Bates and Academic Style Guidelines
The following style guidelines focus on Bates and academic communications.
We welcome and encourage questions about any of these guidelines.
academic degrees: Always lowercase (unless degree includes a proper noun like “English.”) Do not use the word degree with the abbreviated degree. Do not refer to “her” or “his” degree. Always use the apostrophe S:
- right: She has a B.A. in history.
- right: He has a bachelor’s degree in English.
- right: She has a bachelor’s in education.
- wrong: He has a Masters in Education.
- wrong: She has her doctorate. (Should be “a” doctorate.)
When the context requires reference to a person’s doctorate status, use the following construction: Steven Segal, who has a doctorate in religion. The construction Steven Segal, Ph.D., may be used if many people’s academic credentials are referenced. Generally, Bates does not use degree references or courtesy titles (Dr., Mrs. Miss) in donor lists, rosters or general communications
academic departments and programs: capitalize only the formal name, e.g., the Department of History. Lowercase informal references, history department, English department:
- The history department is in Pettengill Hall.
- The Department of History is well-regarded.
For interdisciplinary programs, the formal name uses the phrase Program in, as in the Program in Environmental Studies, the Program in African American Studies. An informal reference would be:
- The professor has joined the environmental studies program.
- Bates has an excellent Program in Environmental Studies.
When both formal and informal program styles are employed in a sentence, capitalize the names of disciplines that otherwise would be lowercased. In the example below, the words Politics, History and Anthropology were uppercased to match the capitalization of the formal program name in the first sentence:
- The series is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the Program in Classical and Medieval Studies. Additional support has been provided by the Politics and History departments.
See the Bates College Catalog for complete lists of programs and departments.
administrative departments: preferred usage is “Name-office,” e.g., Advancement office, Admission office, Dean of Students office. Also capitalize stand-alone references:
- The president involved College Advancement and Admission to create the publication.
adviser: the preferred spelling.
alphabetizing, lists and rosters: alphabetize by Bates name (the name the person had at Bates, i.e., maiden name for women) in Class Notes in Bates Magazine or in Class Letter, e.g,:
Jane Lowe Burke is a neurologist…. Katie Murphy enjoys living in Berkeley, Calif., but travels as often as possible. She toured Guatemala with Eric Romanoff…. Ashley Parker Snider has a new job as director of admissions and public relations at Bishop Diego High School in Santa Barbara, Calif…. Barbara Peskin is an instructional technology specialist in Concord, Mass.… Jim Roberts is feeling fine.
For other lists, including donor lists or memorial lists, alphabetize by current last name. Do not include courtesy titles (Dr., Ms., Mrs.) or academic degrees (Ph.D.), e.g.:
Robert L. Brown
Helen Hughes Burke
Anne Cassidy Callahan
Penelope Moskovis Caracandas
alumni, alumnus, alumna, alumnae:
- Avoid alums or alum in written Bates communications, print or digital. Alum or alums may be used in casual conversation or in written material when quoting an individual who uses the word.
- alumni (pronounced “-nie,” as in “pie,” at the end) is preferred when form describing a group including men and women or all men.
- alumnus is a male
- alumna is a female
- alumnus/a may be used when describing man/woman in gender neutral writing.
- alumnae (pronounced “-nee” at the end) is plural female.
Alumni Council: when possible refer to this group as the Alumni Council of the Alumni Association. Lowercase all references to “the council.” Note: the president of this group is the “president of the Alumni Association,” not “president of the Alumni Council”:
- Jennifer Lemkin Bouchard ’99, in her role as president of the Alumni Association, welcomed the crowd to Reunion.
Amore ac Studio: Italicize the motto of the college. The translation is “With Ardor and Devotion.” If using the motto and translation in a sentence, employ this style: The motto of Bates College is Amore ac Studio, “With Ardor and Devotion.”
Bates: the possessive is Bates’.
Batesie: Avoid in written Bates communications, print or digital because the term does not have a consistent meaning across all Bates generations. Instead: Bates students, Bates alumni, Bates parents. The term may be used in casual conversation and in written material when quoting an individual who uses the word.
Bates Magazine: The contemporary name. Founded as The Bates Alumnus, previous iterations have included The Bates Bulletin Alumnus Issue and Bates; The Alumni Magazine.
Bates Fund: Lowercase all standalone references to “the fund.” Do not capitalize “the” before the name: We give to the Bates Fund, and we look forward to giving to the fund year after year.
BatesNews: The monthly college e-newsletter produced by the Bates Communications Office is italicized.
Board of Trustees: Uppercase the full name of the Bates unicameral board, the Board of Trustees; uppercase “Trustee” as a title before a name: The award went to Trustee Mike Bonney. Lowercase in other uses: She served as a trustee from 1985 to 1990; and lowercase references to the board.
buildings: Avoid nicknames, especially the Cage for Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building or the Silo for the Benjamin E. Mays Center. On first reference in formal writing, try to use the full name of buildings. Always lowercase the name of ongoing building projects — new student housing — to avoid the visual appearance that these projects have already been named.
CBB: The accepted acronym describing any joint ventures, athletic or otherwise, involving Colby, Bates and Bowdoin colleges. Use of other acronyms (BBC, etc.) is confusing and misleading.
campaigns: Italicize references to formal fundraising campaigns: The Campaign for Bates. But, lowercase campaign in standalone use. Examples:
- We celebrate major gifts to The Campaign for Bates because they sustain excellence.
- Those who are interested in Bates should pay attention to the progress of the campaign.
