and do not include the year unless it's critical information.

datum, data
The plural of datum is data; therefore, "data" requires a plural verb. Example: The data were stored.

De La Salle Christian Brothers
Preferred name for the religious order. See entry for Lasallian.

dean's list
Lowercase unless referring to the Saint Mary's University Dean's List.

Use 1920s, 1980s or use '20s, '80s (no apostrophe before the "s"). 1980s or '80s refers to the years 1980–1989. 1980's or '80's is possessive and refers to an event happening in or belonging specifically to the year 1980. Example: 1980's cars.

See entries for class years, identification, academic credentials, bachelor, master, and honorary doctorate.

De La Salle Christian Brothers—Midwest District
See entry for Lasallian.

Capitalize departments: Saint Mary's History Department, Biology Department or Department of Music. However, lowercase references to "the department." (Refer to Appendix B). Be consistent, especially in a list. See entry for offices.

Diocese of Winona
This word order is preferred; use initial capitalization. Use lowercase when "diocese" is alone.

Can denote both physicians and, internally (such as in Campus Notes or the President's Update or formal event invitations), earned academic doctorates. See entries for academic credentials, class years and honorary doctorate. Use name and specific degree in first reference. Example: John Smith, Ph.D., gave a talk. John Smith, Ed.D., gave a talk. Joey Jones, M.D., performed surgery or Dr. Joey Jones performed surgery. On second reference for external-audience writing, can abbreviate "Dr." for medical doctors. Example: Dr. Jones gave a talk about diseases and Smith gave a talk on teaching methods.

doctorate, doctoral degree references
One can earn a doctorate in clinical psychology, but one earns a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. One does not earn a doctorate degree, but a doctoral degree. Doctorate is a noun and doctoral is an adjective, which requires a noun (such as program, degree, candidate, student).

dollar amounts
Do not use ".00" for even dollar amounts. Example: The event is $5 for faculty/staff, $3.50 for students.


For example. Note: use comma before and after.

Commonly used terms in electronic publication and messaging.

  • disk, disc — disk refers to magnetic media, such as the outdated floppy disk. It can also refer to the disk inside a hard drive. A disc is a piece of optical media, most commonly seen as a CD or DVD.
  • download, upload — one word, no hyphen, lowercase.
  • email — a common noun and not capitalized. Per recent AP style, a hyphen is no longer used.
  • Empower — universitywide database.
  • homepage — Internet term referring to the main page in a website. One word, lowercase.
  • Internet — proper noun, uppercase.
  • intranet — a communication network within an organization or group. Lowercase.
  • network — lowercase.
  • online, offline — one word, no hyphen, lowercase.
  • URL — Universal Resource Locator, or a Web address.
  • Web — refers to World Wide Web. Proper noun, uppercase.
  • webmaster — outdated job title, one word, no hyphen, lowercase.
  • website — one word, no hyphen, lowercase.

email subject lines
See entry for headlines. Focus in email subject lines should be on quick reading and avoiding miscommunication. Avoid sales terms like "buy" or "shop" so emails are not targeted by spam filters. It is not necessary to say an email is from Saint Mary's if it's an email blast that already has an automatic label.

emeritus / emerita / emeriti / emeritae
From Latin: Singular masculine / singular feminine / plural masculine or feminine / plural feminine. Examples: professor emeritus / professors emeriti; trustee emeritus / trustees emeriti. Indicates a retired professional who has been awarded the honorary title corresponding to their position during active service. Note: It is like alumnus / alumna / alumni / alumnae in its Latin gender-specific uses; see entry for alumni.

endowed scholarships, endowment

Capitalize special event names: "Hendrickson Forum," "Family Weekend." However, lowercase references such as "the event" or "the dance." Also refer to entries for commencement, Reunion Weekend, President's Roundtable and Founders' Day. Years can be used with certain events, such as Oct. 12, 2014 Commencement and Hendrickson Forum 2014. When describing an event, the following sequence of information should be used: event or group name, time, date and place. Example: The International Dance Company will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 at the Performance Center.


facilities and named spaces
Refer to Appendix A. Facilities such as the mailroom should be lowercased unless referring to a named space. Example: You may pick up your package in the mailroom. The exhibit is in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

Lowercase. Faculty ranks are: lecturer or senior lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, full professor (or professor), professor emeritus. See entries for emeritus, adjunct.

