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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Category: Term

Red Gym

The University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium is commonly known as the “Red Gym.” The full name or the nickname (“Red Gym”) is acceptable on first reference; “Red Gym” is preferred for subsequent references. A registered National Historic Landmark, the Red Gym is home to many student services offices.

Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program

name for the program which administers the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Powers-Knapp Scholarship programs. Scholarship recipients are referred to as Chancellor’s scholars or Powers-Knapp scholars, but collectively are referred to as Mercile J. Lee scholars.


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

nonsexist language

avoid gender-specific words; use synthetic, manufactured, artificial, not manmade; use people or humans, not men or mankind; use chair, not chairman; use his or her, not his/her; can rewrite a sentence using plural pronouns, if possible, to eliminate gender; see also gender-neutral language


9/11 is acceptable in references to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; see also CMS 9.35


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.


University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries, UW–Madison Libraries, the libraries, Memorial Library, College Library

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.

Grandparents University® (GPU)

the program name was registered in 2007 without the plural possessive apostrophe on Grandparents; add the ® mark on at least the first reference; using the ® mark on every reference is also acceptable

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

Field House

the official name is the Wisconsin (not UW) Field House; do not capitalize the in the Field House or the Wisconsin Field House


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 (which, if it is currently, e.g., 2016) as, e.g., Jane Brownstone 1900, MA1902, PhD1905; but Harvey Greengrass 1913, MA1915, PhD’18. 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 Blank, Dean Scholz, 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 this 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, going on now, is 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.


means before Christ; do not use periods; BC follows the year; see also CMS 9.34, 10.38

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

awards, prizes

uppercase Award or Prize when referring to a specific award (Sparkplug Award), but lowercase when generic (the award); see also CMS 8.83

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)


the ampersand (&) is not a substitute for and; use it only when an entity includes it as part of its official name

Alumni Park

the new 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.

affiliate group

groups that were created by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and remain affiliated with the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association


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.

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

The legal name of the building at 330 N. Orchard Street; it houses the private Morgridge Institute for Research (MIR), the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), and programming staff of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF); to avoid confusion between the building (Institutes) and one of the research entities (Institute), the building is informally called the Discovery Building.

headlines, subheads

See the lists below as guides to using lowercase or uppercase when these words appear in headlines and subheads. CMS 8.59 is recapped below; CMS 8.160 gives examples; CMS 8.161 discusses hyphenated compounds in headline-style titles. The cover of On Wisconsin follows sentence-style capitalization rather than headline style. For headlines in news releases and Inside UW–Madison, capitalize only the first word, proper names, and proper nouns.


  • articles (a, an, the)
  • prepositions, regardless of length, except when they’re used adverbially or adjectivally, when they’re stressed, or when they make up part of a Latin expression used adverbially or adjectivally: De Facto, In Vitro, etc.
  • the coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so 
  • to and as 
  • the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text: de, von
  • the second part of a species name, even if it’s the last word


  • the first and last words in headlines and subheads, regardless of length
  • all other major words: nouns, pronouns, verbs (including Is, Are), adverbs, adjectives
  • some conjunctions


In general, hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid confusion or to form a single idea from two or more words: much-needed clothing (clothing is badly needed) versus much needed clothing (the clothing is abundant and needed). Do not use them in pairs to create an em dash.

Hyphenate compound modifiers preceding a noun: well-run establishment, ill-fitting garment, full-time job, smoke-free restaurant. A compound modifier following the noun it describes does not require a hyphen, but it is not incorrect to use one: The restaurant is smoke free. When a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun occurs instead after a form of the verb to be, the hyphen is usually retained to avoid confusion: The man is well-known, The woman is quick-witted.

