At Ohio Wesleyan, how do we refer to professors and departments? When do we capitalize the word “university”? Do we use a comma before the last item in a series?

The Ohio Wesleyan University Style Guide answers these and other questions when you’re writing about OWU. If the answer to your question isn’t here, the Office of University Communications is happy to help.




Avoid abbreviations in formal text, except when part of official names. For example: Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, but Ham-Wil (with one “l”), is acceptable on first reference in internal, informal contexts.

See ampersand, degrees, months, states, and time.

academic and administrative titles

See titles.

academic courses

Capitalize proper names of courses when used with or without course numbers, but do not capitalize subject names used in a general sense.

  • Economics 345
  • Economic Growth of Modern Japan
  • an economics course

Capitalize all nouns and adjectives referring to languages, countries, and nationalities.

  • a Spanish course

academic degrees

See degrees.

academic departments and programs

Capitalize only proper nouns or adjectives in department and program names. Capitalize “department” and “program” only when part of an official name.

  • Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Politics and Government
  • Department of Politics and Government
  • the department
  • Leland F. and Helen Schubert Honors Program
  • Schubert Honors Program
  • International Studies Program
  • the program

according to

Use with documents, not people. “According to the report,” but “Professor Barbara McLeod said.”


Acceptable in all references for the college entrance examination. Do not use periods. Once an acronym for American College Testing, ACT became the official name in 1996. Avoid the redundant “ACT test.”


Abbreviate “boulevard,” “avenue,” and “street” with numbered addresses. Abbreviate directions (N., S., E., W.) in street addresses. Spell out the names of numbered streets from First through Ninth. States following cities in regular text require commas before and after.

  • Ohio Wesleyan University, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, Ohio 43015
  • They visited Lima, Ohio, on their last trip.
  • She lives at 2120 Fifth Ave.

See phone numbers and states.

Affirmative Action statement

“Ohio Wesleyan is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.”

African American

Do not hyphenate either the noun or adjective. Both “African American” and “Black” (uppercase) are acceptable in text.

  • African American students
  • African Americans


Use numerals in all instances.

  • He is 9 years old.
  • The 19-year-old student is majoring in music.

alma mater

Do not capitalize, unless used as a formal song title. AP style uses quotation marks around song titles; Chicago style italicizes them.

  • Ohio Wesleyan is his alma mater.
  • The choir sang the Alma Mater. (Chicago style)

alum, alumni

Use alum to describe a lone graduate, regardless of gender. Use alumni for a group of graduates, regardless of gender. OWU no longer uses alumnus, alumna, and alumnae.

American College Test (ACT)

ACT is acceptable in all references. Do not use periods.

American Indian

Native American also is acceptable. (But please ask about preference, when possible.)


Avoid using an ampersand unless it is part of an official title.


Make abbreviations plural by adding “s” only. No apostrophe is needed

  • IDs
  • IOUs
  • Ph.D.s.

No apostrophe is needed for decades.

  • 1990s, but ’90s. (Make sure the punctuation is facing outward – ‘90s is incorrect.)

Asian American

Do not hyphenate in either noun or adjective form.

  • Asian American students
  • Asian Americans

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Capitalize only in formal references, such as the title of the program distributed at Ohio Wesleyan's annual baccalaureate ceremony. Typically held the night before commencement, baccalaureate allows graduating seniors to celebrate their four-year spiritual and intellectual journey at Ohio Wesleyan. It is planned by students in conjunction with the Chaplain's Office.

Battling Bishops

The nickname, which dates to 1925, is always capitalized. Before then Ohio Wesleyan’s teams were known as “The Red and Black,” or sometimes “The Methodists.” Do not use the term “Lady Bishops.”

Bayley Room

Not Bailey. The room is located on the second floor of Beeghly Library.


Acceptable in all uses for the Arthur A. Belt Memorial Walkway, named for Arthur Belt ’34. This pedestrian walkway connects sports facilities with the academic side of campus. As with JAYwalk, the named part (BELT) is in all capital letters, but the pathway is lower case.

Benes Rooms

There are three Benes Rooms – A, B, and C – located in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Designate the specific room if applicable/available.


The acronym stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color.


Per Associated Press Stylebook guidelines, uppercase Black in all references to race. See also African American.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize “Board of Trustees” when referring to Ohio Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees. Do not capitalize when referring to other boards. Capitalize “Board” and “Trustees” when used alone or in any reference to the Ohio Wesleyan group.