Always spell out and capitalize when referring to a priest. Also refer to entry for identification/titles.

Capitalize only when part of a proper name.

Founders' Day
Capitalize when referring to the Saint Mary's event. Plural and possessive. Refers to Bishop Patrick Heffron (Diocese of Winona) as the original founder in 1912, and the purchase of the college by De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1933.

freshman, freshman class, freshmen, first-year student
According to the Office of Student Life, the term "first-year student" is more accurate and is preferred when referring to new students. Lowercase class designations: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.

First Generation Initiative
Always capitalize when referring to the Saint Mary's program. Includes Countdown to College and FGI Scholars programs. This is a style exception to standard hyphenation rules.

No periods. Latin for "Fratres Scholarum Christianarum" and identifies the De La Salle Christian Brothers religious order. At first use in external press releases, "FSC" should be used for all De La Salle Christian Brothers. Example: Brother Roderick Robertson, FSC.

full-time, full time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Example: She is a full-time employee. She works at the university full time. In printed Saint Mary's University music and theatre programs, capitalize both words, e.g., Full-Time Faculty. See entry for part-time.

fundraising, fundraiser
One word with no hyphen in all cases. Example: The fundraising brochure was mailed last week. Fundraising for the campaign has begun.


geographic directions
Lowercase when referring to compass points. Example: She lives east of the river. Spell out and capitalize directions when describing cities, states, or regions. Example: East St. Louis, West Metro, East Coast, Southeast Minnesota, Midwest.

The preferred reference to the university-level ceremony is commencement.


#TIYT (stands for THIS IS YOUR TIME, which is our admission theme line) or #smumn. Avoid overuse of hashtags. If you have questions, contact Marketing and Communication social media director. See entry for Twitter.

Keep short yet engaging and descriptive; best practice is under 7 words. Headlines require a subject and a verb. Numerals under 10 are allowed. Example: 1st class of graduates hear speeches from 4 classmates. Don't use the university name in headlines for internal publications, such as employee newsletters and the website news center. See entry for email subject line.

health care/healthcare
Two words refers to an action. Example: Susan's job includes providing health care to clients. Use as one word when referring to a system or concept. Example: Susan is interested in studying healthcare because of her mother's condition. We at Saint Mary's offer the degree: B.S. in Healthcare and Human Services Management.

The Saint Mary's summer alumni reunion event is now called Reunion Weekend. Also see entry for events.

honorary doctorate
Do not denote in the same manner as earned degrees. Use as descriptive text only. Example: John Smith received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts in Leadership from the university. John Smith received an honorary doctorate from the university.

In general, hyphens are used to avoid confusion and to connect compound modifiers. Example: We offer a four-year degree. Over time, some words have become joined together. Example: handmade, daylong, courthouse. Refer to AP Stylebook for more detail or specific entries.


In other words. Note: comma before and after use. Example: Life is short, i.e., you won't live forever so make the most of it.

identification / titles
In general

  • lowercase and spell out titles except when they precede an individual's name. Example: John Smith, president, met with the faculty. Why did President John Smith meet with the faculty?
  • lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas. Example: The vice president, John Smith, made a decision.
  • This convention applies to press releases and story text; it does not apply to email signatures, business cards, letters, etc.


  • for external publications, use name followed by credential rather than "Dr." Example: John Smith, Ph.D., university archivist, will soon complete a research project. For internal publications, "Dr." is allowed. Also see entries for academic credentials, doctor and chair.


