Colby Editorial Style Guide


1 Academic Divisions, Departments, and Programs, and Administrative Offices and Departments

Capitalize the names of Colby departments, offices, and divisions and the words department, office, and division when they appear together: Art Department, Department of Art, Admissions Office, Office of Admissions. For majors and minors, refer to this page.

Right: Office of the President, President’s Office
Right: The director of campus life is in the Division of Student Affairs.
Right: The English Department office is in Miller Library.
Right: New offices were created for the departments of Government, History, Economics, and Anthropology.

Academic Divisions

Division of:

  • Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Academic Departments

Department of:

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • English (includes Creative Writing)
  • French and Italian
  • Geology
  • German and Russian
  • Government
  • History
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Theater and Dance

Interdisciplinary Programs

  • African-American Studies
  • American Studies (includes Cinema Studies)
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Other Programs

  • Center for Small Town Jewish Life
  • Colby Academic Research Assistants (CARA)
  • Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS)
  • Colby at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Colby Cares About Kids (CCAK)
  • Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities
  • Colby Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Colby in Dijon
  • Colby in Salamanca
  • Colby in St. Petersburg
  • Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS)
  • Colby Writing Program
  • Davis United World College Scholars (no hyphen)
  • Gender and Sexual Diversity Program
  • Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs
  • Integrated Studies Program
  • January Program or Jan Plan (with space)
  • Oak Institute for Human Rights
  • Senior Scholars Program

Administrative Offices and Departments

  • Career Center
  • Colby College Libraries
  • Colby College Museum of Art or Colby Museum of Art
  • Colby Bookstore
  • Counseling Services
  • DavisConnects
  • Department of Athletics
  • Department of Security
  • Dining Services
  • Division of College Advancement
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Eustis Service Center
  • Facilities Services (formerly Physical Plant Department)
  • Farnham Writers’ Center (plural possessive)
  • Garrison-Foster Health Center
  • Health Services
  • Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Office of Administrative Operations
  • Office of Advancement
  • Office of Advancement Communications
  • Office of Advancement Operations
  • Office of Advancement Strategy and Analysis
  • Office of Alumni Experience and Networks
  • Office of Campus Events
  • Office of Campus Life
  • Office of Colby Fund
  • Office of Communications
  • Office of the Dean of the College
  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • Office of the Dean of Studies
  • Office of Donor Relations
  • Office of Financial Planning
  • Office of Financial Services
  • Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Office of Information Technology Services
  • Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Office of Investments
  • Office of Media Resources
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Office of Off-Campus Study
  • Office of the President
  • Office of the Provost and the Dean of Faculty
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
  • Office of Special Programs
  • Office of Student Financial Services
  • Office of the Vice President and Dean of Student Advancement
  • Office of the Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • Office of the Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the College
  • Special Collections

2 Buildings, Facilities, and Roads

Use the official name of campus facilities with capitals in formal communication. On the second reference, if the name is partial, you may shorten the name with the appropriate designation. On the second reference when you use no proper name, lowercase hall, center, union, and building. Do not use building, hall, union, and center interchangeably.

Right: The Eustis Administration Building houses the Office of the President. The building is near Cotter Union.
Right: The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is also in the Eustis Building. The office keeps track of enrollment data.

Buildings and Rooms

  • Biomass Heating and Cogeneration Plant
  • Bixler Art and Music Center

    • Art and Music Library
    • Crawford Art Studios
    • Given Auditorium
  • Colby College Museum of Art

    • Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion
    • Davis Galleries
    • Gladys Brooks Foundation Gallery
    • Jetté Galleries
    • Landay Teaching Gallery
    • Lunder Wing
    • Mirken Education Center
    • Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz
    • The Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court
    • Stradley Terrace
    • William D. Adams Gallery
  • The Lawrence Walker Collins Observatory
  • The Young Observatory
  • Cotter Union
    • Caporale Lounge
    • Joseph Family Spa
    • Marchese Blue Light Pub
    • Page Commons Room
    • Pugh Center
    • Pulver Pavilion
    • Bobby Silberman Lounge
  • Davis Science Center
  • Diamond Building
    • Ostrove Auditorium
  • Eustis Administration Building
  • Garrison-Foster Building
  • Grossman Hall
    • DavisConnects
  • Harold Alfond Athletic Center

