Editorial Style Guide

Get to know CWRU style.

Language has a big impact on how people perceive Case Western Reserve University. The tonality of our language must always reflect the Case Western Reserve brand as an active, engaging, confident, forward-thinking institution. Your words should convey purposeful and thoughtful messages with strong nouns and dynamic verbs, targeted to intellectual audiences.

Each individual unit can have its own personality that reflects the Case Western Reserve tone. However, there are general guidelines you should follow.

Navigate our Editorial Style Guide below, or download the PDF to print and keep handy in your office.


Case Western Reserve University’s Editorial Style Guide helps writers, editors and other communication professionals across campus present ideas and information clearly and consistently. “Style” refers to an organization's guidelines for consistency in how words, phrases, typographical elements, etc., are to be used—or not used.

Having a style guide that serves as a standard puts writers, editors and other communication professionals in a strong position. It shows that the university thinks carefully about how language is used, that it is committed to professionalism and the highest standards of service to partners and clients, and that it matters how the university's message is expressed.

The university recognizes that a style guide is an evolving document and should be updated regularly. New situations, words and kinds of communications will continue to develop and will require new treatment.

Consult Webster's New World College Dictionary (merriam-webster.com), our first reference for spelling and hyphenation.

To resolve questions about style, consult this guide first. It is based on The Associated Press Stylebook (2022).

Guidance for the style guide was provided by Case Western Reserve’s Flora Stone Mather Center for Women; Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center; Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity; Office of Multicultural Affairs; Office of Undergraduate Admission; and University Archives.

Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Note: Any print pieces with a return address must include the university’s address (above), including the zip code + four-digit postal code, rather than the building address.

Schools (alphabetical order)

  • Case School of Engineering
  • College of Arts and Sciences (Do not use ampersand.)
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (Do not use ampersand.)
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • School of Graduate Studies*
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine
  • Weatherhead School of Management

*An administrative unit

Note: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University is part of the School of Medicine.

Abbreviated history

  • Western Reserve University, 1826–June 30, 1967: 
    • Western Reserve College was originally established in 1826 in Hudson, Ohio. It moved to Cleveland in 1882 and became known as Adelbert College of Western Reserve University.
    • Western Reserve University was formally incorporated in 1884. The schools and colleges of Western Reserve University were: Adelbert College, Cleveland College, Flora Stone Mather College, School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Law, Graduate School, School of Library Science, School of Applied Social Sciences, School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Pharmacy, School of Architecture, School of Business.
  • Case Institute of Technology, 1880–June 30, 1967: Case Institute of Technology was originally established as Case School of Applied Science in 1880 in downtown Cleveland. The name changed on July 1, 1947, to Case Institute of Technology and included undergraduate and graduate divisions.
  • Case Western Reserve University, July 1, 1967–present: Case Western Reserve University was established by the federation of Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology.

Academic courses

Capitalize academic course titles and place in quotes.

Examples: “Life of the Mind,” “Nursing Informatics,” “University Seminar,” “Face First”

Course titles also should be capitalized if a course number is used first, but in this instance, quotation marks are not required. To make it easier for readers outside of the university, spell out the name of the department rather than using the abbreviation.

Examples: Mathematics 122: Calculus for Science and Engineering II, Anthropology (not ANTH) 212: Popular Culture in the United States

Note: General academic subjects are not capitalized. (See the "Academic Subjects" entry.)

Academic degrees

Capitalize full names of degrees, including the program name. Do not capitalize academic degrees in casual references when the full title of the degree is not given (e.g., a bachelor’s degree in physics).


  • The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree, the BA in Sociology, a bachelor’s in sociology
  • The Master of Science in Nursing degree (This degree is abbreviated MSN, with the word nursing part of the formal title.)
  • The Master of Arts in World Literature, the MA in World Literature, a master’s in world literature (“World Literature” is not part of the formal title of this degree, so the abbreviation would simply be MA, with “World Literature” written out.)
  • The Master of Healthcare Management degree, a master’s degree in healthcare management, a master’s in healthcare management

Note: CWRU style is to write ”healthcare” as one word; this guideline diverges from AP Style.

