Le Fer Hall - exterior - southwest

This style guide is a reference for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College faculty, staff and students designed to promote Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, its departments, and its programs.

The goal is to present a consistent brand and standard of writing to appropriately reflect Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. The Office of Marketing and Communications follows the Associate Press Style Guide. The following is a list of specific references, which in some instances differs from the Associated Press Style Guide.

When Referring to the College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Name

  • Mary’s is not appropriate in any instance.
  • Always spell out Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and hyphenate Mary-of-the-Woods.
  • SMWC is appropriate for a second reference if parenthetically indicated following the first reference. On second reference and when obviously referring to SMWC, the College may be used.

College: Always capitalize college when making reference to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

The Woods: Always capitalize “The” when making reference to SMWC as The Woods.

Common Phrases and Word Usage

Ages (also see numbers): Always use figures. Do not use half ages; round them off.  Hyphenate an age if it is being used as an adjective.  If an age is the first word of a sentence, it should be spelled out.

Apostrophes: Use a closed apostrophe (’) with the names of alumni and their class years. For example, Mary Elizabeth Jones ’80 attends Reunion each year.

The Avenue: Always capitalize the when making reference to the main entrance to campus.

Aurora: The biannual literary magazine published by students under the direction of a faculty member.

Boards: Capitalize Board of Trustees and Alumni Board.  Use “the board” lowercase on second reference.

College: Always capitalize college when making reference to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Composition Titles: The titles of books, plays, movies, television shows, poems, computer games, radio shows, operas, albums, songs, lectures, speeches and works of art should be written between quotes. Do not put these titles in italics. Do not put newspaper or magazine titles in quotes or italics. Do not capitalize newspaper or magazine unless it is in the title.

Chair: Use chair with regard to College employees or trustees. Jane Doe, chair of the financial aid committee.

Dates: Do not use st, nd, rd or th when referring to a date. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out the rest of the months. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas. Spell out each month when used alone or only with a year.

Degrees: Do not refer to an academic degree with a courtesy title, such as referring to a Ph.D. as Dr. Use an apostrophe and lowercase bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but capitalize and remove the apostrophe when writing Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. There is no apostrophe in associate degree. Always use periods and set off with commas after a name.

Le Fer: Must include a space. Not LeFer.

Mary Fendrich Hulman Hall for the Arts and Sciences: Always use the full name on the first reference. Hulman Hall is appropriate for subsequent references.

Master of Art in Art Therapy: MAAT appropriate for a second reference if parenthetically indicated following the first reference.

Master of Leadership Development: Always use the full name on the first reference. MLD appropriate for a second reference if parenthetically indicated following the first reference.

Mary Hulman George School of Equine Studies: Always use the full name on the first reference. School of Equine Studies is appropriate for subsequent references.

Names: Names are always written in the following order: first, nickname, maiden name, married name, religious affiliation, the year of SMWC graduation and academic title. For example: Rosemary Nudd, SP, ’69, Ph.D.

Saint: Saint is never abbreviated. For example, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Sister of Providence: Abbreviated SP (no periods) as the congregation mandates.

Telephone numbers: For general use, follow AP guidelines. Printed publications will use the format 812-535- 5151.

Theatre: Use the spelling theatre not theater when making reference to the academic program at The Woods.

The Woods: Always capitalize the when making reference to SMWC as The Woods.

The Woods Conference Center: The Woods Conference Center is the official name for the conference center located in Mary Fendrich Hulman Hall for the Arts and Sciences.

Woods Online: Always capitalized and separate both words with a space when referring to the Woods Online program.

Departments and Individuals

Names of Departments and Offices: Always capitalize departments and offices. Always refer to each as the “Department of” or “Office of.”

Administrative and Professional Titles: Capitalize formal administrative and professional titles before names.

Example: President Jane Doe, Dean Jane Doe, Associate Professor John Doe, Trustee John Doe, Coach Doe.

EXCEPTIONS – lowercase

  • When the title comes before the name, but is separated by a comma, use lowercase.

Example: The department presented the award to dean, Jane Doe.

  • For words that are not formal titles, but are descriptions, use lowercase, even when they come before the name (e.g., department head Jane Doe, astronaut Jane Doe). Note that a formal title generally denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic accomplishment so specific that the designation becomes as much an integral part of an individual’s identity as a proper name itself (e.g., President Clinton). Other titles serve primarily as occupational descriptions. If in doubt, set the name or the title off with commas (e.g., John Doe, coach of the women’s tennis team).
  • Lowercase titles after names (e.g., John Smith, president of the College; Jane Doe, dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics; John Doe, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship; Jane Smith, trustee). In general, titles containing more than four words should come after the name.

EXCEPTION – capitalize

  • Capitalize the title when it is a named professorship (e.g., Jane Smith, Hales Professor of Ethics, spoke; John Doe, Mary Belle Higgins Howe Chair in English, attended the seminar). Named professorships are often, but not always, created by and named for the donor of the funds setting up the endowment that supports it; it is also called a chair.

Lowercase titles when a name is not used – the president, the dean, the director of annual fund.


  • When a text passage describes more than one person with the same last name, first names may be used.
  • In short blocks of copy (e.g., in formal event programs), courtesy titles may be used.

When appropriate, use academic degrees after a name on first reference only  John Doe, Ph.D., teaches chemistry. Doe is our favorite professor). Titles that serve as occupational descriptions rather than proper titles are lowercase (e.g., chemistry professor John Doe, coach Jane Smith).

When a title applies to only one person in an organization, use the word the in a construction that uses commas (e.g., John Smith, the deputy vice president, spoke). Don’t combine administrative titles with academic titles before a name (i.e., do not use Dean Professor Jane Doe).

Use whatever title the group uses for its leader. Example chairman, chairwoman, chair, chairperson, chair holder and vice chair are not hyphenated.

Director of athletics
The formal title is director of athletics. Do not capitalize athletics director in any instance.

Emeritus, emerita, emeriti
The title of emeritus is not synonymous with retired; it is an honor bestowed on a small number of retired faculty and should be included in the title. Feminine, emerita; plural for both, emeriti. The word may precede or follow professor. Example: John Doe is an emeritus professor of business; Jane Doe, professor emerita at the College).

Modifiers to titles
Do not capitalize qualifying words in the title (e.g., former President Bush, acting Mayor John Doe, interim Dean Jane Doe).

The basic academic titles include assistant professor, associate professor, professor, visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor and visiting professor.