Class of: capitalize references to Bates graduation classes: He is a member of the Class of ’72 or He is a member of the Class of 1972. See class years below.
class agent: lowercase
class years: See page for Bates Person Name Style.
college: Do not capitalize “the college” when the phrase is a substitution for “Bates”: I love the college, We traveled to the college.
comma: In a series, no comma prior to last item: She ate lobster, corn and cole slaw at Reunion.
committees: capitalize standing committees at Bates, whether they be committees of the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Council, or faculty: Grounds and Building Committee, Academic Standing Committee. Lowercase informal use: He’s a member of the search committee.
Commencement: capitalize names of major Bates events.
Convocation: capitalize references to the fall gathering that celebrates the beginning of the academic year.
course names: place formal course names in quotations: He took “Life, Sex, and Cells” from Sharon Kinsman. Note: use course to describe the entire unit; use class to describe individual sessions.
dean’s list: lowercase always.
emeritus/emerita: The words is used directly after the person’s rank: Professor Emeritus of History James S. Leamon ’55, or Ann B. Scott, professor emerita of music (note the rule of lowercasing a title after name). Generally, members of the faculty with 15 years of service to the College are eligible to be considered for emeritus status on retirement. Emeritus rank of a teaching faculty is always raised to full professor. For example, an associate professor of physical education becomes professor emerita (woman) or emeritus (man) of physical education. Exception: lecturers remain lecturers when granted emeriti status: Marcy Plavin is a lecturer emerita in dance (note “in” not “of”).
first-year: Hyphenate first-year when referring to both an individual member of the youngest Bates class — He’s a first-year without a care in the world — and the whole class of first-year students.
honorary degree: Bates awards the following honorary degrees:
abbreviation degree color of band on hood D.D. Doctor of Divinity red LL.D. Doctor of Laws purple L.H.D. Doctor of Humane Letters white D.F.A. Doctor of Fine Arts brown D.Sc. Doctor of Science yellow (gold) D.Lit. or Litt.D. Doctor of Letters white D.Mus. Doctor of Music pink
Capitalize the degree when writing about it: William Cronon received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at Commencement 2013.
honorary class: A Bates graduating class can bestow honorary classmate status on anyone they choose. Often, the honor is granted to non-alumni widows or widowers of classmates. In communications, the H designation is reserved for rosters and lists where communicating the person’s affiliation (alum, parent, friend, grandparent) is necessary. Use this construction: John Smith HC’55.
library: the George and Helen Ladd Library, Ladd Library, the library.
maiden name/Bates name: try to include an alumna’s Bates name: Marianne Nolan Cowan ’92, rather than Marianne Cowan ’92.
Mount David Summit: Always spell out “Mount.” This event is the annual campus-wide celebration of student academic achievement, highlighting undergraduate research; student creative work in art, dance, theater, music and film/video; projects conducted in the context of academic courses; and service-learning.
Museum of Art: refer to the college museum as the Bates College Museum of Art in first references. Second references can be to the Museum of Art or the museum. Refer to the museum’s location in the Olin Arts Center when appropriate (such as explaining where it is on campus), but always avoid constructions such as the Olin Arts Museum.
- correct: The Bates College Museum of Art is located within the Olin Arts Center.
- wrong: The Olin Art Museum is at Bates College.
Olin Arts Center Concert Hall: note correct title.
Parents & Family Association, Parents & Family Weekend: note rare use of ampersand. But, Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement.
parents: See page for Bates Person Name Style.
Physical Plant: Renamed Facility Services as of January 2012.
professor: try to use when referring to a full professor, or a group of faculty members, otherwise use assistant professor, instructor, etc.:
- correct: At Bates, students work with professors.
- correct: Bates students work with John Doe, assistant professor of history.
- correct: Bates students work with faculty members like John Doe.
- acceptable: We need to recruit a professor like John Doe.
professorships: capitalize in all uses and use the preposition in when referring to the professorship alone: The Christian A. Johnson Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies. Use the preposition of when referring to the holder: Jane Costlow, the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. When a faculty member has two appointments the endowed professorship is listed second: Carl Benton Straub, professor emeritus of religion and Clarke A. Griffith Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies.
Reunion: capitalize all references to the Bates alumni gathering in the spring. Use numbers to refer to all Reunions, including the initial one: He celebrated his 5th Reunion last year. Capitalize references to the committee that organizes a class reunion: the Reunion Committee, the Reunion Gift Committee. Lowercase in shortened references: He chaired the committee.
Senior Class Gift: references to the financial gift presented to Bates by the graduating class: the Senior Class Gift, the Senior Gift, the Class Gift, the gift.
titles, Bates: capitalize the full faculty member’s or staff member’s title before the name, lowercase after. Capitalize named/endowed professorships: John R. Cole, Thomas Hedley Reynolds Professor of History, gave a talk. Do not use “professor” or other academic or administrative title as a courtesy title.
- correct: Professor of Political Science Douglas Hodgkin met with Sawyer Sylvester, professor of sociology.
- avoid: Professor Douglas Hodgkin met with Vice President Nancy Cable.
- Exception: In a list or roster (of committee members, panel participants, etc.) titles can be uppercased, except for “student”:
William Karz ’03, student
Meg Kimmel, Associate Vice President for Bates Communications
John Pribram, Professor of Physics
transgender: According to Associated Press guidelines, when referring to transgender people “use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.”
To avoid pronoun confusion when examining the stories and backgrounds of transgender people prior to their transition, the GLAAD media guide recommends reporting on and establishing transgender people’s stories from the present day, not narrating them from some point or multiple points in the past, which could create confusion and lead to potentially disrespectful use of incorrect pronouns.
Trustee: see Board of Trustees.