  • identify alumni with their year of graduation on first reference. Example: John Smith '69 talked with prospective students. Also see entries for class year and alumni.
  • if an alumna does not use her maiden name but it is needed for identification purposes, set off the maiden name and year of graduation in parentheses. Example: Katherine (Smith '80) Jones designed the brochure.
  • for alumni of a master's program, use the degree abbreviation before class year. Example: John Smith, M.S.'03; Kathy Jones, Ed.D. '03.
  • for alumnae of the College of Saint Teresa, use "CST" before class year and enclose in parentheses. Example: Jenny Brown (CST '65).


  • use initial capitalization and spell out Sister, Father, Brother, Reverend, Monsignor and other religious designations. For priests, use Reverend John Smith, STL (most formal); Reverend Smith (formal); or Father John or Father Smith (informal). Exception: Religious titles can be abbreviated for space in the annual report. No periods in abbreviations for religious orders. See entries for Brother and Sister.
First Reference Second Reference
Brother John Smith, FSC Brother John
Sister Kathy Jones, RSM Sister Kathy

Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary
Owned and operated by the Diocese of Winona on land adjacent to the Winona Campus. Abbreviation: IHM Seminary.

information technology vs. instructional technology
Information technology refers to university infrastructure for services such as email, phone system, intranet etc. Instructional technology refers specifically to services used in teaching or the classroom.

instructional site
Any location where instruction is offered. Saint Mary's has numerous instructional sites, including the Winona Campus; the Twin Cities Campus; Oakdale, Apple Valley, and Rochester centers; and many other sites each semester in Minnesota and Wisconsin, mainly for graduate education programs.

interdisciplinary, IDS courses, Interdisciplinary Studies Program
The Interdisciplinary Studies Department provides students with the opportunity to engage in learning from an interdisciplinary perspective. Faculty of the department are trained in a number of academic disciplines. No major or minor program is offered by the Interdisciplinary Studies Department.

Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools
A more formal name for the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Saint Mary's is part of the Midwest District. See entries for De La Salle Christian Brothers, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, and Lasallian.

Investor's Report
Style preferred by Brother William.


job titles
See entry for identification / titles.


Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies


Variations include Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Saint La Salle, De La Salle Christian Brothers, De La Salle. These spellings are preferred in university writing. Style comes from Saint Mary's Press. Some schools use other styles in their names; use each school's preferred style. See entries for De La Salle Christian Brothers, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, and Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Lasallian Honors Program

liberal arts

Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries
Together the Toner Student Center art gallery, the lounge, and the President's Room are considered the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

long term
Two words. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Example: We will win in the long term. He has long-term health insurance.


majors / minors
Lowercase unless a language, a proper noun, or the formal name of a degree. Example: John majored in criminal justice with a minor in Spanish. John received a degree in journalism from Saint Mary's University. John earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Saint Mary's. See website for list of current majors.

Maryknoll Institute of African Studies of Saint Mary's University (MIASMU)
See entry for Nairobi programs.

Capitalize when referring to the Catholic ceremony.

Also master's, master of arts, master of science, master's degree, master degree program, master's, M.A. in (degree name with initial capitalization), Master of Arts in (degree name with initial capitalization). All are acceptable depending on context. Also M.B.A., M.F.A. (We use periods for all three-letter degrees. AP style is inconsistent on this point.) See entries for bachelor, identification, and academic credentials.

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
Theatre and dance programs for all ages, offered at Valéncia Arts Center at the Saint Teresa Campus. See entry for Valéncia Arts Center.

When writing month and year, do not separate by a comma, and do not insert "of" between the month and year. Example: John Smith began his new job in June 1946.

more than, less than
With numerals, use "more than" and "less than" rather than "over" and "under." Example: Enrollment is more than 18,000 students.

Music titles
See entry for titles.


Nairobi programs
Two programs affiliated with Saint Mary's are housed at Tangaza College in Nairobi, Kenya: Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE) and Maryknoll Institute of African Studies of Saint Mary's University (MIASMU). See entry for address.

New Student Orientation and Registration (NSOR)
Summertime sessions for incoming first-year and transfer students.

