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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Author: jnweaver


do not use to refer to a disability: use accessible parking (without the word handicapped), accessible restrooms, accessible building

Varjian, Leon

the late student-government leader who was the vice president of the Pail and Shovel Party, which was responsible for the plastic flamingos on Bascom Hill in fall 1979 and the Statue of Liberty on the lake later, among other pranks

Mallon, Jim

the student-government leader who was the president of the Pail and Shovel Party, which was responsible for the plastic flamingos on Bascom Hill in fall 1979 and the Statue of Liberty on the lake later, among other pranks; graduation year is ’79


do not include credentials or degrees (PhD, MD, FASLA, FAAN, CFP, and the like) after names unless the person, school, or college is adamant about it

UW Spirit Squad

UW–Madison’s squad comprises the dance team, cheerleaders, and Bucky Badger mascots; on second reference, use Spirit Squad or the squad; lowercase other schools’ spirit squads


for place names with Saint, Fort, Mount, and the like, write out the words except where space is at a premium: Fort Myers, Mount Airy; see CMS 10.30

Wisconsin Alumni Association® (WAA)

WAA (never the WAA) is preferred on second reference, but the association is acceptable

Usage of the registered mark:

  • use ® only when the full name is written out, only once, and on the first reference (or first “convenient” reference)
  • punctuation follows the ®
  • do not use it in running text in On Wisconsin, Badger Insiderthe Flamingle, articles submitted for publication elsewhere, the body of press releases, mailing addresses, envelopes, or letterhead
  • do use it in the mastheads of On Wisconsin, Badger Insider, and the Flamingle; the contact listing and final About WAA paragraphs in press releases; the masthead and last paragraph of newsletters; ads and other promotional materials
  • if a marketing vehicle has several pieces, use the ® on the first reference in each piece
  • do not use superscript online or with emails, but generally superscript is preferred if it’s readable

Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)

the logo uses an ampersand, but use and in running text; WFAA (never the WFAA) is acceptable on second reference. WAA’s merger with the UW Foundation was effective July 1, 2014. The blended organization is now called the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA). Both WAA and UWF also maintain their separate brand identities to external alumni and donor audiences

website (URL) addresses

test every site before publishing it; use the shortest version that works; use roman type without brackets; put a period at the end if it falls at the end of a sentence; delete the http:// and www portions of the address; do not hyphenate a word within a web address unless it actually has a hyphen; if necessary, break it after a slash or period that is part of the address; do not insert any characters or punctuation; see CMS 7.46

Ward, David

former UW chancellor who returned as interim (or “encore”) chancellor; degree years are MS’62, PhD’63; do not confuse him with David J. Ward ’65, MBA ’67, PhD ’72, a former senior vice president of academic affairs for the UW System; see also Ward, Judith

Ward, Judith

the spouse of the former chancellor is Judith Freifeld Ward ’64, a former executive associate director of UW–Madison’s Waisman Center; do not confuse her with Judith Hart Ward ’66, MS’67, the spouse of David J. Ward ’65, MBA’67, PhD’72; he is a former senior vice president of academic affairs for the UW System; see also Ward, David

WAA Travel

the name of the WAA department, but alumni travel is acceptable in generic references; its toll-free phone number is 888-WIS-ALUM (947-2586); when space and time allow, include both versions of the phone number

WAA’s contact information

650 N. Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706-1476; use the zip + 4 on all references; 608-262-2551; 888-WIS-ALUM (947-2586); including the letters in the 888 phone number is helpful when viewers/listeners don’t have much time to study the number; when space and time allow, include both versions;;; staff emails are formatted in all lowercase with a period between the first and last names (


Do not use the before it; see also Wisconsin Alumni Association® (WAA). WAA’s merger with the UW Foundation was effective on July 1, 2014. The blended organization is now called the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA). WAA and UWF also maintain their separate brand identities.


see CMS 8.116–8.117 for a discussion of the names of ships, submarines, aircraft, trains, space programs, and the class, make, and model of cars

UW System

The UW System comprises 13 four-year-term universities, 13 UW Branch campuses, UW College Courses Online, and UW Extended campuses.


stands for Uniform Resource Locator, an internet address style for addresses: e.g,, though typically shortened to, e.g.,; see also website (URL) addresses


generally, use hyphens and initial caps; however, in some design contexts, all caps and/or no hyphens may be more accommodating

UW–Madison (no the)

Use an en dash rather than a hyphen. Acceptable on second reference in external publications and in all internal communication for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Do not use the with UW–Madison: research at UW–Madison. To prevent confusion with other UW System units, do not use the UW as a substitute for UW–Madison, except when the context is clearly UW–Madison or the entity is officially named University of Wisconsin rather than University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW Hospital and Clinics, UW Credit Union). See also CMS 6.39 and 6.81 and University of Wisconsin, the; and UW, the.