If abbreviating a degree by only using its initials, do not include the word “degree.”

Example: He earned a BA from Harvard. (not: He earned a BA degree from Harvard.) However, the word degree can be used in the following context: He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1972.

In line with Associated Press style, we do not include academic credentials after names in press releases and other items distributed to the media. However, if they are used in other mediums—e.g., magazine articles, recruitment materials, etc.—please note that abbreviations of academic degrees do not include periods. (This guideline diverges from AP style.)

In general, list only terminal degrees (including RN) when including credentials, and note that the degree abbreviation comes before the alumni affiliation. If someone has multiple terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, MD), list them all.

Example: John Jones, PhD (GRS ’18, mechanical engineering) (not John Jones, BA, MA, etc.)

When referring to a post-baccalaureate program or student, abbreviate it as post-bacc (or Post-bacc if it’s being used as part of someone’s title before their name).

Academic subjects

Do not capitalize academic subjects, except for proper nouns such as “English” and “French.”

Example: He took the required courses in economics, mathematics and English.

Academic terms

Lowercase academic terms.

Examples: fall semester, summer session

Note: It is acceptable, though not preferable, to capitalize fall, spring and summer when referring to a specific year (e.g., Fall 2022, Spring 2023)


Faculty and staff are groups of people. Faculty members and staff members are the people within those groups. Do not interchange the two.

Examples: All faculty members are encouraged to take part in fall convocation; the university’s faculty is renowned for its research.


Do not use “freshman” or “freshmen.” Refer to students starting their undergraduate careers at the university as “first-year students.”


Do not use “professor” as a synonym for “faculty member,” as the university has several faculty classifications:

  • associate professor
  • assistant professor
  • senior instructor
  • instructor


  • Mary Ku, associate professor of history, will give the keynote address.
  • Joe Wilson joined the department as a professor of history.
  • Melody Lane is a senior instructor in the humanities.

Note: Many professors hold endowed professorships, which should be named wherever possible.

Example: Jonathan Adler, the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, is also the director of the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law.


See the “Titles” section at the end of the guide.

Identify alumni who graduated from Case Western Reserve University (or its predecessor institutions, e.g., Adelbert College) with abbreviations of their schools and their years of graduation in parentheses after their names (an exception is to use MNO for those who earn a Master of Nonprofit Organizations degree). Follow the list of CWRU schools and pre-federation institutions for the appropriate abbreviation (full list available in Addendum 1).

Where possible and relevant to the copy, explain within the text of the article what the individual studied, if not immediately evident from the school abbreviation.

Example: Sarah Snyder (CWR ’03), who studied political science and was president of Undergraduate Student Government at Case Western Reserve, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Do not list graduation years from other institutions. However, if an alum earned a terminal degree (e.g., PhD, MD, JD—not a bachelor’s or, in most instances, a master’s) from another institution and you would like this included in the copy, list the terminal degree abbreviation before their CWRU alumni affiliation.

Example: Alicia Ramirez, PhD (MGT '18), who earned her degree …  

If a graduate has multiple degrees, add a comma between each except for those from the School of Graduate Studies, which include their areas of study; in those instances, use a semicolon to separate degrees.
Example: Victor Johnson (GRS ’84, chemistry; GRS ’88, computer science)
If the graduate earns multiple degrees in the same year, list them alphabetically by the school/institution name (e.g., LAW would fall before MGT).
Unless a terminal degree from an outside institution is listed alongside alumni affiliations (see above example), do not use commas around the alum’s name or affiliation parenthetical.