Generally, words that start with "non" should not be hyphenated, unless used in awkward constructions such as "non-nuclear." Common specific examples: nonprofit, nondegree, noncredit.

nondiscrimination statement
The university's official text (rev. 9-1-14) is below. Use in the catalogs, admission application, student handbook, website, and certain other official documents.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota adheres to the principle that all persons have equal opportunity and access to admission, employment, facilities, and all programs and activities of the university regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial status, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, or status with regard to public assistance. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the university's nondiscrimination policies:

Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, 700 Terrace Heights #38, Winona, MN 55987. 507-457-1421.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator may refer discrimination inquiries or complaints to other offices or individuals as appropriate.

One word, no hyphen. Describes an organization. Example: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status.

Three words, hyphenate. Describes an activity. Example: The club sponsors a not-for-profit dance for cancer.

Spell out zero through nine, use numerals for 10 or greater. Similarly, spell out first through ninth, and use numerals for 10 and so on. See exceptions below.

  • spell out numerals at the beginning of a sentence unless that number identifies a calendar year: 1978 was a great year. It is sometimes preferred to restructure the sentence. Example: Five hundred and twelve women donated to the fund last year. Last year, 512 women donated to the fund.
  • use commas with numbers with four or more digits. Example: Winona is a city of 27,000.
  • do not superscript "th": 11th is correct. (Note: The automatic superscript function can be turned off in Microsoft Word.)
  • don't use "th" with dates. Oct. 12, 2014 is correct.
  • use numerals (even for single digits) in certain cases. Examples: percentages (5 percent); sports scores (the 3-0 victory); ages (Vickie's 1-year-old son); page numbers (page 1); and credits (9 or 11 credits).
  • use numerals in story headlines, even if they are single digits. Examples: Smith is named 1st coordinator; 1 employee selected for top honors.
  • spell out "million," "billion," "trillion," and so on for numbers greater than one million, unless precise figures are necessary. Example: Indirect costs were estimated at $3.5 million. The final vote was 1,032,255 to 1,034,099 in favor of Chapman.


Oakdale Center
Capitalize center when used as part of the proper name. See entry for address.

Capitalize formal office names: Alumni Office is preferred, or Office of Admission. Be consistent, especially in a list, within a publication or communication or within a family of communication pieces. See entry for department.


part-time, part time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He is a part-time student. He attends the university part time. Exception: In lists in printed Saint Mary's University music and theatre programs, capitalize both words, e.g., Part-Time Faculty. See entry for full-time.

Spell out "percent" in text; use "%" only in charts and headlines. Use decimals, not fractions. Example: 1.5 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero. Example: The cost of living rose 0.6 percent. Always use the numeral for percentages, do not spell out numbers under 10.

phone and fax numbers
Per the 2013 AP Styleguide, phone number area codes should be separated by a hyphen: 612-728-5123. Do not use periods to separate. For on-campus extensions, use: Ext. 5123. Use "The toll-free number is . . . , Ext. 5123" or "Call toll free . . . , Ext. 5123." Also see entry for hyphenation. No longer use parentheses around area codes (612) 728-5519; instead use 612-728-5519.

president emeritus
See entry for emeritus. See entry for Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D.

President's Room
A lounge, meeting, and presentation room in Toner Student Center. Note the apostrophe.

President's Roundtable
Periodic community breakfast with the president on the Winona Campus. Use initial caps. See entry for events.

presidential timeline

  • Brother Louis DeThomasis was the 11th president from June 1984–May 2005
  • Brother Craig Franz was the 12th president from June 2005–December 2006
  • Brother Louis returned to serve as president from February 10, 2007–May 31, 2008
  • Brother William Mann became the 13th president on June 1, 2008

See entries for bachelor's, master's.


quotation marks
Place outside commas and periods, and inside semicolons and colons.

  • Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside quotation marks if they are part of the quote, and outside if they are not. Items placed inside quotation marks include direct quotes, article titles, book titles, song titles, poem titles, and television and radio programs. See entry for book and magazine titles.
  • Example: "... example," "... example." "... example"; "... example":


religious order
Separate by commas. No periods. Examples: FSC, OP, RSM, and BVM. See entry for identification.