University of Wisconsin–Madison, the

Use an en dash rather than a hyphen between University of Wisconsin and Madison. Spell out on first reference in external publications or publications that will be read widely off campus. UW–Madison (with an en dash, not a hyphen) is acceptable in external publications and in all internal communication for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Do not use the with UW–Madison (research at UW–Madison).

Also acceptable on second reference are the UW and the university (when the context is clearly UW–Madison). To prevent confusion with other UW System units, however, use the UW as a substitute for UW–Madison only when the context is clearly UW–Madison or the entity is officially named UW instead of University of Wisconsin–Madison, (UW Hospital and Clinics, UW Credit Union, UW Law School). Capitalize The only as a formal title in a formal reference, such as in the headline of a program; generally, though, lowercase the.

UW is acceptable when referring to athletics teams or departments that do not use UW–Madison as part of their official names (UW Health, UW Carbone Cancer Center); or as an abbreviated reference to the University of Wisconsin System as a whole (UW budget, students enrolled at UW institutions).

See also CMS 6.81.


use the hyphen when it precedes a noun; no hyphen when it follows the noun; consider deleting it entirely because so many people now use cell phones

student classifications

lowercase freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior when referring to an individual student or to the class as a whole: She is a senior history major; The senior class sponsored the lecture


used in roman text, with brackets, following an incorrectly used word or phrase to indicate that it’s a mistake made by the person who’s quoted, not by the writer; frequently written as [sic]


the Thai pavilion given to Madison by WAA’s Thailand alumni chapter; located in Madison’s Olbrich Gardens; italicize it on first reference but not subsequent references; lowercase it always


French for Répondez, s’il vous plait, which means Please respond; using please with the phrase is redundant because the SVP portion already says that; do not use it as a noun; Please reply, Please respond, or Please register are good substitutes


use these forms: Olympic team, U.S. national team, UW men’s basketball team; use rowing team or crew when referring to rowers because crew team is redundant; see also crew


the Residential Network; managed by the Division of University Housing’s Information Technology Department

The Red Shirt™ (TRS)

use the ™ on at least the first reference; using the ™ on every reference is also acceptable; always include and capitalize The; a comma goes after the ™; The Red Shirt™, Ninth Edition; write out editions First through Ninth; use numerals for editions 10th and higher


use when referring to research and development work, departments, or efforts; no space before or after the ampersand


In front of the attribution line following a quotation, use an em dash and a space:

“Why wonder why when you’re green?”

                              — Kermit the Frog


use the Chicago Manual of Style for nonnews material; use the Associated Press Stylebook for news releases and Inside UW–Madison

pull quotes

put quotation marks around material if it is a quotation within the article; do not use quotation marks if the material is merely pulled text; do not use brackets for inserted material because they create clutter

political affiliations/parties

Put D, R, or I (for Independent) in parentheses, followed by a hyphen, followed by the two-letter state code in national references or the city name in state references: John Smith (D-WI), Matt Johnson (R-MA), Jack Johnson (I-Wauwatosa)

photo credits

use something like this, with colons and semicolons: Front cover (3): John Brown; inside right: Larry Holmes; inside left (2): Jeff Miller; back cover, top: Paula Abdul; back cover (left center, right center, bottom): Harry Reasoner


all caps; stands for Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence; adding program after PEOPLE is redundant

On Wisconsin magazine (OW)

“magazine” is lowercase roman; On Wisconsin magazine, originally called The Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, was first published in 1899; its name changed several times, from The Wisconsin Alumnus to just Wisconsin Alumnus to Wisconsin Alumni to On Wisconsin magazine

On, Wisconsin!

this beloved expression comes from the UW’s beloved fight song; it includes a comma because it’s a form of direct address; when it’s run into a longer sentence such as Thanks, and on, Wisconsin!, the on becomes lowercase


the name of the WAA alumni chapter in the Minocqua/Rhinelander/Eagle River area and for references to the northern region of Wisconsin; use north woods for generic references


the personalized web portal for UW–Madison and a single entry point into secure information provided by the university (My UW); it gives students access to information on grades, tuition accounts, financial aid, and housing

more than, over

use more than when something can be counted: She bought more than 20 books; in general, over refers to spatial relationships: She jumped over the chair


Spell out in running text when not used with a day of the week: February 2, 2017. Abbreviate January (Jan.), February (Feb.), August (Aug.), September (Sept.), October (Oct.), November (Nov.), and December (Dec.) when used with a day of the week: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Do not abbreviate March, April, May, June, or July. The following style is also acceptable: 28 March 2017. When writing for news releases or Inside UW–Madison, abbreviate months when used with a date, with the exception of March, April, May, June, and July, which are always spelled out.