  • Alfred Williams (CIT ’72, LAW ’74)
  • Mariah Martin (CWR ’97; GRS ’99, English)
  • Ayesha Gantt (MGT '82)
  • Justin Bibb (LAW '18, MGT '18)
  • Victor Johnson (GRS ’84, chemistry; GRS ’88, computer science)
  • Helene Mayberry (MED ’22)
  • Hope Prevails (CWR ’04, MNO ’06)
  • Malikah (CWR ’88) and Juan (MGT ’04) Smith
  • Monique (LAW ‘07) and Jack Wilson
  • Chris Taylor, PhD (ADL ’66)
  • Will Stevens ​​(CWR ’96; GRS ’00, public health nutrition) thanked his alma mater.
  • The Morris Center for Social Workers has named Eric Ridder (SAS '95) its new dean of students.

Note: Although, strictly speaking, a person does not graduate from a school, but is graduated, we use the more commonly accepted form: He graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Distinguished Alumni Award winners

Do not refer to a Distinguished Alumni Award winner as a “Distinguished Alumni.” Instead, clarify they won the award, such as:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Alana Midori (MGT '10)
  • Alana Midori (MGT '10), who won The Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019

Gender references for alumni

Use the format that aligns with the individual’s pronouns; if their pronouns are unknown to the writer, use gender-neutral versions of the Latin terminology:

  • she/her/hers: alumna (singular), alumnae (plural)
  • he/him/his: alumnus (singular), alumni (plural)
  • they/them/theirs or gender-neutral usages: alum or graduate (singular), alums or alumni (plural)

Honorary degrees

The university grants honorary degrees during the convocation ceremony each year to recognize “excellence in any valued aspect of human endeavor, including the realm of scholarship, public service, and the performing arts.” Recipients are announced in May prior to the university's commencement ceremonies.

Example: Use this formatting when the honorary degree recipient is an alum of the university: 

  • Jane Brownfeld (CIT ‘75, HON '10) returned to Case Western Reserve University as a sociology professor in 2016.

If the person is not a CWRU alum, but it’s important to include their terminal degree(s), try to separate them by including their earned degree in the first reference and moving the honorary degree to a later sentence.


  • After Scott Cowen, DBA, led Tulane University through the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, TIME magazine named him one of the nation's 10 Best College Presidents. Cowen (HON '11) served as interim president at Case Western Reserve University from 2020 to 2021.

The Associated Press Stylebook and Case Western Reserve favor a "down" style—that is, one that encourages a minimum of capitalization. When in doubt, do not capitalize. 

For guidelines on capitalization in a specific instance, e.g., academic or course title, see the entry for that listing.


Limit the use of acronyms and initialisms (KSL, PBL, SOM, etc.) wherever possible, as these acronyms are unknown to those outside of campus—and often unfamiliar to those on campus. (Common non-university acronyms/initialisms—e.g., CDC, FBI, NFL—can be used as appropriate; those less common to the general public should be limited in use if possible.) When using an acronym or initialism, include it directly after the words it represents on first reference within the body copy; well-known acronyms or initialisms, such as CWRU, can be used in headlines.


Do not capitalize major university events (commencement, fall convocation, homecoming), unless they are official “named” events, such as the F. Joseph Callahan Distinguished Lecture.

The university’s Hudson Relays event should be capitalized, and ‘Relays’ is plural.


In general, use sentence case (i.e., capitalize the first word, proper nouns, names of organizations and common acronyms). Some exceptions—e.g., webpage titles, magazine features—may exist.

Subheadings of all articles and webpages should use sentence case.

Names of regions

The university follows AP style when writing about specific regions. In those instances, capitalize words such as “greater,” “east,” “northeast,” etc.  

Example: “Case Western Reserve University is located in Northeast Ohio.” or “The weather in Greater Cleveland is beautiful in the fall.”

Do not capitalize those words if they refer to a compass direction, such as “DiSanto Field is located on the northeast side of campus.”