  • Ohio Wesleyan University Board of Trustees
  • Board of Trustees (OWU implied)
  • the Board
  • the Trustees

book titles

See composition titles.

Bridge Program

Operated by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Bridge Program currently is a three-week, credit-bearing residential experience program designed to equip first-year students with the skills to thrive at OWU. It was launched in summer 2018.

broadcasting stations

Include call letters and dial numbers for radio stations.

  • WOSU-AM 820
  • WBNS-10 TV


In most instances, use only the surnames of building honorees. For example, use Mowry Alumni Center instead of Frances E. Mowry Memorial Alumni Center. Exceptions, noted below with asterisks, are based on common practice.

  • Bashford Hall (1956, for Bishop James Whitford Bashford, OWU’s fourth president.)
  • Beeghly Library (L.A. Beeghly Library, 1966, for Mr. Leon Beeghly.)
  • Bigelow-Reed House (2011, for William F. Bigelow, Class of 1905, and John Reed, Hon. 2004. The house combines learning and living opportunities for students interested in the business world.)
  • Bradford Milligan Hall (2021, for 1983 OWU graduates Kathryn Bradford Milligan and John F. Milligan and their families. The 124-bed apartment building opened for students in August 2021. Built as part of OWU's Residential Renewal initiative, it is the university's first on-campus apartment building and is intended as senior housing. A student convenience store, the Bishop Market, is located on the first floor of the building.)
  • * Branch Rickey Arena (Branch Rickey Physical Education Center, 1976, for Mr. Rickey, Class of 1904. The building was renovated in 2020 with new flooring, bleachers, scoreboards, lighting, sound system, HVAC, and concession stand.)
  • Chappelear Drama Center (1972, for Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Chappelear.) It includes the Main Stage and Studio Theatre performance venues.
  • * R.W. Corns Building (Renovated and renamed in 2000 with funding from Evan Corns ’59 in memory of his father.)
  • Jim and Eilleen Dicke House (2017, a Small Living Unit (SLU) duplex funded with a gift from James F. Dicke II and Janet S. Dicke and named in honor of his parents. Note the proper spelling of Eilleen includes two l's and two e's.)
  • Dittrick House (2016, SLU duplex funded with a gift from Doug Dittrick '55.)
  • Edgar Hall (Renovated in 2001, named for E.E. Edgar, friend of the university.)
  • Elliott Hall (1835, for The Rev. Charles Elliott. Note the proper spelling includes two l’s and two t’s.)
  • Edwards Gymnasium (1906, for John Edwards, OWU Board of Trustees member in the late 1890s and early 1900s.)
  • George Gauthier Track (Named for George E. Gauthier, OWU’s athletics director from 1921 to 1955.)
  • Gillespie Honors House (2017, funded with a gift from Robert W. Gillespie '66 and his wife, Ann L. Wible Gillespie '67.)
  • Gordon Field House (Richard Gordon Field House, 1976, for Mr. Gordon ’62.)
  • Gray Chapel (This space is located inside University Hall. The building should not be called Gray Chapel. Note the proper spelling of the space is Gray, not Grey.)
  • Hamilton-Williams Campus Center (1991, in honor of the mother of David Hamilton Smith ’53. The building houses Peale Chapel, named in memory of OWU alumnus the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, Class of 1920.)
  • Haycock Hall (2001, in honor of Ebb Haycock, fine arts professor emeritus. The hall is informally called the 3D arts building.)
  • Hayes Hall (Lucy Webb Hayes Hall, 1963, after OWU’s first coed and former U.S. first lady, wife of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.)
  • Butler A. Jones House of Black Culture (Rebuilt 2019, named for former the professor who taught at Ohio Wesleyan from 1952 to 1969. This themed house was created in 1971 and named in honor of Jones in 1994.)