    • (see Athletic Facilities below)
  • Hill Family Guest House
  • Lorimer Chapel
    • Rose Chapel
  • Lovejoy Building
  • Lunder House
  • Miller Library
    • Brewster Room (main floor reading room)
    • Alfred King Chapman Room
    • Davis Educational Foundation Electronic-Research Classroom
    • John and Catherine Healy Memorial Room
    • Mule Works Innovation Lab
    • Edwin Arlington Robinson Memorial Room
    • Eugenia Hall Wormser ’60 Reading Room
  • Millett House
  • Osborne House (formerly President’s House)
  • Physical Plant
  • Roberts Building (not Union)
    • Smith Room
    • Hurd Room
    • Robins Room
    • Smith-Hurd-Robins Room
    • Whitney Room
  • Runnals Building (not Union)
    • Dunn Dance Studio
    • Strider Theater
    • Cellar Theater
  • Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center
    • Parker-Reed Room
  • Science Complex
    • Arey Life Sciences Building
    • Keyes Science Building
    • Paul J. Schupf Scientific Computing Center
    • Seeley G. Mudd Science Building
    • F.W. Olin Science Center
    • Science Library

Residence Halls

  • Roberts Row
    • Drummond Hall
    • Goddard-Hodgkins Hall
    • Perkins-Wilson Hall
    • Pierce Hall
    • Piper Hall
    • Roberts Hall
    • Treworgy Hall
  • Johnson Hall
  • East Quad
    • Butler Hall
    • Champlin Hall
    • Small Hall
  • West Quad
    • Chaplin Hall
    • Pepper Hall
    • Robins Hall
  • Anthony-Mitchell-Schupf
  • Averill Hall
  • The Hillside Complex
    • Leonard Hall
    • Marriner Hall
    • Sturtevant Hall
    • Taylor Hall
    • Williams Hall
  • The Heights
  • Dana Hall
  • Coburn Hall
  • Foss Hall
  • Mary Low Hall
    • Mary Low Coffeehouse
  • Woodman Hall
  • The Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons
    • Chace Community Forum
  • The Harold and Bibby Alfond Residence Complex

Athletic Facilities

  • Harold Alfond Athletic Center
    • Alfond Ice Rink
    • Boulos Family Fitness Center
    • Carl E. Nelson Physical Therapy Center
    • Dunaway Squash Courts
    • The field house
    • Parker-Reed Trophy Room
    • Wadsworth Gymnasium
    • Whitmore-Mitchell Basketball Court
  • Outdoor Athletic Facilities
    • Alfond-Wales Tennis Courts
    • Bill Alfond Field
    • The Campbell Trails
    • Coombs Field (baseball)
    • Crafts Field (softball)
    • The Klein Tennis Pavilion
    • Loebs Field
    • The Ludy and Pacy Levine Athletic Grounds
      • Alfond Track
      • Harold Alfond Stadium
      • Seaverns Football Field

Other Facilities

  • Colby-Hume Center
  • Colby-Marston Preserve
  • Johnson Pond
  • Mayflower Hill or the Hill (informal)
  • Perkins Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary


  • Bixler Drive
  • Campus Drive
  • Cotter Drive
  • Mayflower Hill Drive
  • Pond Drive
  • Runnals Drive
  • Solar Way

3 Alma Mater

Lowercase alma mater (unless in a title).

4 Alumni Association, Alumni Council

Lowercase all second references to the association and council.

5 a.m. and p.m.

Do not capitalize a.m. or p.m. and do not space after first period.

Right: 3 p.m., 9 a.m. (For more about times, see Section 3.7 on page 14.)

6 Board of Trustees, Faculty, President, Visitors

Capitalize Board of Trustees. Capitalize Trustee, President, and Visitor (formerly Overseer) as a title before a name. Lowercase titles used after the person’s name. Lowercase second reference to the board or to trustees. Refer to the Visitors (not Board of Visitors [formerly Board of Overseers]). When referring to Visitors as an entity, capitalize.

Do not capitalize faculty, president, or visitor except as a title preceding a name. Refer to the chair of the board, not chairman or chairwoman.

Right: On Monday, Trustee John Wilkins made a speech.
Right: She has been a trustee for four years.
Right: The board sets policy on funding for the College.
Right: The president talked to the Visitors.

7 Classes and Courses

Classes are individual sessions; courses generally last for a semester (or Jan Plan term). Use lowercase when you refer to courses and classes unless you use the specific name of a course (as listed in the catalogue) or the course uses a proper noun or numeral. Do not use quotes around course titles.

Right: I had a mathematics class and an environmental studies class yesterday.
Right: I took a mathematics course and an environmental studies course last semester.
Right: I am taking American Music, Introduction to Psychology, and Intermediate Spanish.

8 Class Years and Parent Years

Capitalize Class in all references to Colby class years. Use the apostrophe (not opening single quote) to abbreviate class years. Use four digits in class years from more than 90 years ago.

For parents and grandparents, use P or GP followed by an apostrophe and the abbreviated class year. For parents or grandparents with more than one child, add a comma followed by a second apostrophe and class year.

If alumni are also parents, use their class year first, followed by the parent convention described above.