Always use the university's general mailing address (not building street addresses), complete with the five-digit ZIP Code and appropriate four-digit location code; use of the school name is optional:


College of Arts and Sciences
Case Western Reserve University 10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7068

For a department, include the building name, room number and four-digit location code:


Department of Chemical Engineering
Case Western Reserve University
A.W. Smith Building, Room 116 
10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7217

Telephone numbers

Format telephone numbers with periods. This guideline diverges from AP. Contact information should be listed and punctuated in the following order:

Department, Office or Area
Case Western Reserve University Campus building, Room number 10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-xxxx
Telephone: 216.xxx.xxxx
Toll-free: 800.xxx.xxxx
Mobile: 216.xxx.xxxx
Email: firstname.lastname@case.edu
Web: case.edu


For websites, the “http://www.” or “https://www.” prefix should not be used. The words “website,” “webpage” and “email” all are one word and lowercase.

Example: The department just launched its website at case.edu/umc.

Note: While case.edu is our standard URL format, all Case Western Reserve websites also function on the cwru.edu domain. The cwru.edu URLs can be used if preferred, especially in alumni-specific materials.

Use the following style to credit photographers:

  • Photograph by Julia Goldberg
  • Photography by Julia Goldberg (if more than one image is used)

If a subject provides a photo, use this format for the photo credit:

  • Courtesy of Maleek Smith

University offices recommend using the references below. When clarity is needed, ask the subject if they have a preference. For situations not outlined below, default to AP style.


People shouldn't be defined by a condition. Write in a way that puts people first by using the phrase “person with” or “person who.”


  • A patient with COVID-19, not a COVID-19 patient
  • A person who is homeless, not a homeless person
  • People with disabilities, not disabled people
  • A person with autism; not an autistic person
  • A person might have a visual impairment, but that person isn’t impaired.

Gender and sexuality

These terms may be used when writing about a person’s gender or sexual identity, which should only be included if it is essential to the story. Refer to the LGBT Center’s FAQ page for additional information.

  • Avoid unnecessarily gendered terms (e.g., change “chairman” to “chairperson” or “chair”).
  • When a gender distinction is necessary, use gendered language (e.g., man, woman, nonbinary) as opposed to genetic sex terms (e.g., male or female). When writing about scientific studies specifically referring to male and female genetics, chromosomes, etc., male, female and intersex can be used as needed, but language such as “people assigned female/male at birth” is preferred.
  • If the subject of an article does not provide their pronouns, please ask.
  • “They, them, their” may be used as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun and does not require explanation.
  • LGBT: The university uses the term LGBT to refer to people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender.
  • Nonbinary: A person who does not identify as a man or woman
  • Transgender: An adjective referring to a person whose sex at birth does not match their gender identity (e.g., transgender man, transgender woman). Do not use transgender as a noun.

Race and ethnicity

The American Sociological Association defines “race” as physical differences that groups and cultures consider socially significant, while “ethnicity” refers to shared culture, such as language, ancestry, practices, and beliefs. 

When writing about people’s race or ethnicity, ask—do not assume—how they should be identified.

  • Asian, Asian American:
    • Not all people of Asian descent are American (be mindful when referring to international students).
    • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Spell out the full reference (do not use the AAPI acronym with audiences outside of that community). 
  • Black, African American: 
    • Not all people of African descent are American (be mindful when referring to international students).
    • The terms Black and African American are not necessarily interchangeable. In line with Associated Press style, follow a person’s preference if known, and be specific when possible and relevant.
  • Capitalize Black and Indigenous when describing someone’s race, but lowercase white. 
  • When referring to students from other countries, use the term “international” instead of “foreign.”
  • Latin-o/a/x: Default to Latine, but use the subject’s/organization’s preference if it differs.
  • Names:
    • International cultures may not use “first” and “last” names in the same way they are used in the U.S.
    • Ask the subject to clarify how the name should be listed on first and subsequent references and whether the use of a middle name is preferred.
  • Underrepresented: Underrepresented students, staff, faculty or alumni are from racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic populations that are disproportionately underrepresented in higher education.
  • Underrepresented minorities (URM): U.S. citizens who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latine, Native American or Alaska Native.
  • Underserved: Minority populations who are historically underrepresented can be considered underserved, most often referring to families with low income.