  • Littick Field (1969, for Clay Littick, Class of 1915, who was elected into OWU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1966.)
  • Luttinger Family Tennis Center (2011, gift from Todd Luttinger, father of 2010 OWU alumnus Brandon Luttinger.)
  • Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center (2010, for Phillip J. and Nancy La Porte Meek, Class of 1959. This facility has 90 geothermal wells that help to heat and cool the building. It has been awarded LEED Silver Certification.)
  • Merrick Hall (1873, for Frederick Merrick, OWU’s second president. Closed for nearly 30 years, the building was renovated with an anonymous $8 million gift and reopened in August 2015.)
  • Mills Early Childhood Center (Mills Early Childhood Development Center, 1961, gift of Charles B. Mills, Class of 1919.)
  • Mowry Alumni Center (Frances E. Mowry Memorial Alumni Center, 1986, gift of E.J. Benes and Mrs. France E. Mowry Benes ’32.)
  • Panhellenic House (2017, housing women from each of the university’s National Panhellenic sororities.)
  • Perkins Observatory (1924, for creator Hiram Mills Perkins, OWU professor of mathematics and astronomy.)
  • Phillips Hall (1958, gift of Ellis and Kathryn Sisson Phillips, Class of 1901.)
  • Presser Hall (1980, located inside Sanborn Hall.)
  • Pritchard House (1959, gift of Helen Pritchard, Class of 1911.)
  • Richard M. Ross Art Museum (2002, for Richard M. Ross, photographer and founder of Ross Laboratories.)
  • Roy Rike Field (Built in 1934 by Delaware City Schools. Purchased by Ohio Wesleyan in 1964 and renamed in honor of E. Roy Rike ’62.)
  • Sanborn Hall (1909, by Anna Sanborn Clason, Class of 1859, in memory of her mother, Martha A. Sanborn, and her brother, Benjamin F. Sanborn. The hall contains the 229-seat Jemison Auditorium.)
  • Schimmel/Conrades Science Center (2004, for Paul ’62 and Cleo Ritz ’62 Schimmel, and for George ’61 and Patsy Belt ’63 Conrades.)
  • Selby Field (Selby Stadium, 1929, for George D. Selby, an OWU Trustee for 24 years.)
  • Simpson Querrey Fitness Center (2015, for Louis A. Simpson ’58 and his wife, Kimberly K. Querrey. The building was created with a full renovation of the former Pfeiffer Memorial Building (1953, for Mrs. Henry C. Pfeiffer). The building housed the university’s swimming pool (natatorium) prior to the 2010 opening of the Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center.)
  • Sloan House (2018, SLU duplex funded with a gift from OWU parents Tim and Lisa Sloan.)
  • Slocum Hall (1898, for Dr. Charles E. Slocum.) The building underwent an $11.25 million renovation in 2021-2022, transforming it into the Home of the OWU Connection. The project was supported by a $10 million anonymous gift, the largest single gift in Ohio Wesleyan history.
  • Smith Hall (1968, for Elden T. Smith ’32, OWU’s 11th president, and Betty Nilson Smith ’36. The residence hall contains two wings, Smith East and Smith West. It was completely renovated between 2019 and 2021 as part of OWU's Residential Renewal initiative. It houses incoming first-year students.)
  • Student Observatory (1897)
  • Sturges Hall (1855, for William Sturges.)
  • Stuyvesant Hall (1930, gift of Frank E. Stuyvesant. The building, informally referred to as Stuy, underwent a 15-month, $14-million donor-funded renovation in 2011-2012. The residence hall has been awarded LEED Silver Certification. It houses Student Health Services and includes the McCluggage Lounge and Carper Family Room, named with gifts from Michael L. McCluggage '69 and Jean E. Carper '53, respectively.)
  • Thomson Hall (1954, for Bishop Edward Thomson, OWU’s first president.)
  • University Hall (University Hall-Gray Chapel, 1893, for David Gray, Ohio pioneer minister.)
  • Welch Hall (Welch Honor Hall, 1963, for Bishop Herbert Welch, OWU's fifth president.)
  • Willa B. Player Black Resource Center (Named in recognition of Player, a 1929 OWU graduate and the university’s first Black female trustee. Located in Stuyvesant Hall.)