Include the French accent marks because they are critical to pronunciation and differentiation from "resume." Create the accent mark by typing "option-e" on an Apple keyboard. Don't use the accents in email.

residence hall
Do not use "dormitory" or "dorm."

Rochester Center Uppercase "Center" when used with full name. Saint Mary's offers courses in Rochester at the Heintz Center on the Rochester Community and Technical College campus. Refer to as the Saint Mary's University Rochester Center. Avoid reference to RCTC. See entry for address.


Always spell out Saint unless another school or entity prefers to abbreviate it, such as St. Thomas or St. Louis.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle

Saint John Baptist de La Salle is founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and patron saint of Christian teachers. English spelling. Note lowercase "de" in full name of the person. See entries for Lasallian, De La Salle Christian Brothers, and Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Saint Mary's Press
A publisher of religious textbooks owned by the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Always use on first reference for external audiences. Thereafter, Saint Mary's University or Saint Mary's or the university are acceptable. Do not split the name so that University of Minnesota stands alone. Do not abbreviate as SMU. See entry for SMU.

  • do not use the athletic mascot ("Cardinals") as a general reference to the students or the university.
  • do not refer to the university as "she/her" or use "we/their/our" when referring to a facility or program of the university. "It" is acceptable only when the statement cannot be reworded.

Saint Teresa Campus
Note there is no "h" in "Teresa," and spell out "Saint." Use "the Saint Teresa Campus of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota" at first reference in external publications.

Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women
May be abbreviated as "the Saint Teresa Institute."

Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs
A singular proper noun that takes a singular verb agreement. Example: The Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs is a leader in graduate programming. Do not use an ampersand in place of and. Avoid the use of SGPP for external audiences.

Capitalize academic schools: School of Education or Graduate School of Business and Technology. (Refer to Appendix B).

lowercase, even when referring to the Saint Mary's seal.

Lowercase seasons standing alone, and in constructions such as "classes begin in the fall," "spring term," or "fall 2014" (no comma). Uppercase when a proper noun, such as Spring Semester begins tomorrow.


Female member of a Catholic religious order. Always spell out and capitalize ("Sister Mary Jones, RSM" or "Sister Mary") unless the name appears in the annual donor list. Then it may be abbreviated to "Sr." Use order letters with no periods after name in a formal first reference. "Sister Mary, RSM" is incorrect. Also see entry for identification / titles.

Do not use this abbreviation for internal or external communications. "SMU" will also be phased out in athletics and in the Cardinal logo. See entry for Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Acceptable abbreviation for social media use, email, and website addresses. When speaking, say S-M-U-M-N rather than saying it ("Smoo-Minn").

State names are used as two-letter postal abbreviations only in mailing addresses, and spelled out or abbreviated as descriptions of place.

  • Mailing address example: The Winona Campus address is 700 Terrace Heights, Winona, MN 55987.
  • Spell out states when used alone: The students are from Minnesota.
  • Abbreviate states when describing a city and state location: The student is from Winona, Minn.
  • Don't abbreviate these states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah.
  • Don't use a state when describing a location that includes an unmistakable city: Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, etc. Examples: The student came from Chicago. The student came from Woodfield, Ill.
  • We choose to ignore the new AP style rule that says city names AND states should be spelled out in text. This style change was made to accommodate international datelines in the news business. Note: When writing materials specifically for an international audience, do spell out states.

