Public Affairs

Editorial Style Guide

Public affairs has developed this style guide to allow Reed College communicators to make quick and consistent decisions about spelling, capitalization, grammar, style, usage, and other challenges when developing copy for internal and external audiences.

These guidelines are intended to help ensure a reasonable amount of standardization in our communications, aid in the training of new employees, and promote a pleasant reading experience for our audiences.

In general, Reed relies for spelling on Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and for editorial style on the Chicago Manual of Style. The library maintains a subscription to the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style, which students, faculty, and staff can access when using Reed’s on-campus network or when using Reed’s remote access proxy.

The recommendations in Reed’s editorial style guide aim to address concerns specific to the Reed community; some of these points lie outside the scope of the Chicago Manual of Style, and others reflect an institutional choice to depart from the Chicago Manual of Style.

Download the style guide (PDF)

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Buildings and other spaces 
Reed magazine style 


abbreviations and acronyms

Avoid using abbreviations in running text. A few standard abbreviations may be used when it is customary {a.m., Dr.}.

Acronyms (pronounced as a word) or initialisms (whose letters are sounded out individually) may replace unwieldy terms after being introduced in parentheses {students spent the morning volunteering at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)}. Skip the explanation if the acronym will be so familiar to your readers that no expansion is needed {MRC}.

Acronyms or initialisms that appear in full caps do not take periods {MRC, NAACP, PE, RSVP, SEEDS, TIAA}.

Acronyms and initialisms are made plural with the addition of an s {HAs}.

No apostrophe is needed.

academic centers

See building names.

academic degrees

Use lowercase and spell out degrees mentioned in very formal text {Sara Smith ’95 earned a bachelor’s degree at Reed; she earned a master’s degree and a doctorate at the University of Chicago}. Capitalize the name of a degree when it is displayed on a diploma, alumni directory, or anywhere it appears as a title rather than a description. When abbreviating degrees {Fernando García ’60, PhD}, omit periods {BA, MAT, PhD}, unless they are needed for clarity. Separate multiple Reed degrees and class years with a comma {Mark Rosenthal ’88, MALS ’98, attended the Reunions luncheon}. Note: Reed confers the BA and MALS degrees; in the past, Reed has conferred the MA, MAT, and AMP degrees.

academic disciplines

In running text, use lowercase for academic subjects, majors and minors, and courses of study, except in cases that include a proper noun {American studies, chemistry, English, mathematics}. In titles or lists, capitalize both elements of an interdisciplinary major and, if appropriate, connect them with a slash {Mathematics/Economics, American Studies}. Spell out concentrations {German with a concentration in literature} when possible. When it is necessary to shorten a concentration, connect it with a hyphen (German-literature}.

academic programs

Divisions and departments should be capitalized only when the full, formal name is used {Division of History and Social Sciences, Department of Physics; the history and social sciences division and the physics department are preferred}. Note: theatre at Reed is spelled with an re. For a full list of Reed’s academic programs, see

academic progress

Senior thesis, oral examination, and junior qualifying examination are lowercased.

academic titles

Use lowercase in running text when appearing after a name {Elizabeth Drumm, professor of Spanish & humanities}; capitalize if context requires the title to appear before the name {Professor Williams} and in a list {Mary James, Dean for Institutional Diversity & A.A. Knowlton Professor of Physics}. Named professorships are always capitalized {Marc Schneiberg, John C. Pock Professor of Sociology}. Use the Reed College directory to confirm titles of faculty members. Note: in academic titles, & is preferred (see ampersand).

In running text, reserve the use of Dr. for medical doctors.


In college addresses, note the recipient in the first line; the department, division, or office in the second; followed by the name of the institution in the third. Building name is unnecessary. Street address and city, state, and zip code go in the final two lines. U.S. postal regulations dictate that one should avoid punctuation.

Emma Clark
Alumni Programs & Annual Fund
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland OR 97202-8199

In student addresses, include the mail stop (MS) number after the name of the institution:

John Kim
Reed College MS 1033
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland OR 97202-8199

In running text, lowercase and spell out the names of offices and departments and include the building name or abbreviation, if helpful to your reader, followed by the room number {come visit us in the student engagement office, Student Center} See building names and state names.

administrative offices

Department refers to an academic department; use office to refer to staff functions {the community safety office}. Capitalize offices only when the full, formal name is used {Office of the Registrar; the registrar’s office is preferred}.

administrative titles

Lowercase when a title appears after a name in running text {Audrey Bilger, president of Reed College}. Use uppercase in headline text or when context requires the title appear before the name {Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black}. Note: in administrative titles, & is preferred {Vice President for College Relations & Planning Hugh Porter}

See ampersand.

admission office

Reed’s admission office (note singular) is preferred. Capitalize when the full, formal name is used {Reed College Office of Admission}.

admission categories

Lowercase early decision, early action, transfer student, and regular decision in running text. Uppercase in lists and charts and when abbreviating {ED II}.