bulleted lists

Keep punctuation for bulleted lists at a minimum. Begin each item with a capital letter. End individual bullet points with a period only if each point is a complete sentence. It is not necessary to include “and” before the last item in the list.

In its interaction with students, Ohio Wesleyan University seeks to:

  • Impart knowledge
  • Develop and enhance certain important capabilities of students
  • Place education in the context of values

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Camp Oh-Wooo

Dating back to 2017-2018, the three-day Camp Oh-Wooo orientation program helps incoming students to meet each other, current students, and OWU employees to help ensure a smooth transition. It is operated through the Division of Student Engagement and Success.


Do not capitalize. The 200-acre Ohio Wesleyan campus is located in downtown Delaware.


Per Associated Press (AP) style, use the one ‘l’ spelling of this word.


Per Associated Press (AP) style, do not capitalize “university” or similar words in news releases when these words stand alone to refer to Ohio Wesleyan University or its programs. Capitalize the official names of conferences, courses, lectures, etc.

  • The Benjamin F. Marsh Lecture Series on Public Affairs, Marsh Lecture Series, the lecture series
  • Sagan National Colloquium, the colloquium

Names of seasons, academic periods, and one-time events generally are not capitalized.

  • fall semester
  • spring break
  • registration


In an exception to AP style, use “chair” in all cases instead of chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson.

chairs and professorships

Capitalize the titles of named chairs and professorships whether used alone or after an individual’s name.

  • Robert O. Harmon, Ph.D., the Perkins-Howard Professor of Physics and Astronomy


In a longstanding exception to AP style, use the serial comma (the final comma before “and,” “or,” or “nor”) in a list of three or more items.

  • first, second, and third place

If items in the series contain commas themselves, use semicolons between all items.

  • The documents are dated May 7, 1920; June 12, 1935; and July 4, 1941.

When following a person’s name, qualifiers such as Ph.D. and M.D. are preceded by a comma. A second comma follows the qualifier in regular text.

  • Rock Jones, Ph.D.
  • Opening remarks by Jim Franklin, Ph.D., set the tone for the conference.

When giving the time, date, and location of an event – which is the preferred order – do not use a comma between the time and date.

  • The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. May 12, 2022, in Benes Room C inside Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware, Ohio 43015.

Commas appear after, not before, an expression in parentheses (like this), and they always go inside quotation marks, except when a quotation mark indicates inches.


Capitalize only in formal references, such as the title of the program distributed at Ohio Wesleyan's annual graduation ceremony. For many years, the ceremony was held on Mother's Day, but, beginning in May 2017, commencement was moved from Sunday to Saturday. The event is held on Merrick Lawn in front of Merrick Hall. Ohio Wesleyan holds one commencement each academic year including graduates who completed their degrees in summer, fall, and spring.

composition titles

Follow Associated Press style or Chicago style as appropriate for your audience.

  • AP style calls for quotation marks around the titles of books, except for the Bible and reference books, including catalogs, almanacs, dictionaries, etc. AP also calls for quotation marks around the titles of computer games, movies, operas, plays, poems, songs, television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art. AP capitalizes but does not use quotation marks (or italics) with the names of newspapers and magazines.
  • Chicago style calls for italics in nearly all of these instances, but would use quotation marks around the titles of individual poems, lectures, and speeches.

course listings / titles

Each course has a course number and course title, which is always capitalized (even if the course is referred to without the number). There is no punctuation between the course number and course title.

  • Math 105 Basic Probability and Statistics

course work

Two words.

curriculum / curricula

Curriculum is singular; curricula are plural.

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One word.


Always spell out days of the week and use numerals for years. Use no punctuation if listing just a month and year, but set the year off with commas in exact dates. AP preferred style for event listings is time, date, and place in that order. Do not use an apostrophe with the 1990s, the 1980s, etc., but use an apostrophe with, for example, the ’90s.

See months.

decision making, decision-making

Two words as a noun; hyphenated as an adjective.


Capitalize the main words in the names of degrees when they are spelled out and capitalize abbreviations of degrees. Abbreviation of the degree name is acceptable on first reference. (Note: There are no spaces between elements and periods are used for degrees abbreviated with two letters but typically not those with three letters.)

  • Bachelor of Arts = B.A.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts = BFA
  • Bachelor of Music=B.M. 
  • Bachelor of Science = B.S.
  • Doctor of Laws = LL.D.
  • Doctor of Philosophy = Ph.D.
  • Executive Doctor of Management = EDM
  • Master of Arts = M.A.
  • Master of Fine Arts = MFA
  • Master of Business Administration = MBA
  • Master of Science = M.S.

Do not capitalize academic degrees used in a general sense. Note that bachelor’s and master’s end in ’s. Also note that there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. (Bachelor's of Arts and Master’s of Science are incorrect.)

  • an associate degree
  • a bachelor’s degree
  • a master’s degree
  • a doctoral degree or a doctorate

In references to degrees, the word “degree” is never capitalized.

  • She earned her Master of Music degree.

department names

Capitalize the full, formal names of departments, but lowercase shortened or informal versions.

  • the Department of Politics and Government
  • the politics and government department

See academic departments and capitalization.