Compounds formed by an adverb ending in -ly plus an adjective or participle are not hyphenated before or after a noun: fashionably dressed. See also em dashes, en dashes, and CMS 6.76–6.77.


use numerals with periods rather than numerals with parentheses; be consistent about capitalizing the first word of a new line or not; use a colon to introduce a list or series: The menu lists three kinds of dessert: pie, cake, and pudding; use a colon after an introductory statement that contains the words as follows or the following; use a colon or period after other statements introducing lists


use Madison to refer to the city, not the UW–Madison campus; referring to the Madison campus is acceptable when it’s clear that the UW System is the subject


do not capitalize majors, programs, specializations, or concentrations of study when they are not part of an official department name or title, but proper nouns are capitalized: She received a bachelor’s degree in history; She majored in economics; He majored in English and French; view a list of undergraduate majors


compound words using this prefix are closed when the second word is not a proper noun or a figure: midweek, midterm, midsummer, but mid-January, mid-1960s


the rules of prefixes apply, but in general, do not use a hyphen with non: noncredit, nondegree, nondiscrimination, nonsexist, nonprofit, nontraditional


representing some departures from Chicago style (which covers numbers in Chapter 9):

  • spell out zero through nine
  • use numerals for 10 and higher
  • use numerals with thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands (4,000; 50,019; 100,000; 807,996)
  • with round numbers greater than one million (million, billion, trillion), write out the words for one million (or billion, etc.) through nine million; use the numeral and word for numbers that begin with 10 and higher (10 million, 64 billion, 835 trillion)
  • for large, round fractions using decimal points, use a numeral and spell out million, etc. (2.3 million, 4.5 billion, 8.7 trillion)
  • the same rules apply to ordinals (second, 21st, 127th) that apply to cardinals (two, 21, 127); do not superscript ordinals
  • page numbers are always numerals, including 1 through 9, no matter where they appear
  • in course catalogs, use numerals for credits (1 credit, 24 credits, a 2-credit course)
  • spell out a number at the beginning of a sentence (Twenty-five students are enrolled. Three credits of history must be completed by the senior year.)
  • do not hyphenate number as part of a compound adjective (number one city, number two ranked team) or as a predicate adjective (We are number one in the league.)


use numerals and spell out the word percent: 1 percent, 3 percent, 89 percent; do not hyphenate the numeral and percent when they function as a compound adjective: 4 percent jump; the symbol % is acceptable in lists, tables, and charts, but not in running text except in scientific, mathematical, and highly technical contexts; see also CMS 9.18


Most compound words using this prefix do not take a hyphen; with some, however, a hyphen is added to indicate that something is happening again: recover (to improve) vs. re-cover (cover again), recreate (to enjoy leisure) vs. re-create (to create again); the admissions office uses re-entry student; see also prefixes

recommended references

The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th edition; The Associated Press Stylebook, 2014; Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition; Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth edition


  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; the college; CALS
  • Wisconsin School of Business; UW–Madison’s business school; the school
  • School of Education; the school; SoE
  • College of Engineering; the college
  • Graduate School, the school
  • School of Human Ecology; the school; SoHE
  • The Information School; iSchool@UW–Madison; the iSchool (formerly School of Library and Information Studies)
  • The International Division, the division
  • School of Journalism and Mass Communication; the school
  • Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; the La Follette School; the school
  • University of Wisconsin Law School; UW Law School (not the UW Law School); the school
  • College of Letters & Science; the college; L&S
  • Mead Witter School of Music; the music school; the school
  • School of Medicine and Public Health; the school; SMPH
  • School of Nursing; the nursing school; the school; SoN
  • School of Pharmacy; the pharmacy school; the school
  • School of Social Work; the school
  • School of Veterinary Medicine; the school; SVM

System campuses

use an en dash except as noted below; uppercase System with UW System institutions, which comprise four-year campuses, 13 UW Branch campuses, UW College Courses Online, and UW Extended campus; see also CMS 6.81

Four-year campuses

  • UW–Eau Claire
  • UW–Green Bay
  • UW–La Crosse
  • UW–Madison
  • UW–Milwaukee
  • UW Oshkosh
  • UW–Platteville
  • UW–Stevens Point
  • UW–Stout
  • UW–Superior
  • UW-Whitewater

UW Branch campuses

  • University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire–Barron County
  • University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus
  • University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Marinette Campus
  • University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus
  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee at Washington County
  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee at Waukesha
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities
  • University of Wisconsin–Platteville Baraboo Sauk County
  • University of Wisconsin–Platteville Richland
  • University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point at Marshfield
  • University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point at Wausau
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at Rock County
  • University of Wisconsin Colleges Online


Use the present tense when reporting ongoing work, current affairs, and impromptu remarks of speakers; use past tense to report remarks made in speeches, votes, actions of committees, and other one-time past events: Brower says the work will be complete by summer. The chancellor told the Faculty Senate in her address last week that the budget would pass.

that and which

Use that for essential clauses; use which for nonessential (parenthetical) clauses: General Education Requirements, which include courses in mathematics, must be satisfied; Credits that must be completed before the senior year fall into two categories.

theatre, theater

Use theater, not theatre, except when theatre is used in a formal title: University Theatre, Department of Theatre and Drama, Hemsley Theatre, Mitchell Theatre; but Wisconsin Union Theater and Theater Gallery. Hemsley and Mitchell Theatres are in Vilas Hall. Theater Gallery is in Memorial Union.


