As part of an institution of higher learning, it is important that CBU communications are accurate, grammatically correct, and consistent. This style guide is a resource for the preferred usage of common words, names, styles, and other questions that may frequently come up when producing various University communications. As a rule of thumb, CBU follows the Chicago Manual of Style (with some exceptions). For general style and punctuation matters that may not be covered here, please see the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, which is available at chicagomanualofstyle.org.
When writing the names of schools, buildings, and other campus sites or venues, refer to the CBU Campus Style Guide at the end of this alphabetical guide.
Click the letters below to quickly access topics by alphabetical listing.
ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS
When using official acronyms and abbreviations for the names of schools, government agencies, organizations, programs, etc., always spell out the complete name in the first mention and follow it with the abbreviation/acronym in parentheses. Subsequent mentions may use the abbreviation only. This is true especially when speaking of Christian Brothers University (CBU).
EX: The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program provides international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. MHIRT has been consistently funded since 2000 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
EX: The Living Learning Center (LLC) is home to five learning communities at CBU.
ALUMNUS, ALUMNA, ALUMNI
- Alumnus is male; alumni is plural. Alumni is also used for mixed-gender groups.
- Alumna is female; alumnae is plural.
- Alum(s) is neutral and may be used in informal contexts.
When naming or listing alumni, include their degree and class year in this format: John Doe (’87) or John Doe (Chemical Engineering ’87)
If the alumnus/a has multiple degrees/class years, list them chronologically: Jane Doe (’10, ’15) or Jane Doe (’10, MBA ’15) or Jane Doe (Accounting ’10, MBA ’15)
Professional titles are not capitalized unless used immediately preceding the person’s name. Titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name.
EX: President John Smarrelli welcomed the guests at the Women’s Leadership Conference luncheon.
EX: Dr. John Smarrelli is the president of Christian Brothers University.
Exception: Professional titles are capitalized when used in an invitation or program.
John Smarrelli Jr., PhD
President of the University
Schools, Departments, Offices
- Capitalize the formal names of the Schools and Colleges: Rosa Deal School of Arts, School of Business, College of Adult Professional Studies
- Capitalize the formal names of departments and offices: Department of Biology, Office of Admissions
- Use lowercase if the department or office is referred to informally: the biology department, the admissions office
When being used as a synonym for Christian Brothers University, University should be capitalized.
EX: Your annual gifts are vital to the future of the University.
- When referring to a particular graduating class, it should be capitalized as Class of 2016 (or Class of ’16).
- When referencing current students, list their major and expected graduation year: Jane Doe (English ’20).
- For guidelines on alumni, see ALUMNUS, ALUMNA, ALUMNI.
- Spell out the names of months unless space is an issue. Do not use ordinal numbers (such as 1st, 22nd, 30th): November 18, 1871.
- Do not separate month and year sequences with a comma: June 2016 (not June, 2006).
Decades should be designated numerically as a plural (with an “s” but no apostrophe): 1960s, 2010s, ’90s
(Note that the first decade of a century written as the 1900s or the 2000s could easily be confused with the entire century; material regarding those decades should therefore authors should be careful to avoid such confusion.)
- Do not use periods in degree abbreviations: BA, PhD, MBA, MEd, RN
- Form the plural by adding “s” with no apostrophe: MAs, PhDs
- Capitalize the formal name of a degree, and do not use the possessive apostrophe: Master of Science in Engineering Management (not Master’s of Science in…)
- Do not capitalize an informal description of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and always use the possessive apostrophe: a bachelor’s degree in ecology (not a bachelor degree in ecology or a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology)
- The general terms for academic degrees are as follows:
- associate degree
- bachelor's degree
- master's degree
- doctoral degree
- Majors and degree fields are not capitalized.
- Do not hyphenate or capitalize email.
- Website is one word, without a hyphen.
- Do not capitalize web, website, or web page.
- Internet should be capitalized if used a noun; if used as an adjective (internet resources), it may be lowercased.