Per The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, avoid the honorific title “Dr.” in reference to an academic who has earned a doctorate, unless "Dr." is part of a direct quote. Instead, use Ph.D. (or appropriate degree designation) following the name. If "Dr." is used, never use Dr. and the degree designation in the same reference; it’s redundant. (To verify the terminal degree of OWU faculty, refer to the Course Catalog. Do not assume that everyone with a doctorate has a Ph.D.)

  • Amy Downing, Ph.D., spoke at the ceremony.
  • Frank Chiou, DMA, performed a recital.

drop / add

Lowercase references to the drop/add procedure, which occurs during the first two weeks of each semester.

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Do not hyphenate “email,” per The Associated Press Stylebook, but hyphenate other technological business references, including “e-business,” “e-book,” and “e-commerce.” Note the lowercase “e.”


Use the three-dot sequence to indicate that something has been left out of a sentence or passage. Leave a space before and after the dot sequence. If a sentence ends (or is cut off) right before the ellipsis, leave in the punctuation that would have ended the sentence.

  • The prerequisite class … is required for all students.
  • As the saying goes: When in Rome … .


Emeritus is the singular, masculine form. For references to women, use emerita (singular) or emeritae (plural). Emeriti may serve as the plural for a group composed of men only or both men and women. Emeritus is lowercase in all forms (unless used before a name as a formal title). Note that it follows the noun.

  • professor emerita of art
  • professors emeriti
  • faculty emeriti

Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action

See Affirmative Action.

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Faculty can be plural or singular depending on whether the word is used to describe the group as a whole (singular) or to describe its members individually (plural). To avoid confusion, rewrite the sentence to avoid a plural verb or use faculty members.



first-generation (or "first-gen")

The terms “first-generation” or “first-gen” student(s) are lowercase and hyphenated.


The terms “first-year” or “incoming” student(s) are preferred instead of freshmen. When used as an adjective – first-year student – it is lowercase and hyphenated.


The preferred term is flyer for printed promotional material.

foreign students

The phrase “international students” is preferred.

fraternal groups

Capitalize the names of fraternities and sororities, but not the words “fraternity,” “sorority,” or “chapter.”

  • The Ohio Wesleyan chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi received the Grand Senior President’s Award for best fraternity chapter in the nation.

freshman, freshmen

See first-year.

full time / full-time

Hyphenate as an adjective before the noun; otherwise use two words.

  • He works full time in the office.
  • He is a full-time worker.

fundraiser / fundraising

Both are one word, not hyphenated, in all instances.

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Global Scholars Institute / Global Scholars Program

Ohio Wesleyan's Global Studies Institute is the collaborative hub where scholars from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts converge to explore ideas and issues that span national boundaries, tackle challenges from their varied perspectives, and develop solutions for real world problems. The Global Scholars Program was created in 2017 as part of the institute. In 2020, the program was endowed as The Thomas W. Palmer ’69 and Susan Palmer Global Scholars Program.

grade point average (GPA)

Do not hyphenate. Do not use periods in abbreviation (GPA). Use all caps. Spell out grade point average on first reference, and then use GPA on subsequent references.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Abbreviate after the first full reference. Do not use periods.

graduates with honors

Italicize but do not capitalize:

  • summa cum laude
  • magna cum laude
  • cum laude

graduation years

In general, list at the end of a person’s full name, with no commas before or after. If writing about husband-and-wife alumni, follow the example below or rewrite. List the full graduation year if needed to avoid confusion, such as 1907 v. 2007.

  • George Conrades ’61
  • Patsy Belt Conrades ’63
  • George Conrades ’61 and Patsy Belt Conrades ’63 


One word as adjective or noun. Always lowercase.

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health care

Two words, no hyphen, both nouns and adjectives. Always lowercase.

  • She has health care at the company where she works.
  • She has high health care costs.


Capitalize Hispanic. Use “Hispanic American” with no hyphen when the term is needed.


One word when referring to the landing page of an internet website. Always lowercase.

Honors Program

The official name is the Leland F. and Helen Schubert Honors Program. Note the capital “P.”


Use “https://” only if needed for clarity, such as addresses without “www.”



Use as few hyphens as possible. Use hyphens in compound adjectives to prevent misreading.

  • The state-level review panel decided.

If compound adjectives are commonly used, a hyphen is not necessary.

  • high school student
  • top 10 research university

Do not use hyphens with “very” and “ly” words.

  • an early morning lecture
  • a very dark sky

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international students

The phrase “international students” is preferable to “foreign students.” Both are lowercase unless part of a proper name.


It is no longer necessary to capitalize “internet” or “web,” as both have become common terms.