The university name

Case Western Reserve University must receive at least one prominent mention in each publication. 

“Case Western Reserve University” should almost always be used on first reference, and “Case Western Reserve” can be used in subsequent references. In select instances, “Case Western Reserve” can be used on first reference if reference to “university” also must be used in that sentence (e.g., “Case Western Reserve will be closed today, according to university leadership.”) “CWRU” can be used in headlines, email subject lines, social media messages and other space-sensitive areas, but in editorial copy, it should be used only after the full university name has been used multiple times. 

Do not use “Case” or “Case Western” in copy, as these names do not represent our university’s full history. (If these names are used as part of a quote, either paraphrase or add brackets within the quote to include the full university name—e.g., “I love the professors at Case [Western Reserve], who are so knowledgeable and helpful.”) 

Use of “the university” (all lowercase) is acceptable in second and subsequent references in narrative copy.

Example: The university was just a block away.

Refrain from putting “the” in front of “Case Western Reserve University,” and limit the need to do so with subsequent school or department names.

Example: She went to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

For centers affiliated with the university, possessive use is a good option. Limit the use of possessives with official school names.

Example: Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute is advancing initiatives in renewable energy generation.

But not: She went to Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine.

College and school names

On first reference, use the full name of the university and the school.

Examples: Case Western Reserve University College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University

Subsequent references in narrative copy to the “school,” “college” or “department” are acceptable and should not be capitalized.

Example: The school has 700 students.

Acceptable second references for schools:

  • Case School of Engineering: School of Engineering, engineering school (not CSE or Case)
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University: Lerner College (not CCLCM)*
  • College of Arts and Sciences: the college (not CAS)
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing: School of Nursing, nursing school (not FPB or Bolton School)
  • Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences: Mandel School (not MSASS)
  • School of Dental Medicine: dental school, dental medicine school (not SODM)
  • School of Graduate Studies: the school
  • School of Law: law school
  • School of Medicine: medical school (not SOM)
  • Weatherhead School of Management: Weatherhead School, management school (not WSOM; Weatherhead can be used alone rarely, but Weatherhead School is preferred)

*Note: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine is not a separate school, but rather part of the School of Medicine.

Building and office names

Capitalize names of buildings and offices on first reference. Lowercase names of buildings and offices when making a general reference, which is acceptable on second and subsequent references.

Examples: She works in the Office of Student Affairs. She is a counselor in the student affairs office.

Each school, division and building within the university named for a person has a short name and a long name. Long names should always be used on first reference. Use shortened form on second and subsequent references. Avoid acronyms whenever possible, as these are unknown outside of campus and also unfamiliar to many within campus.

Refer to the database of formal building names, if needed.


  • Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic on first reference; Health Education Campus on subsequent references (avoid HEC if possible)
  • Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion on first reference; Samson Pavilion on subsequent references
  • Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box]; Sears think[box] on subsequent references
  • Kelvin Smith Library, Smith Library, the library (not KSL)
  • George S. Dively Building, Dively Building
  • Peter B. Lewis Building of Weatherhead School of Management, Lewis Building (not PBL)
  • School of Dental Medicine Dental Clinic, Case Western Reserve University’s Dental Clinic, School of Dental Medicine clinic, dental school’s clinic
  • Tinkham Veale University Center, the university center (not TVUC); can be called “The Tink” in informal context
  • Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel on first formal reference; Maltz Performing Arts Center or Maltz Center on subsequent references (not MPAC) or when constrained by space

Note: CWRU housing buildings are referred to as residence halls (not ‘dorms’ or ‘dormitories’)

Center names

The university has a number of academic and research centers. Capitalize the formal name of a center on first reference. Lowercase center when making a general reference, which is acceptable on second and subsequent references.


  • Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, the Mather Center, the center
  • Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Baker-Nord Center, the center
  • Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, the Cox Center, the center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, the cancer center, the center

Department names

Capitalize the formal name of a department on first reference. Lowercase “department” on second and subsequent references and when making generic references to departments. If the department name includes more than one area, use “and” instead of an ampersand (&).


  • Department of Religious Studies, religious studies department
  • Department of English, the English department
  • Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics; the mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics department

Names of surrounding institutions

When writing about other institutions, confirm the correct formatting for its name (e.g., if ‘The’ is included in the name, preferred capitalization, use of punctuation, etc.). 


  • Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cleveland Clinic (do not include ‘The’ in the hospital’s name)
    • Note: Any reference to Cleveland Clinic in communications or marketing copy will require approval and should be sent to University Marketing and Communications for review.
  • The Cleveland Cultural Gardens
  • Cleveland Guardians
  • Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
  • Cleveland Institute of Art
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Cleveland Sight Center
  • Karamu House
  • Lake View Cemetery
  • Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, moCa Cleveland
  • The Music Settlement
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio Inc.
  • Toby's Plaza
  • University Circle (a geographic area) vs. University Circle Inc. (the organization responsible for the neighborhood’s development and oversight)
  • University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
  • University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital
  • University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
  • University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
  • Uptown
  • Wade Oval
  • Western Reserve Historical Society

Use full name on first reference, last name only in subsequent references. When multiple individuals with the same last name are referenced in the article, typically use first and last names, though first names can be used in more informal contexts. Defer to the individual’s personal preference regarding proper first name and inclusion of middle initials (e.g., Joseph P. Smith or Joe Smith).

When writing about a current student, use terms such as “first-year student” or “third-year medical student” to denote their class standing, or “... who is expected to finish their MBA in 2024” to clarify their anticipated graduation year. Do not add parenthetical information [e.g. (CWR ’25) or (MGT ’24)] after their names as those references are used solely to express alumni status.

When creating name tags for parents and family members for admissions events, follow this format: Anton Williams (Parent ‘21, ‘22).

Do not use courtesy titles. See the Titles entry for rules on academic and clinical titles.

Punctuation is intended to clarify meaning and speed comprehension. Consistency is essential. The Associated Press Stylebook has a comprehensive section on punctuation. Below are examples for quick reference and a few instances where university style diverges from AP.

Date/time formatting

The university follows AP style for date and time formatting. 


  • Abbreviate months with more than five letters in dates (e.g., January, February, October), but not days of the week.
    • Wednesday, Jan. 20, or Monday, March 8
  • Don’t abbreviate dates using numbers and backslashes: Jan. 5 (not: 1/5)
  • When listing the date, do not use “st,” “rd,” “th,” etc.
  • Time of the day should be noted using “a.m.” or “p.m.”
  • Do not include “:00” when listing a time at the top of the hour
  • Use the word “noon” when referring to 12 p.m.
  • Do not include space before or after the en dash (see more information below) in a time range
  • If you list a date and then continue the sentence, you need to add a comma after it.
    • The application is due Friday, July 31, so apply today.
  • Correct date/time style: 
  • Friday, Sept. 25, from noon to 2 p.m. or Sept. 25, noon–2 p.m. 
    • (not: Fri., September 25th, 12 PM - 2 P.M.)

Note: When noting the time for an event for an external audience (e.g., alumni, general public), include the time zone (generally EDT, which begins in March, or EST, which begins in November). Time zone references are not needed in messages to the campus community.

Em dash (—)

There is no space between the words and the em dash. A sentence should contain no more than two em dashes; otherwise, set off using parentheses.

Use the em dash:

  • After a statement of particulars, and also after a summary of particulars, although here a colon might well be used:
    • Example: Reputation, money, friends—all were sacrificed.
  • Before an author's name after a quotation:
    • Example: "The new dean will keep the school at the forefront of higher education."
      —Julie Jones, president
  • Before a statement made for effect or explanation:
    • Example: Watch your life and doctrine closely—if you do, you save yourself and your hearers.
  • To denote an abrupt change in thought:
    • Example: I love his writing—but what an ego!
  • To emphasize a parenthetical expression:
    • Example: In the confusion—and 50 people all standing and waving their arms created a lot of confusion—I forgot to pick up my notes.