Adviser is preferred to advisor.


Lowercase is preferred {the alumni board}; capitalize in formal text and lists {Reed College Alumni Board}. Use alumnus to refer to a male graduate or former student and alumna to refer to a female graduate or former student. Alum is the gender-neutral term for a graduate or former student. Alumni refers to multiple male or female graduates, alumnae refers to multiple female graduates, and alums is the gender-neutral plural.


See time.


When only two are involved, use between. When three or more are involved, use between to indicate multiple one-to-one relationships {discussion between members of the faculty}. Among indicates undefined or collective relationships {honor among thieves}.


Use & in office names {health & counseling center}. In academic and administrative titles, & is preferred {professor of English & humanities, environmental health & safety coordinator}; either and or & may be used if consistent throughout a publication.


See outdoor spaces.

Annual Fund

Capitalize the name of this fund.

assure, ensure, insure

Do not use interchangeably. The results assured, or gave confidence to, the administrators. The goal was to ensure, or guarantee, that all students received equal treatment. The policy will insure, or secure against a financial risk, against water damage.


board of trustees

Lowercase the generic, which is preferred {the board of trustees met yesterday}; uppercase the formal {The Reed College Board of Trustees will meet next month}. In running text, trustees or trustee may be used without “board of.” See emeritus.

building names

In running text, capitalize named buildings {Gray Campus Center} and lowercase rooms in named buildings {Vollum lecture hall, student union, Eliot Hall chapel}. Lowercase the generic term {the library, but the Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library}. Kaul Auditorium, although technically part of Gray Campus Center, is capitalized in running text, as are Biology 19 and Psychology 105.  

Lowercase centers and laboratories {multicultural resource center, quantitative skills center, instructional media center}, but use uppercase when abbreviating {MRC, IMC}.

In headlines, capitalize rooms in named building {Vollum Lecture Hall} as well as centers {Multicultural Resource Center}.

For numbered rooms, use the name of the building instead of class schedule abbreviations {Eliot 126, not E126}. Psychology 105 is also referred to as the psychology auditorium; Biology 19 is also referred to as the biology auditorium. In Campus News and other internal communications, the abbreviation GCC may be used for Gray Campus Center. When listing multiple rooms in Gray, use either an ampersand between two rooms or an en dash for more than two {GCC A & B; GCC B–D}.

See appendix A for a list of buildings and indoor and outdoor spaces.

See outdoor spaces.

bulleted and numbered lists

Introduce a bulleted or numbered list with a complete sentence followed by a colon. Use a numbered list only when items in the list must occur in a specific order; otherwise, a bulleted list will suffice. Capitalize the first letter of the first word for each bulleted or numbered item.

Alumni chapter events reflect a variety of interests:

  • Camping trips
  • Career networking
  • Reading groups

If one of the bulleted or numbered items is a complete sentence, use periods for all of the items.

For lists that complete a sentence, omit the colon, lowercase the first letter of the first word for each item, separate each item with a semicolon, and add a period to the last line. Do not use and or or to introduce the final item.

While you’re at the Annual Fund table,

  • compare notes with students about Hum 110 then and now;
  • check out your class giving goals and progress;
  • make a gift to Reed.


campus size

The Reed campus encompasses 116 acres.


Lowercase canyon {Reed canyon is a 28-acre watershed that runs through the heart of the campus. It is considered a protected wetland}.

Canyon Day

Capitalize Canyon Day in running text.


Lowercase centennial in running text. Reed College marked its centennial in the academic year 2011–12, a hundred years after the college held its first classes in downtown Portland in 1911. Founded in 1908, Reed broke ground in 1912 for its first two buildings, now known as Eliot Hall and Old Dorm Block.


See building names.


See dates.

class size

The average class size at Reed is 15 students.

class year

Lowercase class years {class of ’56}. Note that there is no comma between name and class year nor after class year {Reed alumna Michelle Washington ’63 has published a new book}.

Separate multiple class years with a comma {Ben Bradley ’88, MALS ’98}.