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Acceptable in all uses for the James A. Young Memorial Walkway. Young’s initials provide the JAYwalk’s distinctive name. Note that the named portion (JAY) is in all capital letters, but the pathway (walk) is lower case.

Jannuzi Dance Studio

The 2,425-square-foot dance studio is named in memory of Margaret Moltrup Jannuzi, OWU Class of 1933, and her husband, Eugene F. Jannuzi (both deceased). It opened in 2015 inside Edwards Gymnasium.

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Spell out as part of an official name or on first reference, except in a direct quote. “Lab” is acceptable as a second reference. AP style: Only capitalize “laboratory” or “lab” when used with a laboratory’s full name. Lowercase in all other circumstances.

For example: We purchased new lab equipment.


Capitalize the main words in the official names of campus landmarks.

  • Slocum Reading Room
  • Sulphur Spring


The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual.


See Beeghly Library.

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majors and minors

Do not capitalize names of schools, college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, major areas, minors, major subjects, or programs unless a specific course is being referred to or if using names of countries, nationalities, historical periods, and languages.

  • a student majoring in political science
  • He is an English major and history minor.

See academic courses.

Midwest, Midwestern

Uppercase references to the Midwest of the United States.


Follow the style most appropriate for your audience. Chicago style spells out months in all uses. AP style calls for abbreviating longer months when used with exact dates. AP abbreviations are: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. AP never abbreviates March, April, May, June, or July.

  • The event will be held Jan. 3, 2008. (AP)

See dates.


One word.

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National Collegiate Athletic Association

Use National Collegiate Athletic Association on first reference (or second reference, if using the full name in the lead sentence is too cumbersome) and NCAA on subsequent references. NCAA is preferred in headlines.

Native American

“American Indian” is also acceptable. Always capitalize both words. (Ask about preference, when possible.)


One word.


One word (unless “non” modifies a hyphenated phrase).

  • nondegree student
  • non-degree-granting program


One word.

nonsexist language

Avoid words and usage that reinforce sexist stereotypes. Do not use “he” as an all-inclusive pronoun. “He or she” can be used, but the following solutions are preferable:

  • Change the subject to the plural and use “they,” making sure there is verb/noun agreement.
  • Change the singular third-person reference (he/she) to the second person (you).
  • Use neutral words to replace personal pronouns (such as “one” or “several”).
  • Repeat the noun or use a synonym.
  • Revise the sentence to eliminate the pronoun altogether. See chairman, chairwoman; freshmanfreshmen.


One word.

North Coast Athletic Conference

Use North Coast Athletic Conference on first (or second) reference and NCAC on subsequent references. Ohio Wesleyan is a charter member of the North Coast Athletic Conference, which began competition in the 1984-85 academic year. NCAC is preferred in headlines.


Spell out numbers one through nine, except in ages, sports scores, and percentages. Use numerals for 10 or more and for fractions; spell out numbers that begin a sentence or rewrite the sentence.

  • Exception: Big Ten.

Spell out numbers 10 and above in special cases involving formal invitations and in sequences such as “one through ten.”

  • Last year, two of four students participated.
  • Between six and 11 students would go to the interview.
  • In 1986, more than 45 students received presidential awards.

In running text, when referring to dollar amounts in millions, use the numeral and million, rather than zeros.

  • $6 million (not $6,000,000) Note that the $ also makes it unnecessary to include the word “dollars.”

See addresses, ordinals, percent, and phone numbers.

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off campus

Two words, but hyphenate as an adjective before a noun. Always lowercase.

  • Ed lives off campus.
  • Ed has an off-campus apartment.

Ohio Wesleyan University

After the first full reference to Ohio Wesleyan University, the following references are acceptable:

  • Ohio Wesleyan
  • the university (AP style)
  • the University (Chicago style)

Do not use “Wesleyan” on its own and do not use “OWU” as a noun to refer to Ohio Wesleyan University in formal documents. OWU is acceptable as an adjective and in headlines. For informal, internal uses OWU may be used as a noun.

on campus

Two words, but hyphenate as an adjective before a noun.

  • Sylvia works on campus.
  • Sylvia has an on-campus job.


One word.


Write out first through ninth. Use numerals for 10th and higher (11th, 22nd, 53rd).


OWU ALERT is an emergency notification system used to notify the campus about emergency situations as well as severe weather conditions/closings. All students and employees are enrolled automatically with their OWU email addresses and their cell phones of record with the university. The system supports telephone, email, and text messages, and students and employees are able to add other contacts, such as parents and spouses. For additional enrollment information, visit the myOWU portal.