Law School

capitalized; the Law School prefers UW Law School (not the UW Law School) or University of Wisconsin Law School (not School of Law)

La Follette

in references to Fighting Bob La Follette, 1879; Belle Case La Follette 1879, LLB 1885; their family; or any people or entities that have descended from them, put a space between La and Follette

issue names, magazine

in On Wisconsin and Badger Insider magazines, capitalize the name of the season (i.e., the name of the issue), whether the year is included or not: the Spring 2015 issue, the Fall issue

middle initials

in general, do not use a middle initial unless the person is adamant about including it or it appears in the official name of an endowment, foundation, award, scholarship, or the like.

inclusivity statements

WAA’s long version is: “The Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) is open to all alumni, students, and friends of the university. WAA encourages diversity, inclusivity, and participation by all of these groups in its activities; and it does not discriminate on any basis. WAA embraces UW–Madison’s sifting and winnowing motto, which is a cherished and widely admired tradition.”

WAA’s short version is: “The Wisconsin Alumni Association encourages diversity, inclusivity, nondiscrimination, and participation by all alumni, students, and friends in its activities.”

The university also has a statement of nondiscrimination.

Fulbright scholar

common usage has frequently shortened the name to just Fulbright, but the fellowship program’s official name is Fulbright-Hays; there are several types of Fulbrights and various specific names for them, but they are mostly fellowships, so the generic word grant (but not scholarship) typically works when referring to them; the generic word scholar can refer to a recipient

Flamingle, the

although The is in the official name of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s weekly enewsletter, use lowercase roman type for “the;” see CMS 8.70


capitalize when used in reference to a specific, named fellowship: He was recently named a Fulbright Fellow; in most cases, however, it will be lowercase: Jacob Hoke, a new fellow of the American Academy of Metallurgy; lowercase on all subsequent references

email addresses

use roman type with no brackets or parentheses; put a period after the address if it falls at the end of a sentence; break it at the @ sign or a period if it’s necessary to carry it to the next line


Put a space between the word and the ellipsis points: word#…#word; word#…; or complete sentence.#…#complete sentence. See also CMS 13.50 – 13.58.

Editor’s Note

used in articles and after letters to the editor to give further explanations; put the words Editor’s Note: (with a colon) in italics; use roman type for the rest of the text, with no parentheses or brackets around the note

degree years

Use only on the first reference within an article; do not include letters before a bachelor’s degree; do not use periods with the degree abbreviation; do not use a space between the degree and two-digit class year; use a close single quote (apostrophe) to precede the year (it’s ’, not ‘); use a comma to separate each degree: Jim Hoyt ’65, MS’67, PhD’70.

If someone did not — or has not yet — graduated from UW–Madison, use an x before the year that s/he would have graduated or will graduate: rock star Steve Miller x’67. There is no space between the x and the year; include the apostrophe with the year; with advanced degrees, the x goes between the degree and the year: MDx’61, DVMx’75, PhDx’54, MAx’90.

Write out degree years occurring in the 19th century as, e.g., John Bluephie 1880, MS1883, PhD1885. Write out degree years occurring in the 20th century between (and including) 1900 and the current degree year as, e.g., Jane Brownstone 1900, MA1902, PhD1905; but Lowell Evan Noland PhD’24. When a new graduation year dawns, add 19 to the corresponding 20th-century year in a rolling, 100-year fashion.