- For the names of software, devices, and online tools, use their branded capitalizations: BannerWeb, Moodle, PowerPoint
- When writing web addresses (URLS), use the shortest possible. For root-level sites, do not use "http://" or the "trailing slash." For the vast majority of homepage URLS, it is also permissible to leave off the “www.” EX: cbu.edu or www.cbu.edu (not https://www.cbu.edu/)
The titles professor emeritus (male) and professor emerita (female) denote an earned rank granted to retired faculty members who have been recognized for distinguished service to the University. The plural term is professors emeriti.
CBU is part of the global network of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the largest Roman Catholic order dedicated to teaching. Founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the educational mission of the order is referred to as the Lasallian Mission. Following the styles used by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Rome, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing about this movement and its mission.
- The correct spelling is Lasallian—one word with a capital “L” and the rest lowercase. (Not LaSallian.)
- The founder’s name is anglicized as St. John Baptist de La Salle in the English-speaking world (although his French name would have been Jean-Baptiste). When the name is spelled out in full, the word de is not capitalized.
- When abbreviated (as the Saint’s “last name”) or used terms such as “De La Salle Christian Brothers,” the De is capitalized. De La Salle is three distinct words and should not be run together as DeLaSalle.
- The Brothers of the Christian Schools are referred to most often in the U.S. as Christian Brothers. In other parts of the world, they may be called De La Salle Brothers or Lasallian Brothers.
- The post-nominal abbreviation for the religious order of the Christian Brothers is FSC, which stands for Fratres Scholarum Christianarum. It may be used following the names of Christian Brothers (EX: Brother Robert Schieler, FSC) and should be used without periods.
Using numbers in text
Spell out numbers one through nine and general numbers in narrative text. Numbers 10 and above are written as numerals:
- There were seven students present, although 17 are enrolled in the class.
- There are approximately 5,000 undergraduates.
- There are a thousand reasons.
- When a number is the first word of a sentence, spell it out (even numbers above nine): Seventeen students were enrolled in the class. One hundred thirty-seven of the 320 new students came to CBU from Arkansas or Mississippi.
- Numbered highways, political districts, and sections of a book or manuscript are written in numerals (even below 10): Highway 5, District 7, Exodus 3: 1-15, chapter 3, page 8
- Large numbers (million, billion) are spelled out: 12 million, three billion
- Monetary amounts, when used with a dollar sign ($), are always written in numerals: $3.50
- When “dollars” is spelled out in the copy, the standard numerical rule applies: three dollars, 27 dollars
CBU materials should use the serial or Oxford comma. Items in a series are normally separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series of three or more, a comma—known as the serial or series comma or the Oxford comma—should appear before the conjunction. Exception: When an ampersand is used instead of the word and, the serial comma is omitted.
EX: The Bachelor of Fine Arts offers concentrations in Studio Art, Graphic Design, and Art Therapy.
Do not use a comma preceding name lineage suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. or numerical suffixes such as II or III: John Doe Jr. (not John Doe, Jr.) and John Doe III (not John Doe, III)
DO USE HYPHENS
Use hyphens to connect most compound-word modifiers and adjectival phrases: five-year-old child, blue-green algae, quarter-mile run, second-best decision, all-American, much-needed addition, over-the-counter medication, calculator-wielding accountant. Use hyphens when spelling out numbers and ordinals: thirty-five, twenty-first
DO NOT USE HYPHENS
Don’t use hyphens for ethnicities or nationalities (either noun or adjective): African Americans, African American president, Scotch Irish, Middle Eastern
Don’t use hyphens for words which have been commonly accepted* combined with their former prefixes: coauthor, intramural, biochemistry, macroeconomics, postmodern, subzero
* When in doubt, check with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary at merriam-webster.com.
Periods ending a sentence should be followed by a single space before starting a new sentence.
When an entire independent sentence is enclosed in parentheses or brackets, the period belongs inside the closing parenthesis or bracket. When text in parentheses or brackets (even a grammatically complete sentence) is included within another sentence, the period belongs outside.
EX: (When CBU was founded, it was an all-male school.)
EX: CBU became coeducational in 1970 (after a century as an all-male school).
Periods and commas should be placed within quotation marks and precede closing quotation marks, whether double or single.
EX: Samuel Cardinal Stritch, late archbishop of Chicago, once called CBU “a Temple of Tolerance.”
EX: “It has done more than any one factor that I know of to break down religious prejudice in Memphis," Cardinal Stritch said.