States' postal address abbreviations:
Alabama — AL
Alaska — AK
Arizona — AZ
Arkansas — AK
California — CA
Colorado — CO
Connecticut — CT
Delaware — DE
D.C. — DC
Florida — FL
Georgia — GA
Hawaii — HI
Idaho — ID
Illinois — IL
Indiana — IN
Iowa — IA
Kansas — KS
Kentucky — KY
Louisiana — LA
Maine — ME
Maryland — MD
Massachusetts — MA
Michigan — MI
Minnesota — MN
Mississippi — MS
Missouri — MO
Montana — MT
Nebraska — NE
Nevada — NV
New Hampshire — NH
New Jersey — NJ
New Mexico — NM
New York — NY
North Carolina — NC
North Dakota — ND
Ohio — OH
Oklahoma — OK
Oregon — OR
Pennsylvania — PA
Puerto Rico — PR
Rhode Island — RI
South Carolina — SC
South Dakota — SD
Tennessee — TN
Texas — TX
Utah — UT
Vermont — VT
Virginia — VA
Washington — WA
West Virginia — WV
Wisconsin — WI
Wyoming — WY


Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts
A phrase used by the De La Salle Christian Brothers to describe the vocation of teaching at Lasallian schools.


Not capitalized unless it begins a sentence. This is true even for references such as this: The forum was hosted by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. Exceptions include specific, legal, proper names: The Heights, The Ohio State University.

Use this spelling for all Saint Mary's references. Example: Studio Theatre, Page Theatre, theatre arts. For other references, use the preferred spelling of the organization.

A variety of styles may be acceptable for formal invitations and other graphic designs, e.g., ads and posters. Also see entry for order of events. The following rules should be followed in press releases, the magazine, the catalog, etc.:

  • lowercase a.m. and p.m., and always use periods.
  • lowercase noon and midnight.
  • do not use 12 noon or 12 midnight (redundant).
  • do not use 10 a.m. this morning (redundant).
  • do not use o'clock with a.m. or p.m.
  • do not use a hyphen in place of "to," "through," "and," or "until." Example: The meeting will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday in Room 129.
  • when listing a beginning and ending time separated only by the word "to," or when listing a series of times when all times listed are a.m. or p.m., use a.m. or p.m. only once, following the final time listed. Example: The meeting will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Sessions begin at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • include ciphers (:00) only when listing times that are not on the hour. Example: The presentation is at 8 p.m. and a reception follows at 9:30 p.m. Note: An exception can be made in formal event invitations.

titled vs. entitled
A book is titled; a spoiled child feels entitled.

ID / titles

Book, album, newspaper, and magazine titles should be italicized, and chapters, pieces or articles within those publications should have quotes. If "The" is part of the title, it's uppercase.

  • Also use quotation marks for:
  • movie titles ("Gone with the Wind")
  • computer game titles (but not titles of software—e.g., Microsoft)
  • theatre play titles ("Hamlet")
  • poem titles
  • song titles (but album name would be italicized)
  • TV and radio programs
  • speech and lecture titles
  • works of art ("Mona Lisa")

Toner Student Center
The student union at the Winona Campus. Full name is Michael H. Toner Student Center.

Twitter, Tweets
Twitter is the communication tool and a Tweet is a message one posts to Twitter. A Tweet is limited to 140-characters. Using @ before a name (or Twitter account) tags that message to that account, so when Tweeting for Saint Mary's University, add @smumn to tag it to the main Saint Mary's account. Use # to hashtag something to categorize and allow others to search for such content. #TIYT is for the university's recruitment theme line, THIS IS YOUR TIME, developed in 2014. Use of an & is acceptable in Tweets for brevity; use of a + is trending. See entry for hashtag.

Twin Cities Campus
Not Twin Cities campus, nor Twin Cities' Campus, nor Minneapolis Campus.


Lowercase when referring to Saint Mary's or any university unless part of a formal name. Example: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The university will be reevaluated by the Higher Learning Commission.

University Center
The name of the event center on the Twin Cities Campus. Full name is Saint Mary's University Center.

See entry for wide.


Valéncia Arts Center
Owned and administered by Saint Mary's at the Saint Teresa Campus. See entry for Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts.


website reference
A promotional reference to the university website that may be shortened or expanded, depending on space and purpose. Example: To learn more about Saint Mary's University programs and locations, go online to: www.smumn.edu.

  • specific pages within the site may also be highlighted. Example: For information on the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, go online to: smumn.edu/openhouse.
  • also see entry for e-references.