OWU Campus Store

Ohio Wesleyan's bookstore is located on the lower level of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Since summer 2022, the store has been operated by Barnes & Noble College. OWU also is part of BNC's First Day Complete program, which gets students their books and e-books in time for the first day of classes each semester. 

OWU Connection

The OWU Connection is Ohio Wesleyan's unique approach to liberal arts in the 21st century. It helps students to think big (understand issues from multiple academic disciplines), go global (gain international perspective), do good (volunteer to help others), and get real (translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience). In 2022, Ohio Wesleyan's faculty approved fully incorporating the OWU Connection into the university's curriculum. 

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Use % when paired with numerals, no space. Spell out percent (and the numbers) when starting a sentence.

  • They asked 50% of the students.
  • Ten percent of the campus attended.

phone numbers

Use parentheses around the area code and hyphens between the three- and four-digit numbers.

  • (740) 368-2000


One word, lowercase p.


One word.


One word.


Ohio Wesleyan University’s 16th president is Rock Jones, Ph.D. Per his preference, use Rock (vs. Rockwell) for his first name, even on first reference. Capitalize president when used as a title before a name, lowercase afterward.

  • The speakers included President Rock Jones.
  • The alumni heard remarks from Rock Jones, president.


Capitalize the titles of professorships whether used alone or after an individual’s name.

  • Emmanuel K. Twesigye, Ph.D., the Aden S. and Wollam Benedicts Professor of Christian Studies


Borrowing language from the American Psychological Association, Ohio Wesleyan "supports the choice of communities to determine their own descriptors. Thus, when transgender and gender nonconforming people ... use the singular they as their pronoun, writers should likewise use the singular they when writing about them."

Public Safety

The department is located in Welch Hall. Uppercase in all references to the department.

  • Public Safety recommends always locking doors when leaving dorm rooms vacant.

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quotation marks

In regular text, commas and periods always go inside the end quotation mark. Colons and semicolons always go outside the end quotation mark. Exclamation marks and question marks can go inside or outside the quotation mark depending on usage; place inside if it applies to the quoted matter, outside if it applies to the whole sentence.

  • Who wrote “The Raven”?
  • He asked, “How long will it take?”
  • Do not use quotes around words for emphasis.

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Do not use a hyphen when referring to a “top 10” or “top 25” program. The word “top” is not capitalized in this usage unless it is part of a proper name.

  • She hopes to stay in the top 10 of her class.

Red and Black

Uppercase when referring to the Battling Bishops. Lowercase when referring to the colors.

  • She always roots for the Red and Black.
  • She always wears red and black to the games.

Rexford Keller Memorial Concert Organ

Located in University Hall’s Gray Chapel, the organ is the largest of six Klais organs in the country. It is a four manual tracker action organ with 82 ranks, 55 stops, and 4,644 pipes.


Use accent marks if possible. Always lowercase.

room numbers

Capitalize room when used with a number, letter, or proper name.

  • The lecture will be held in Room 161 of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center.
  • The event will be held in Benes Room A of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

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Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

SAT is acceptable on first reference. Do not use periods. Avoid the redundant “SAT test.”


Ohio Wesleyan’s academic year consists of two semesters – fall and spring – with each semester traditionally lasting 16 weeks. The university also offers a five- and 10-week summer session classes. Always lowercase.

Small Grant Program

Part of the OWU Connection, these university-funded grants typically provide up to $750 in funding to support academic, research, internship, and service experiences on a smaller scale than Theory-to-Practice Grants.

Small Living Units (SLUs)

Capitalize the first letter of each word. SLUs (note the lack of an apostrophe) are themed houses serving as residences for small groups of students. There are eight SLUs:

  • Citizens of the World House, commonly referred to as the CoW House
  • Creative Arts House (CAH)
  • House of Linguistic Diversity (HOLD)
  • Interfaith House (IF)
  • Sexuality and Gender Equality House (SAGE) 
  • Service, Engagement, and Leadership House (SEAL) 
  • Tree House (Trouse)


These donor-funded duplex-style dwellings each house two Small Living Units of 12 students each. Ohio Wesleyan's first SLUplex opened in fall 2016. Three of the current SLUplexes are named:

  • The Dittrick House, named in recognition of alumnus and building donor Doug Dittrick '55.
  • The Jim and Eilleen Dicke House, named in recognition of his parents by donor James F. Dicke II and his wife, Janet S. Dicke.
  • The Sloan House, funded with a gift from OWU parents Tim and Lisa Sloan.

spring, spring semester

Lowercase references to seasons and academic periods.