  • use figures (8 p.m., 4 a.m.) except for noon (12 p.m.) and midnight (12 a.m.)
  • use a colon to separate hours from minutes
  • use lowercase, periods, and no space between the letters for a.m. and p.m.
  • do not include a colon or minutes if the time is exactly on the hour (11 a.m., but 3:30 p.m.)
  • avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. in the morning
  • with time ranges, use the words from and to, not from and an en dash (from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., not from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.)
  • with time ranges without the word from, use an en dash with no spaces (Monday–Friday, 2–4 p.m.); if both times are a.m. or p.m., include the a.m. or p.m. with the later time only (8 to 11:30 a.m., 1:30–5 p.m., but 9 a.m.–2 p.m.)
  • when preparing copy for news releases or Inside UW–Madison, use a hyphen, not an en dash or the word to (from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • see also CMS 9.38, 9.39, and 10.41

time zones

lowercase central standard time, eastern time zone, mountain daylight time, and the like except references to Pacific: Pacific daylight time; capitalize abbreviations: CDT, EST; see also CMS 8.90

titles of people

in general, capitalize titles only when they are formal titles that appear directly before a name: Chancellor Jane Doe, Professor John Doe; but the chancellor, the professor; do not confuse titles with occupation descriptions: movie star Bette Davis, astronaut John Glenn; capitalize titles that precede names and refer to more than one person with the same title: Professors Jane Doe and John Smith; see also CMS 8.19–8.33 (especially CMS 8.28 about academic titles); see also academic titles

titles of works

see CMS 8.156–8.201 and follow the guidelines below, which include specific CMS references; when preparing copy for news releases or Inside UW–Madison, refer to the Associated Press Stylebook

italicize (and use initial caps) for these titles

  • albums: 8.197
  • annual reports: 8.186
  • art exhibits: 8.201
  • art pieces/art works: 8.198
  • blogs (blog names versus individual blog posts): 8.192
  • books: 8.168
  • brochures: 8.186
  • cartoons (printed): 8.200
  • CDs: 8.197
  • choreographed dance works
  • comic strips/comics series: 8.200
  • concerts
  • dance works with titles
  • documentaries (films): 8.189
  • drawings: 8.198
  • DVDs: 8.197
  • epic/long poems (vs. short poems): 8.181
  • films: 8.189
  • long musical compositions: 8.195
  • magazines: 8.171
  • movies: 8.189
  • newsletters
  • newspapers: 8.170

online versions of any of these; add the URL if helpful

  • oratorios: 8.194
  • operas: 8.194
  • paintings: 8.198
  • pamphlets: 8.186
  • periodicals: 8.168
  • photographs (individual images): 8.198
  • plays: 8.183
  • podcast series: 8.189
  • poems (epic/long): 8.181
  • published works
  • radio series (not one-time programs or individual episodes): 8.189
  • reports: 8.186
  • statues: 8.198
  • symphonies and other long instrumental compositions: 8.195
  • television series (not one-time programs or individual episodes): 8.189
  • tone poems: 8.194
  • video games: 8.190

use roman type, initial caps, and quotation marks for these titles

  • blog posts (individual blog posts versus blog names): 8.192
  • chapters (book chapters and parts): 8.177
  • clickable buttons on a website
  • dissertations: 8.188
  • essays: 8.177
  • fables: 8.185
  • fairy tales: 8.185
  • folktales: 8.185
  • lectures (individual lectures, not lecture series): 8.87
  • magazine articles: 8.177
  • manuscripts: 8.188
  • newspaper articles: 8.177
  • nursery rhymes: 8.185
  • podcast episodes or one-time programs (not continuing series): 8.189

online versions of any of these; add the URL if helpful

  • poems (short versus epic/long): 8.181
  • presentations
  • prom themes
  • radio episodes or one-time programs (not continuing series): 8.189
  • short musical compositions: 8.194
  • short poems (vs. epic/long poems): 8.181
  • short stories: 8.177
  • songs: 8.194
  • speeches: 8.87
  • television episodes or one-time programs (not continuing series): 8.189
  • theses: 8.188
  • unpublished works: 8.188
  • YouTube videos
  • websites’ titled sections, pages, special features: 8.191

use roman type, most likely capitalized, with no quotation marks, for these titles