Do not hyphenate citywide, countrywide, universitywide, campuswide, etc. Do hyphenate wide-open, wide-angle and most words that are preceded by wide-.

Winona Campus

Hyphenate if these two words modify a noun, or if a noun is implied. Examples: We have a great work-study program. He never completed his work-study. (program or job or activity is implied)



year span
When used as a modifier, join a span of years with a hyphen. Don't use spaces or century for the second year. Examples: He came to Saint Mary's during the 2014-15 academic year. The 2012-13 Annual Report. Otherwise, use the conjunction "to" and the full year. Example: He worked at the job from 1997 to 2004.


Appendix A: Campuses, Facilities, Named Spaces

Facilities and Named Spaces

Adducci Science Center
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Ben Miller Lobby
Benilde Hall
Brother Charles Hall
Brother Leopold Hall
Cardinal Club
Cascio Family Court
Central Services
Christian Brothers Residence
Common Room
dining hall
Damian Lounge in Watters Hall
Dorothy B. Magnus Green Room
Ek Family Village ("Old Village")
faculty dining room
Figliulo Recital Hall
Fitzgerald Library
Gilmore Creek Hall
Gostomski Fieldhouse
Griffin Hall
Hall of Fame Room
Heffron Hall
The Heights
Hendrickson Center
Hillside Hall
Hoffman Hall
Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries
ice arena
Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Seminary
information desk
intramural playing fields
Jay Johnson Wellness Center
Jul Gernes Pool
Joseph Page Theatre
Kelly Hall, IHM Seminary
Kulas-Connaughty Power House
La Salle Hall
Leo Hall, IHM Seminary
Leo Ochrymowycz Memorial Soccer Field
Main Street Express
McEnery Center
Max Molock Memorial Baseball Field
Memorial Plaza
Meyer Family Conference Suite
Michael H. Toner Student Center
Oakes Plaza
Oscar and Mary Jane Straub Millennium Clock Tower and Court
Performance Center
Pines Hall
Prairie Island Field Station
President's Room
Recreation and Athletic Center (RAC)
Residencia Santiago Miller ("New Village")
Saint Edward's Hall
Saint Joseph's Hall
Saint Mary's Hall
Saint Mary's Press
Saint Thomas More Chapel
Saint Yon's Hall
Saint Yon's Valley
Salvi Hall
Skemp Family Plaza
Skemp Hall
softball field
Stonehedge (president's residence)
Student Success Center
studio theatre
Technology Center
track and soccer complex
Visitors Cottages #1, #2 and #3
Vlazny Hall
Watters Hall
World Room

Affiliated Programs and Institutes
De La Salle Language Institute
GeoSpatial Services
Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership
Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Saint Teresa Campus
Alverna Center
Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels
CSTea House (College of Saint Teresa Alumnae Association)
Valéncia Arts Center

Twin Cities Campus
Brother Louis Hall
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
Harrington Mansion
La Salle Hall
Martin de Porres Hall
Mother Teresa Hall
Saint La Salle Chapel
University Center

Nairobi Programs
Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE)
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies of Saint Mary's University (MIASMU)
Both programs are located in the Imani House of Tangaza College

Appendix B: Schools and Departments

Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs
Graduate School of Education
Graduate School of Health and Human Services
Graduate School of Business and Technology

Undergraduate Schools (Winona Campus)
School of the Arts
School of Business
School of Education
School of Humanities and Sciences

Departments (Winona Campus)
Preferred style is shown below. Also acceptable is, for example, Department of Art and Design. What's most important is to be consistent within any single communication, and within a family of communications (e.g., all undergraduate recruiting publications).

Art and Design Department
Biology Department
Business Department
Chemistry Department
Communication Department
Education Department
English Department
History Department
Interdisciplinary Studies Department
Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Department
Modern/Classical Languages Department
Music Department
Philosophy Department
Physics Department
Political Science Department
Psychology Department
Social Science Department
Theatre and Dance Department
Theology Department