See also names and degrees for the treatment of couples’ names.


examples are the nineties, the 1980s and 1990s, the 1980s and ’90s; for the first decade of a century use, e.g., years 2000–2009, not 2000s or ’00s; for the second decade of a century use, e.g., second decade or 2010s; see also CMS 9.33


use a comma after a date that includes the year: Students must submit an application by March 3, 2019, to be eligible for the program; do not use a comma with a month and year if there is no date included: fall 2019, March 2020; see also CMS 6.38

en dashes

An en dash connects numbers and sometimes words: 2010–14, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., UW–Madison. It also shows a range in numbers and words: 20–25 people, Monday–Friday. Use an en dash with open compound modifiers: pre–School of Pharmacy course. When connecting years with from, also use the word to, not an en dash: from 1980 to 1986, not from 1980–1986. For news releases or Inside UW–Madison, use a hyphen to connect years: 1980-86. Do not put spaces on either side. See also CMS 6.78–6.84.

em dashes

An em dash sets off an amplifying or explanatory element, separates a subject or series of subjects, or indicates a sudden break in thought or sentence structure: We will fly to Paris — if I get a raise. Put a space before and after the em dash, which is an exception to Chicago style. Do not use a pair of hyphens to create an em dash. See also en dashes, hyphens, and CMS 6.85–6.92.

courtesy titles

in general, do not use Dr., Mrs., Mr., or Ms; a written-out courtesy title that helps to put a person’s role in context (President Kennedy, Chancellor Mnookin, Dean Wilcots, Professor Jenkins) may be used on first reference

court cases

italicize the names of legal cases, including the abbreviation v. (for versus): Bloomfield Village Drain Dist. v. Keefe, Miranda v. Arizona; a case name may be shortened in subsequent discussion: the Miranda case or simply Miranda; see also versus and CMS 8.82


words that stand for a group of things can mean the group as a whole (and thus take a singular verb) or the individual members of the group (and thus, a plural verb); the presence of the before the word often indicates that it’s singular: The couple lives in apartment 9A; when a comes before the word, and especially when of comes after it, it’s probably plural: A couple of professors live in apartment 9A


uppercase when referring to the U.S. Congress (or just Congress), which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives; see also CMS 8.61

comprehensive campaign

use lowercase to refer to a multiyear campaign with campus audiences when not using its proper name; refer to it only by its proper name to noncampus audiences; use campaign on second reference; the proper name of the fourth comprehensive campaign in university history, which took place from 2015-21, was All Ways Forward, which uses initial caps, roman type, and no quotation marks


our dictionary advocates spellings such as copresident, cofounder, coeditor, coauthor, and codirector with no hyphens; see the dictionary for the few exceptions that use hyphens


use this list to determine whether to include a state or country name after the city name; if it’s on this list, the city name may stand alone

International cities:

Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo; but do use the country with Seoul, South Korea

U.S. cities:

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Madison (except if it’s Madison in a state other than Wisconsin), Manhattan, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, New Orleans, New York City (when identified this way, but not just New York for the city), Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Twin Cities, and Tucson; but do use the state with Kansas City (Missouri or Kansas), Portland (Oregon or Maine), and Saint Louis (Missouri)


in On Wisconsin and Badger Insider, do not use graduation years in photo captions unless the individuals’ names do not appear elsewhere in a story; if one or some people are mentioned in an article that accompanies the photo, and one or others are not, use graduation years for all of the people listed in the photo caption; do not use boldface with names and graduation years in captions; see also photo references/identification


Use graduation year(s) if the writer is a graduate; use birth/former name(s) unless the writer does not wish to include it/them. If a writer has more than one byline within a section of a publication, use the full name and graduation year(s) (if applicable) on the first reference and initials with no graduation year(s) on subsequent references. This does not apply to photo credits.

bulleted information

Regardless of the style chosen for a document — complete sentences or not, end punctuation or not, an initial cap on the first word of each bulleted item or not, and the like — remain consistent throughout that particular document. If a second sentence is added to an item — which drives end punctuation on the first sentence — then all items in the bulleted list should have end punctuation.


capitalize official names of campus facilities; on second reference, lowercase if a proper name is not used: the Mosse Humanities Building, the building, construction on Vilas; the word building may be used to prevent confusion with the academic department of the same name, but do not capitalize building in these cases: the Law School, the Law School building; in most cases, building names can stand alone: Grainger Hall, Nancy Nicholas Hall

names and degrees

To clarify how to use birth/former names, married names, and degrees with couples, here are some examples. Badger Insider’s Badger Pride section, however, does not follow this convention:

  • John Wilson ’56
  • Mabel Smith Wilson ’57
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith ’57
  • John Smith-Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57
  • John Wilson and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith Wilson (or just Mabel Wilson, because she doesn’t have a grad year, and thus, we’d probably leave out the birth/former name)
  • John Wilson ’56, JD’58, PhD’60 and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57, MA’59, DVM’62

The Badger Pride list in Badger Insider uses the following more condensed format which doesn’t include birth/former names. (The In Memoriam listings in Badger Insider do include birth/former names.)