Right: The Class of 1956 broke the fundraising record.
Right: Dr. Clarence E. “Doggie” Dore ’39 was the College physician. (Not ‘39.)
Right: Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Class of 1826, was a martyr to abolition and freedom of the press.
Right: Michael ’72 and Anne O’Hanian Szostak ’72 returned to campus in June.
Right: Dick Schmaltz ’62, P’87, GP’15 is a frequent summer visitor on campus.
Right: Colby’s Young Observatory was made possible by the generosity of David P’18, ’18 and Deanna Young P’18, ’18.
Right: Kristen Hock Davie ’90, P’21 has been the correspondent for the Class of 1990 since 2010.

9 Colby Fund

Capitalize all references to funds, e.g.: the Colby Fund, the Colby Fund for Parents or the Parents Fund. Lowercase all second references to the fund. (No apostrophe in Parents—it’s an adjective, not a possessive noun.)

10 The College

Capitalize College by itself only when it refers to Colby.

11 College Events

Capitalize reunion only when used in the titles Reunion Weekend or the specific year, e.g. Reunion 2016.
Capitalize Family Homecoming Weekend (no hyphen).
Capitalize commencement only as part of the formal title and only when it refers to Colby’s commencement, as in Commencement 2015 or Colby’s 194th Commencement.

12 Committees, Clubs

Capitalize names of committees and clubs and lowercase second references. Lowercase names of subcommittees.

Right: The Student Affairs Committee met Thursday. Our committee planned to honor the guest speakers.
Right: The marketing subcommittee of the Development Committee meets Saturday.

13 Official and Courtesy Titles

Titles are capitalized only when written before a person’s name. Refer to the Colby College Catalogue for official titles.

Do not put a courtesy title before a person’s name if a degree title follows it. Use the abbreviations only after a full name, never after just a last name. Lowercase titles unless they precede a name. Second and subsequent references generally use last names only.

Vice president has no hyphen.

When used after a name, a courtesy title is set off by commas. Titles such as C.P.A. are preceded by a comma. Jr. or ordinals in names (III etc.) are not preceded by a comma.

A title is never used for an honorary degree. Colby publications only use the title Dr. for medical and osteopathic doctors.

Courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss are generally not used in either first or subsequent references.

Professor may be used as a courtesy title, capitalized before the person’s name. Coach is lowercase, with or without the specific name of the sport coached.

Wrong: Dr. John Thomas, Ph.D.
Right: Kevin Jones, Ph.D.
Right: Dr. Marie Jones (if she is a medical doctor)
Right: Vice President Douglas Terp ’84 is an alumnus.
Right: Douglas C. Terp ’84, vice president for administration and CFO, is an alumnus.

14 Student Classifications

Do not capitalize first-year student, sophomore, junior, or senior, whether referring to a class or to an individual student. When referring to a particular class year, capitalize Class, e.g., Class of ’15, Class of 1845. Use first-year (with hyphen) when referring to an individual or the whole body of first-year students.

Right: The senior class sponsored the lecture.
Right: He is a senior English major.

15 Historical Periods

Consult the American Heritage Dictionary, but generally capitalize the names of historical periods. Spell out first through ninth centuries and use numbers for 10th and above with century in lowercase. Hyphenate century when using as an adjective.

Right: the Renaissance
Right: Baroque music
Right: the 20th century
Right: the 20th-century historian

16 Honors

Lowercase cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. Do not italicize.

17 Majors, Programs

When they are not a part of a designated degree, do not capitalize majors, specializations, or concentrations of study except for proper names: English, Spanish, German, etc.

Right: He received a bachelor of arts in history.
Right: She majored in economics and Spanish.
Right: concentration in creative writing
Right: a program in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies
Right: the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

18 Regional Designations

Capitalize regions within the United States as nouns, e.g., East Coast and the Midwest. Generally lowercase adjectives, e.g. the northern U.S., western Pennsylvania. (An exception is Southern California.) Lowercase when referring to central Maine or the state of Maine. Belgrade Lakes is capitalized.

Right: Colby and the Belgrade Lakes are located in central Maine.
Right: The sun sets in the west.
Right: America’s water crisis is worst in the West.

19 Seasons

Lowercase spring, summer, fall, and winter and all derived words such as springtime. Capitalize only when part of a formal name.

Right: fall semester, summer session
Right: Winter Olympics
Right: We had an especially dry summer.

20 State and Federal

Lowercase state in all references. Use caps for federal as part of formal name or title. Lowercase it when used as an adjective to distinguish something from state, country, city, town, or private entities.

Right: our state colleges
Right: the federal loans
Right: The state of Maine
Right: a Federal Stafford Loan

21 Web Words

The word web is lowercase, as are words derived from it (e.g. website, webcam, webmaster)
The word cloud is lowercase.
The word Internet is capitalized.
HTML and URL are uppercase.
The word online is one word, not capitalized.
The word email does not have a hyphen.
The word Twitter is capped, tweets/tweets/tweeted are not.
When referring to URLs, omit http:// and www. In running text, Colby’s website is simply

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