En dash (–)

The main use of the en dash is to connect numbers; it is used to connect words less often. It signifies through, so that, for example, 1900–1995 includes 1995. There is no space between the words and the en dash.


  • 1900–1995
  • fiscal 2021–22
  • The Cedar Road–SOM Center Road bus leaves at noon.
  • Cleveland beat Cincinnati 24–10.

To keep construction parallel, do not use the en dash with the word from.

Example: She was enrolled from 1999 to 2004. NOT: She was enrolled from 1999–2004.

Note: When noting the time for an event for an external audience (e.g., alumni, general public), include the time zone (generally EDT, which begins in March, or EST, which begins in November). Time zone references are not needed in messages to the campus community.


Abbreviations of academic degrees take no periods. This guideline diverges from AP.


  • John Jones, PhD
  • PhD, LLM, MA, MBA, BS, BSc, JD, MD, MEd (See the entry on Academic degrees.)

For additional information about the university—including data and historical milestones— consult the following university offices:

Office of Institutional Research
Adelbert Hall, Room 216

Kelvin Smith Library
11055 Euclid Ave.

University Archives 
BioEnterprise Building University West, Room 20 

Academic titles

Capitalize when preceding names. Lowercase when standing alone or following names, except for named professorships, Distinguished University Professors and Institute Professors.


  • The ceremony is in honor of President Eric W. Kaler.
  • The president was seen often on campus.
  • Eric W. Kaler, president of the university, was seen often on campus.
  • He is the dean of student affairs.
  • She is the Herbert Henry Dow Professor of Science and Engineering.
  • She was named a Distinguished University Professor last fall.

Note: Unless a job title spells “advisor” with an “o,” the preference is to spell it as “adviser.”

Clinical titles

For professors who have clinical appointments at affiliated medical centers, include primary clinical appointments along with university titles.

Example: The lead author was Barbara Jackson, PhD, professor of cardiology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and director of cardiology with University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute.

Courtesy titles

Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc.) in editorial copy. 

Example: If it is necessary to note academic credentials, instead of “Dr. Smith,” use “Smith, MD,” or “Smith, PhD.”

Emeriti titles

Emeritus status is an honor bestowed upon retired full-time faculty members and presidents in recognition of meritorious service to Case Western Reserve University.


  • Barbara R. Snyder, president emerita
  • President Emerita Barbara R. Snyder
  • May L. Wykle, emerita professor of nursing
  • Associate Professor Emeritus of Restorative Dentistry James W. Simmelink

Note: Use the format of the word that aligns with the individual’s pronouns; if their pronouns are unknown to the writer, use gender-neutral versions of the Latin terminology:

  • she/her/hers: emerita
  • he/him/his: emeritus
  • they/them/theirs, gender-neutral or plural usages: emeriti

Judicial, military and religious titles

Include a judicial, military or religious title on first reference. In subsequent references, use only the last name.

Titles of works

Titles of publications and compositions should be set in italics and should have the principal words capitalized. Articles (“a,” “an” or “the”), prepositions and conjunctions should be capitalized only when they are the first or last words in a title. This guideline applies to books, magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, operas, plays, poems, albums, digital presentations (e.g. streaming presentations and podcasts), speeches and works of art.

Note: This guideline diverges from AP style.


  • Of Mice and Men
  • The Week
  • Spartacus
  • CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell
  • Don Giovanni
  • Angels in America
  • The Raven
  • The Dark Side of the Moon

Titles of presentations and events, and titles within titles—such as the title of an article in a magazine—should be set in quotation marks. Follow the same rules for capitalizing.

