Accepted Word Styles

The following word styles apply to the William & Mary website. A broader editorial guide for all communication platforms is available in the university brand guidelines.

When referencing William & Mary
The following are acceptable:
  • William & Mary (first reference)
  • W&M (as second reference)
  • the university (as second reference)
Do not use:
  • WM
  • the College
  • William and Mary
  • College of William and Mary
  • The College of William and Mary
  • The College of William & Mary
Other accepted word styles
Arts & Sciences:

Capitalize when referring to the group of academic units (also known as the Faculty of Arts & Sciences)

Class year:

Include a student’s or alumnus’ class year after his or her name.

  • Jon Stewart ’84
  • Ginger Ambler ’88, Ph.D. ’06

Capitalize departments when their proper names are used; do not capitalize when they are referred to informally.

  • example: Department of History, but history department
  • example: Office of Undergraduate Admission, but admission office
  • example: W&M Police, but police department
Historic Campus:

Refers to the section of campus that includes the Wren Building, President’s House and Brafferton. Some refer to this area as Ancient Campus, but Historic Campus is preferred.

Public Ivy:

Capitalized and in quotes on first reference (“Public Ivy”); lowercase, not in quotes on second references (public ivy).

  • Raymond A. Mason School of Business 
    • Mason School, business school or school of business are acceptable on second reference
    • housed in Alan B. Miller Hall, or Miller Hall on second reference
  • William & Mary Law School
    • law school is acceptable on second reference
  • William & Mary School of Education
    • school of education is acceptable on second reference
  • William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science
    • VIMS is acceptable on second reference
    • the William & Mary School of Marine Science at VIMS is an acceptable first reference when the subject of the content clearly involves a connection to the School of Marine Science
    • always include “William & Mary” as part of first reference for either
Sunken Garden:

Never plural.

Wren Building, the:

Appropriate first-reference form used for all but the most formal references to the Sir Christopher Wren Building. The Wren is the oldest college building still standing in the United States.

In addition...
The serial comma is not used unless preceded by a compound construct, or clarity demands it.
  • Example: red, white and blue
  • Example: pastrami, peanut butter and jelly, and turkey
The following are italicized:
  • book titles
  • journal names
  • titles of movies
  • titles of television shows

The word state can be used when referring to Virginia (even though Virginia is a commonwealth).

The words website, webpage and homepage are each one word, no capital (unless they are the first word in a sentence).