This section describes University style for writing and capitalizing names and titles, and offers guidance about punctuation. For further information about capitalization, first consult the AP Stylebook and then a dictionary. For more details about punctuation, see the Punctuation section of the AP Stylebook.

Alumni Names and Class Years

When referring to a class as a whole, capitalize the name of the class, and write out the full graduation year.

Example: Class of 1967.

List graduation years after the names of alumni with an apostrophe and the last two digits of the graduation year, unless referring to the first decade of the 1900s and earlier years, in which case spell out Class of 19XX or 18XX. Add M for alumni with master's degrees, P for parents of students or graduates, and G for grandparents of students or graduates.

Examples (note the direction of the apostrophe - ’ ): John Smith ’08
Jane Jones, Class of 1908
Jane Smith ’10 is the daughter of Michael Smith P’10.
Abigail Johnson ’18 is the granddaughter of Aaron Johnson ’57, G’18

When together listing the names of married couples, use the following guidelines:

If both spouses are alumni, and one spouse has assumed the other's name, list the spouse whose name is used by both partners first, followed by class year. List the spouse who has adopted a new name second - including original name - followed by class year.

Example: Chris ’99 and Pat Jones Littleton ’98

If only the spouse who has adopted a new name is an alumna/us, use the same format, omitting the class year after the first spouse's name.

Example: Quinn and Tyler Davis Oakes ’96

If only the spouse whose name was adopted is an alumna/us, list him or her second, followed by class year.

Example: Alex and Casey Evans ’87

Avoid using middle names or initials unless it is preferred by the subject. Bucknell's president prefers John C. Bravman in formal listings.

Likewise, avoid junior, senior, II, III and other name suffixes unless preferred by the subject. Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. and, along with other notations such as II, use only with full names. Do not precede with a comma.

Examples: John Smith Jr.; the William A. Graham IV Wrestling Center.

Titles and Capitalization

In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization.

Capitalize and spell out titles such as president, provost, dean, director, chair or professor when they precede a name. Lowercase otherwise.

Examples: President John Bravman; Robert Midkiff, interim provost of Bucknell University; Professor Miles Stevens, management; The president declared Friday a University holiday.            

Refer to Bucknell faculty members as professor, not doctor. When relevant, the title Dr. should be used on first reference only before the names of individuals who hold medical degrees: doctors of dental surgery, medicine, osteopathy or podiatric medicine.              

In general, list professors on first reference as follows: Professor Name (comma) academic department (comma). On subsequent reference use only last name. Do not use the abbreviation Prof., or refer to professors as doctor or Dr. Ranks such as assistant professor and associate professor should only be used when pertinent to the context.

Examples: Professor Charles Xavier, psychology, is on sabbatical. Professor Jeanne Stevens, computer & electrical engineering, teaches at Bucknell.

Do not use courtesy titles, such as Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss, except in direct quotations.

Use the appropriate religious titles when referring to members of the clergy. For Christian ministers and priests, the Rev. is the appropriate title. The Rev. Dr. should be used only if the individual has earned a doctoral degree. Rabbi is the appropriate title for Jewish rabbis.            

Other capitalization guidelines are as follows:

academic degrees Lowercase when referring to degrees.

Examples: a master's, a history degree, bachelor of arts in history

academic departments Capitalize formal department names. Lowercase otherwise.

Examples: the Department of History, history department, the Department of English.

classes, courses Capitalize the titles of courses, but not the terms class, course, capstone or foundation seminar when used alone. Do not italicize or place in quotes.

Example: Applied Behavioral Psychology.

University Capitalize University when using as a substitute for Bucknell University. Lowercase in the general sense.

Examples: The University was founded in 1846. She plans to attend a university in Pennsylvania.


Capitalize the principal words in headlines, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters, and all verbs. Also capitalize articles (the, a, an) or words of fewer than four letters if they appear at the beginning or end of a title. Capitalize any word appearing after a colon in a headline. Quotes in headlines should be denoted with single quotation marks. Bucknell without University is acceptable in headlines.

Examples: Freeman College of Management Awarded Accreditation
Weis Center's Spring Season: A Dozen Dynamic and Engaging Performance
Cirque du Soleil Creative Director to Speak, Answer Questions


General guidelines follow regarding the use of punctuation marks. For more details about punctuation, see the Punctuation section of the AP Stylebook.

ampersand (&) Use the ampersand in names of centers, colleges, departments, institutes and programs in all references.

Examples: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Teaching & Learning Center

commas in a series Commas should not be used before the "and" in a series, except when excluding them could create confusion, such as after an item joined by an "and" or in longer constructions.

Examples: Simple series, no serial comma: The colors are red, white and blue. He ate ham, eggs and toast for breakfast.

Serial comma used to avoid double "and": Her majors are animal behavior, cell biology & biochemistry, and neuroscience.

Serial comma used in a longer construction: The group includes a professor of biology who writes poetry in his spare time, a New York City socialite who's started a new life as a chicken farmer in rural Ohio, and twin sisters who say they couldn't be more different.

Serial comma used to avoid ambiguity: Among those interviewed by Merle Haggard's biographer were the country singer's two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson, and Robert Duvall.

exclamation points Avoid them except in direct quotations.

periods Should be followed by a single space, not double.

possessives In general, add 's to singular and plural nouns not ending in s. Add only an apostrophe to singular and plural nouns that end in an s.

Examples: the student's book, the team's mascot, Jess' paper, the professors' classes.

quotations Use quotation marks ("") around quoted material. Periods and commas always go inside the close-quote mark. Dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go inside only when they apply to the quoted matter.

Examples:"Bucknell is a great institution," John Smith said. Have you heard the expression, "It takes a village"?