  • artworks of antiquity: 8.198
  • awards (middle initials are acceptable if they’re named after people): 8.83
  • book series and editions: 8.176
  • campaigns
  • catalogs
  • classes: 8.86
  • conferences
  • courses: 8.86
  • exhibitions and large-scale fairs (versus art exhibits): 8.201
  • film series (an event series, not the films themselves)
  • forms: 8.187
  • forums
  • games (board, card, children’s, active are typically lowercase; brand-named are uppercase): 8.190
  • large-scale fairs and exhibitions (versus art exhibits): 8.201
  • lecture series (not individual lectures): 8.87
  • magazine columns and departments: 8.177
  • newspaper columns and departments: 8.177

online versions of any of these; add the URL if helpful

  • panel discussions
  • prizes (middle initials are acceptable if they’re named after people): 8.83
  • seminar-type programs
  • symposia
  • websites: 8.191
  • workshops
  • works of antiquity: 8.198

On Wisconsin and Badger Insider magazines

  • On Wisconsin magazine
  • Badger Insider magazine
  • department titles are roman, with no quotation marks
  • feature article titles are roman, with quotation marks

Wisconsin Idea

This refers to former UW president Charles Van Hise’s declaration that “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every home [some sources say family] in the state”; that is, he wanted the work of the university to extend to the boundaries of the state and beyond. Today this is viewed as global reach and influence. Lowercase the in the Wisconsin Idea. There is some debate as to when Van Hise made this declaration: some sources say 1904; others say 1905. Cite a date at your own risk.

Wisconsin Union

This refers to the organization that manages Memorial Union, Union South, and Union activities. Use Memorial Union or Union South to refer to the physical buildings. The Wisconsin Union (organization) prefers that people use Union only when referring to activities sponsored by the Wisconsin Union — not to specific locations — but students and alumni often use Union to refer to Memorial Union. The Wisconsin Union is a private entity that’s separate from UW–Madison, so do not use UW–Madison Union or UW Union.


In general, avoid abbreviations in running text. The ampersand (&) is not a substitute for and. Use abbreviations and the ampersand only when part of official names. If the name of the abbreviation may be unknown to some readers, use the full name on first reference. See individual entries for usage for specific abbreviations.

acronyms and initialisms

Although we refer to campus units by acronyms in speech and internal publications (such as DoIT for the Division of Information Technology), acronyms should not be used exclusively except for those commonly used both inside and outside the university community (NASA, FBI). To eliminate confusion when using lesser-known acronyms, spell out the full name on the first mention, with the acronym in parentheses following. Acronyms are made plural by adding an s if there are no periods in the acronym (IOUs) and adding ’s if there are periods in the acronym (vol.’s). See the Chicago Manual of Style for more on the appropriate use of acronyms.


In running text, use numerals and figures for numbered addresses (123 Main Street) and spell out the words Street, Avenue, Place, Boulevard, etc. (except for news releases or copy for Inside UW–Madison, in which such words are abbreviated when using numbered addresses according to AP Style). Abbreviate directions in street names: single-letter directions take a period (N. Main Street, E. Washington Avenue); two-letter abbreviations take no periods (NW Maple Street, Seventh Avenue, SE). Include the complete campus street addresses only when publicizing an off-campus event and for publications intended for off-campus audiences. Separate the street address, phone, web address, and the like with a semicolon and use one space between the state abbreviation and zip code. Department of Economics, 7470 Social Science Building, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-263-2989; fax 608-262-0000;; Include area codes for telephone and fax numbers when the audience is off campus.

advisor, adviser

Use advisor for materials produced for admissions, academic advising, housing, and registrar offices. Use adviser for all other uses. It is most important to be consistent within a single publication or family of publications.

alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a person who identifies as a man who has graduated from a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a person who identifies as a woman. Use alumni when referring to groups that include both men and women. In very informal usages, alum is an acceptable alternative. These terms can also be used for people who attended a school but did not graduate.


the official team name of UW–Madison men’s and women’s athletics teams; acceptable as a substitute for the UW for teams and athletes on second reference; synonymous with graduates, fans, and friends of the university

Big Ten

not Big 10; UW–Madison is one of 14 institutions in the Big Ten Conference; the others are Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Maryland, and Rutgers University

capital, capitol

a capital is a city that is the seat of government or known for its eminence in a particular field (fashion capital); a capitol is a building where a legislature meets; lowercase capitol when referring generically to Wisconsin’s state capitol building, but the building in Washington, DC, is the Capitol


avoid unnecessary capital letters: use them only when one of the principles listed in this guide, the dictionary, or the Chicago Manual of Style justifies their usage.

In particular, the following should be capitalized:

  • Proper nouns for people, places, or things: Allison, Atlanta, the Alamo
  • Proper names: when they are an official part of the full name of a person, place, or thing: Democratic Party, Lake Mendota, Park Street, Charles River, West Virginia, College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Lowercase when these stand alone in subsequent or generic references: the party, the lake, the street, the river, the state, the college, the university. Per CMS 8.56 and 8.66, uppercase these words in plural usages: the Democratic and Republican Parties, Langdon and State Streets.


to include or contain (the whole comprises the parts): Wisconsin comprises 72 counties; it is synonymous with composed of: Wisconsin is composed of 72 counties; comprised of is incorrect


Chancellor Rebecca Blank, University of Wisconsin–Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank, UW–Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank, UW chancellor Rebecca Blank, the chancellor


in a series of three or more elements, use a serial comma; for Inside UW–Madison and news communications and institutional websites maintained by University Communications, do not use a serial comma

course numbers and titles

use the department abbreviation (or full name) with a space separating the department, the course number, and the course name: Poli Sci 377 Nuclear Weapons and World Politics; department abbreviations appear in the Course Guide; when referring to courses without including the number, do not use quotation marks: Physical Systems of the Environment, Solid State Physics


when clustered or in a tabular format, use numerals: 3 credits, a 4-credit course, 1 credit hour; when including the number of credits in a list of courses, use the abbreviation cr with no period: Poli Sci 377 Nuclear Weapons and World Politics, 3 cr; Music 231 Elementary/Intermediate Violin, 2–4 cr.; in running text, spell out credits: All students must take 3 credits in art history; for additional examples, see the academic Guide


In running text, use bachelor’s degree, bachelor of arts degree, bachelor of science in physics, master’s degree, doctorate, and the like in place of degree abbreviations because they are more readable; use abbreviations only when necessary to distinguish the specific type of degree or when using full terms would prove cumbersome, such as when there are multiple degrees; do not use periods; form the plural by adding an s; the word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation.

Do not list certificates (nursing, law, education, and the like) as degrees, but an exception is made to include the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) following an individual’s name because the program has a long and proud history at the UW.

Here are many of the degree abbreviations in use at the university:

  • BA – bachelor of arts, bachelor’s degree
  • BBA – bachelor of business administration
  • BM – bachelor of music
  • BS – bachelor of science, bachelor’s degree
  • DJ or DJS – doctor of juridical science
  • DMA – doctor of musical arts
  • DPM – doctor of pharmacy
  • DVM – doctor of veterinary medicine
  • EdD – doctor of education
  • EMBA – executive MBA
  • JD – doctor of law
  • LLB – bachelor of laws
  • LLM – master of laws, but us ML instead
  • MA – master of arts, master’s degree
  • MAcc – master of accountancy; use instead of MAC, MA, or MS
  • MBA – master of business administration
  • MD – doctor of medicine
  • MFA – master of fine arts
  • MGCS – master of genetic counselor studies
  • ML – master of laws
  • MLI – master of legal institutions
  • MM – master of music
  • MPA – master of public affairs
  • MPAS – master of physician assistant studies
  • MPh – master of philosophy
  • MPH – master of public health
  • MS – master of science, master’s degree
  • MSW – master of social work; MSW (vs. MSSW) is the more common designation
  • PDE – professional development/engineering
  • PharmD – doctor of pharmacy
  • PhD – doctor of philosophy