Spell them out in all instances except mailing addresses.

  • He is a senior from Huntington Beach, California.


The term is hyphenated.

summer, summer session

Lowercase references to seasons and academic periods. Don’t capitalize “session.”

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Theory to Practice / Theory-to-Practice

Hyphenate and capitalize “Theory-to-Practice” when used as the formal name of OWU’s Theory-to-Practice Grant Program. The program is part of the OWU Connection and allows students, faculty, and staff to apply for competitive university-funded grants to support academic, research, internship, and service experiences. (Do not use “TiPiT,” an outdated acronym that stands for Theory into Practice into Theory.) The phrase "theory to practice" is lowercase when not part of a proper name and hyphenated based on usage.

  • A Theory-to-Practice Grant recipient
  • An example of theory-to-practice learning
  • An example of translating theory to practice


Use numerals in all cases and omit the zeros for on-the-hour times. Use periods and lowercase letters for a.m. and p.m. To avoid confusion, use noon and midnight instead of 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 1-3 p.m.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. to noon

For consistency, most newspapers report event information by time, date, and place – in that order. Do not use a comma between the time and date.

  • The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.


Capitalize titles when they immediately precede a personal name. Titles following a personal name or used alone in place of a name are lowercase. Capitalize titles used in lists if they appear line for line as in an address.

  • Provost Karlyn Crowley
  • Karlyn Crowley, provost
  • Karlyn Crowley is Ohio Wesleyan's provost.

See composition titles.

top 10

No hyphen is used in either the compound noun or adjective.

  • She hopes to stay in the top 10 of her class.
  • The top 10-ranked program attracts many students.

travel-learning / Travel-Learning

Hyphenate when used as an adjective. Capitalize and hyphenate when referring to Travel-Learning Courses, part of the OWU Connection. Travel-Learning Courses feature a semester in the classroom followed by a short faculty-led trip to help students connect academic instruction with first-hand experiential learning.

  • Ohio Wesleyan offers many opportunities for travel learning.
  • She considers travel-learning experiences to be an important part of any college curriculum.
  • Ohio Wesleyan will offer 15 Travel-Learning Courses during the upcoming academic year.

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The Associated Press now uses this as one word in all instances.

United States, U.S.

Use United States (or United States of America) as the proper noun; use U.S. as the adjective.


Lowercase “university” when it stands alone in reference to Ohio Wesleyan.

See Ohio Wesleyan University.


Lowercase, hyphenated.

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Spell out in regular usage, but vs. may be used in short, common expressions. Use v. for court cases.

  • She is debating the merits of applying for a Theory-to-Practice Grant versus enrolling in a Travel-Learning Course.
  • The classic argument is guns vs. butter.
  • He’s the prosecutor in Smith v. Jones.

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Webpage, website, webstream

Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, The

Note the lack of a serial comma and the use of "The." The mission of the center, founded in 1985, is to "enhance academic programs and provide real-world opportunities to create future generations of business and world leaders." The Woltemade Center is named in honor of the late Uwe J. Woltemade, Ph.D., an OWU economics faculty member from 1965 to 1995. 

World Wide Web

Three words, no hyphens, always all initial caps. On second reference, use the “web” or “internet,” both lowercase.

See internet.

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Use numerals and an apostrophe when abbreviating to indicate class year. Use the full year when needed to ensure clarity, such as 1904 vs. 2004. When the graduating year follows a person’s name, the year does not need to be set off by commas.

  • Branch Rickey 1904
  • Class of ’63 (note capital C)
  • Marie A. Rymut ’07
  • 2017-2018 academic year

Decades may be referred to in any of the following ways. (Note: no apostrophe is needed for 1990s, 1980s, etc.)

  • the 1990s
  • the ’90s
  • the nineties

year in school

Do not capitalize the words “freshman,” “sophomore,” “junior,” “senior” when they refer to the year in which a course is to be taken or to the classification of the student. Also, note that first-year student is preferable to freshman.

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ZIP code

Do not use a comma between the state and ZIP code in addresses.

  • Delaware, Ohio 43015

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Contact Info


Office of University Communications
Panhellenic House (4 Williams Dr.)
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3335
F 740-368-3332