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.