Quotation Marks or Italics?
The titles of major or freestanding works—such as books, magazines, newspapers, movies, music albums, and artworks—should be set in italics. This practice also applies to the names of ships (and other named crafts), species names, and legal cases. Titles of operas, oratorios, symphonies, and other long musical compositions are italicized.
Quotation marks are used for the titles of subsections of larger works, such as chapter and article titles and the titles of poems in a collection. Titles of songs and other shorter musical compositions are also enclosed in quotation marks.
Official CBU communications should list telephone numbers in the following convention, hyphenated with area codes in parentheses. The long-distance “1” before the area code is not required, as it is becoming obsolete with the proliferation of cellular phones; use your best judgment on its usage. The U.S. international dialing code (also “1”), however, should be used on any materials targeting another country.
EX: (901) 321-3000, (877) 321-4CBU
TIME OF DAY
Use numerals and the lowercase a.m. (ante meridiem) and p.m. (post meridiem). Exception: at the beginning of a sentence, spell out the time of day.
EX: The women’s soccer game starts at 5:00 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.
EX: Five o’clock is the start time for the first evening classes.
When stating a hyphenated range of time, it is not necessary to use a.m./p.m. for both times if the range is all within one segment of the day.
EX: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
EX: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
CBU Campus Style Guide
Those of us who are members of the CBU Community have adopted informal ways of referring to our academic schools and buildings and other campus sites and venues, abbreviating or using internal nicknames for them. When we are writing about them or including them in invitations or advertisements for events, it is important that we use their correct names—many of which have been named in honor of donors who do not deserve to have their generosity diminished just to save typing few words.
Below is an alphabetical list of campus names as they should be used.
- Alfonso Dining Hall (not the Cafeteria, the Caf, or just Alfonso)
- Assisi Hall Science Learning Center (may be abbreviated to Assisi Hall)
- Avery Apartments
- Barry Hall
- Battersby Hall
- Bell Tower (two words, not Belltower)
- Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery (may be abbreviated to Ross Gallery)
- Bland Softball Field
- Boshwit Courtyard
- Buccaneer Grill (may be abbreviated to The Buc in informal circumstances)
- Buckman Hall
- Buckman Quadrangle (may be abbreviated to Buckman Quad in informal circumstances; not just the Quad)
- Canale Arena (not The Gym or Canale Gymnasium)
- Canale Café
- Canale Pool
- Community Garden
- Cooper-Wilson Center for Life Sciences (may be abbreviated to Cooper-Wilson Center)
- De La Salle Chapel (often referred to as Stritch Chapel internally, sometimes referred to as De La Salle/Stritch Chapel)
- De La Salle Christian Brothers Bridge
- De La Salle Hall
- De La Salle Plaza
- Lambert Hall
- Living Learning Center (may be abbreviated to LLC in subsequent mentions after the full name has been spelled out first)
- Maurelian Hall
- Montesi Executive Center (not just Montesi or Montesi Executive Classroom)
- Nadiscksbernd Baseball Field (informally known as “The Nate”)
- Nolan Engineering Center
- Nolan Intramural Field
- O’Hara Hall
- Pender Hall
- Plough Courtyard
- Plough Library
- Rosa Deal School of Arts
- Rozier Center (may also be called Student Life)
- Rozier Hall
- Sabbatini Lounge
- Signaigo Soccer Field
- Spain Auditorium
- St. Benilde Hall
- St. Joseph Chapel (not Barry Hall Chapel)
- St. Joseph Hall
- Staub Lounge (not Cooper-Wilson Lounge)
- The Swashbuckler
- Stritch Hall
- Thomas Center
- University Theater (not Theatre)
- Wilson Family Foundation Commons (not LLC Lounge or LLC Commons; may be abbreviated to Wilson Family Commons)
SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, ETC.
- Rosa Deal School of Arts (not just School of Arts)
- School of Business
- Gadomski School of Engineering (not just School of Engineering)
- School of Sciences (plural - not School of Science)
- College of Adult Professional Studies (may be abbreviated to CAPS in subsequent mentions after the full name has been spelled out first)
- Barret School of Banking
- Healthcare Packaging Consortium
- Surface Water Institute