His article “Genetic Modifiers of Lung Disease in Cystic Fibrosis” appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Identify alumni with abbreviations of their schools and their years of graduation in parentheses after their names. Case Western Reserve University includes its former schools and colleges to honor the graduates of academic programs, schools and colleges that are no longer functioning under their original names.

  • ADL: Adelbert College (undergraduate primarily men’s liberal arts until 1972)
    • Adelbert was consolidated with Flora Stone Mather and Cleveland Colleges in 1971. In 1973, the consolidated college was renamed Western Reserve College. 
  • ARC: School of Architecture (1929-1953 as part of Western Reserve University)
    • Department of Architecture majors from 1953 to 1972 would be considered Adelbert (for men) or Mather (for women).
  • CIT: Case Institute of Technology (undergraduates, 1947-1992; graduate students 1947-1967)
  • CLC: Cleveland College (1925-1972)
    • Established for part-time and night students, CLC consolidated with Adelbert and Flora Stone Mather to become Western Reserve College.
  • CSAS: Case School of Applied Science (undergraduates, 1880 to 1947)
  • CWR: Case Western Reserve (undergraduates, 1993-present*)
    • Includes College of Arts and Sciences, Case School of Engineering, Frances Payne Bolton School     of Nursing and Weatherhead School of Management.
  • DEN: School of Dental Medicine (1892-present)
    • Originally known as the Dental Department, it was renamed the School of Dentistry in 1924 and then the School of Dental Medicine in 2003.
  • EDU: School of Education (1928-1945)
    • Established at Western Reserve University and later named the Department of Education (closed in 1979).
  • FSM: Flora Stone Mather College (undergraduate women’s liberal arts, 1888–1972)
    • Established at Western Reserve University as the College for Women in 1888, the name was changed to Flora Stone Mather College in 1931. It consolidated with Adelbert and Cleveland Colleges in 1971 and was renamed Western Reserve College in 1973.
  • GRS: School of Graduate Studies (1892-present)
    • Established at Western Reserve University as the Department of Graduate Instruction. Case Institute of Technology established a graduate program in 1931.
  • LAW: School of Law (1891-present)
  • LYS: School of Information and Library Science (1903-1986)
    • Originally established as the Library School, the name was changed to School of Library Science in 1924. In 1981, it was renamed Matthew A. Baxter School of Information and Library Science.
  • MED: School of Medicine (1843-present)
    • Originally established as Cleveland Medical College, the name changed to Medical Department of Western Reserve College in 1844 and the School of Medicine in 1913.
  • MGT: School of Management (1952-present)
    • Originally established in 1952 as the School of Business by combining the Cleveland College Division of Business Administration and the Graduate School Division of Business Administration. The School of Management was formed by combining the WRU School of Business and the CIT Division of Organizational Sciences through the Federation. It was renamed Weatherhead School of Management in 1980.
  • MNO: Master of Nonprofit Organizations
  • NUR: School of Nursing (1923-present)
    • The Nursing Education Department was established in the College for Women in 1921. The School of Nursing at Western Reserve University was established in 1923 with a gift from Frances Payne Bolton. In 1924, the School of Nursing absorbed the schools of Nursing at Lakeside Hospital, Maternity Hospital, and Babies Hospital and Dispensary. In 1935, the School of Nursing was renamed Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
  • PHA: School of Pharmacy (1908-1949)
    • Originally established in 1882 as the Cleveland School of Pharmacy by the Cleveland Pharmaceutical Association, it became affiliated with Western Reserve University in 1908.
  • SAS: School of Applied Social Sciences (1915-present)
    • In 1988, the name was changed to the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and then renamed the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in 2013.
  • WRC: Western Reserve College (liberal art undergraduates from 1973 to 1992)
    • Western Reserve College was also the name of the institution from 1826-1882. In 1987, the second iteration of WRC merged with the undergraduate college of Case Institute of Technology and, known as The Colleges, was one academic unit consisting of two colleges: CIT and WRC. In 1992, two separate colleges were established: College of Arts and Sciences and Case School of Engineering.