  • John ’56 and Mabel ’57 Wilson
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57
  • John ’56 and Mabel ’57 Smith-Wilson
  • John and Mabel ’57 Wilson
  • John ’56 and Mabel Wilson
  • John ’56, JD’58, PhD’60 and Mabel ’57, MA’59, DVM’62 Wilson
  • John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith ’57

If a last name is hyphenated, use the first name of the hyphenated pair for alphabetical-order purposes. If there are three names (one first and two that appear to be last names), but the second two are not hyphenated, use the third name (i.e., the second last name) for alphabetical-order purposes.

UW Marching Band, UW Varsity Band

the university’s best-known band is called the UW Marching Band in the fall (when it marches) and the UW Varsity Band in the spring (when it plays indoor concerts); use marching band on second reference when discussing the UW Marching Band


Use the registered mark; write the phrase in all caps; including the is acceptable. Sometimes context calls for usage such as the Purdue BADGER HUDDLE®. Never say just HUDDLES, but BADGER HUDDLE® tailgates is acceptable. Use the initial-capped (but not all-capped) Huddle on subsequent references to a BADGER HUDDLE®. Periods and commas go after the ®. The word huddle is lowercase when referring to a literal football huddle or a gathering that’s figuratively called a huddle.


with a final e in reference to the Badgers’ football rivalry with Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe

athletics department

In formal references, use UW Department of Athletics or Department of Athletics; in informal references or on second reference, use athletics department (with an s on athletics); as a generic description of the sports program in general, UW athletics is acceptable.

names in appositive form

Use commas when there is only one such person because it’s redundant information; do not use commas when there is more than one such person; see also CMS 5.23. An example: Mary’s husband, John, and her son Greg went with her. In this example, Mary has only one husband, so his name is set off with commas: John is a “restatement” of husband. Mary has more than one son, so the commas with Greg are eliminated to show which son is being referred to specifically, from among the other possibilities. If she had only one son, his name would also be set off by commas.

Annual Campaign

refer to this as the University of Wisconsin–Madison Annual Campaign, with initial caps, on first reference; UW–Madison Annual Campaign is also acceptable; use Annual Campaign (uppercase) on second reference; a generic reference with the year would be, e.g., 2019 Annual Campaign (uppercase)

Alumni Park

the park and green space between One Alumni Place and the Memorial Union Terrace; opened in October 2017; capitalize these areas of the park: Badger Pride Wall, Alumni Way, Progress Point, The Lantern; do not capitalize these areas of the park: the fountain, welcome plaza, areas of distinction, Bucky Badger sculpture (its title is Well Red), outdoor classroom; the park’s website is

alumni chapters/clubs

Never use club, even though some Wisconsin Alumni Association alumni chapters refer to themselves that way; terms such as group or alumni community are acceptable to provide variety. Use alumni chapter as a generic reference, and use, e.g., Seattle alumni chapter or Seattle chapter as a quasi-generic reference. For specific references, use the WAA reference first (written out or abbreviated as WAA), then a colon, then the capitalized word Chapter, as in Wisconsin Alumni Association: Fox Valley Chapter; WAA: Fox Valley Chapter; Wisconsin Alumni Association: Big Apple Badgers Chapter; WAA: Motor City Badgers Chapter.

Martin and Florence Below Alumni Center, the

WAA’s headquarters building at 650 N. Lake Street is currently called the Martin and Florence Below (pronounced BEE-loh) Alumni Center; subsequent references are the Below Alumni Center, the alumni center, or the center; as of the renovation that was completed in 2017, the building now includes One Alumni Place, which opens on to Alumni Park


always hyphenated; all is always lowercase unless it refers to the Associated Press–chosen All-American football or basketball team.


stands for anno Domini, Latin for in the year of the Lord; do not use periods; AD precedes the year; see also CMS 9.34 and 10.38

academic titles

Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, dean, president, chancellor, professor emeritus, and chair when they precede a name: Chancellor John Doe, Professor Jane Doe, Dean John Smith; but John Doe, chancellor; John Smith, dean; or Jane Doe, professor. Lowercase modifiers: music professor Jane Doe, department chair Jane Doe, or Jane Doe, professor of music. Capitalize formal titles of named professorships on all references: Jane Doe has been named the Bascom Professor of Art; Jane Doe, Bascom Professor of Art, received the award; Jane Doe, Bascom Professor Emerita of Art, gave the lecture. Named/endowed professorships, deanships, and the like should be listed before other titles in signature lines and biographies. See also titles of people.