First-year student is preferred to freshman. Avoid upperclassmen, which is limited to juniors and seniors; use returning students or sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

college, the

See Reed College.

college and university names

For colleges and universities with multiple campuses, use either a comma, an en dash, “at,” or nothing after finding out what the university in question seems to favor and then taking into account questions of consistency within the document {University of Wisconsin–Madison; Indiana University South Bend; UC Irvine; University of California, Berkeley}.


See punctuation.


Lowercase the names of board committees {academic affairs committee, budget policy committee} and staff committees {accessibility committee, legislation committee, wellness committee}; uppercase the names of standing and special committees provided for by the faculty constitution {Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (CAPP), Committee on Advancement and Tenure (CAT), Appeals and Review Committee}.


Lowercase Reed community and Reed campus.

comprise and compose

The whole comprises the parts {the academic program comprises five divisions}. Do not use is comprised of. The parts compose the whole {the academic program is composed of five divisions}.

Cooley Gallery

In running text, use the full name of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery on first reference; in the rest of the document, the Cooley Gallery may be used.

course names

Formal course names are rarely used in copy. Lowercase and use informally {he taught a class on social psychology}. When used, official names of courses of study are capitalized, as are course names with their associated course number {she registered for Quantum Mechanics I; there are 16 students in History 374}. See Humanities 110.



See punctuation.


In running text, spell out the names of days and months. Use a comma before and after the year when including the day {the Commencement ceremony on May 20, 2019, was held on the Great Lawn}, but not when using only the month and year {he graduated in May 2020}. Note: Avoid the unnecessary use of the words the and of {he retired in spring 2021, not in the spring of 2021}.

Use the words from and to together {from April 1 to May 15}; otherwise, use an en dash {registration is January 1–February 15}. In running text, use the word and between consecutive dates {performances are at 7 p.m. on August 1 and 2}; in headline text, use an ampersand {August 1 & 2}.

It is not necessary to repeat the month in citing a range of dates {October 1–15}. Use cardinals, although they may be pronounced as ordinals {May 18, not May 18th}.

Use lowercase for the seasons and words derived from them {the fall semester, springtime}.

Lowercase and spell out centuries {the twenty-first century, the eighth century}.


See academic degrees.

departments and offices

See academic programs and administrative offices.


Instruction at Reed is offered within five divisions or groups of related subjects. These are the division of the arts; the division of history and social sciences; the division of literature and languages; the division of mathematics and natural sciences; and the division of philosophy, religion, psychology, and linguistics. See academic programs.


See residence halls.


electronic publications
Following are answers to common questions about electronic publications.
  • Websites: Titles of websites are set in roman without quotation marks and capitalized headline style {Project Gutenberg}. 
  • Websites that correspond to print: Websites that have a print counterpart {New York Times} or are analogous to a book {Wikipedia} or other type of publication {Huffington Post} should be styled according to the printed version; indicate the electronic version was consulted if there is a print counterpart {the New York Times online,}. 
  • Web pages or titled sections within a website: Pages and sections are analogous to articles in a periodical and should be placed in quotation marks {“Google Maps Help Center”}. 
  • Blogs: Weblogs—blogs—are analogous to periodicals—and should be set in italics; titles of blog entries—like articles in a periodical—should be set in quotation marks {“Bio Prof Bequeaths Fortune to Reed” on Sallyportal}. 
  • Books downloaded from a library or bookseller: Indicate the format of the book consulted when it is downloaded from a library or bookseller {Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, New York, Penguin Enriched eBook Classic, 2009, Kindle Edition}. 
Eliot Circle

See outdoor spaces.


See punctuation.


Do not use a hyphen.


Lowercase is preferred {professor emerita of religion}, unless it appears before the name {Professor Emeritus Buhler}or as part of a named professorship {Robert Reynolds, David W. Brauer Professor of Physics, Emeritus}. Emeritus (singular) refers to a male {Professor Emeritus Charles S. Rhyne}; emerita (singular) refers to a female {Martha A. Darling ’66, Trustee Emerita}; emeriti (plural) refers to a group of male or male and female professors {there are three emeriti faculty in the department}. Normally, the adjective—emeritus or emerita—follows the noun {professor emerita}, but it is also widely accepted to use the phrase emeritus faculty. Note emeritus and emerita are honorary designations and do not simply mean “retired.”


While entitled can mean to give a title to something, it does not refer to the title itself. If possible, avoid introducing the title {Tamara Metz’s book, Untying the Knot, was published in 2010}; if you must introduce the title of a book, lecture, or other work, use named, called, or titled.


In running text, capitalize the following Reed events: Commencement, Orientation, Paideia, Parent & Family Weekend, Reed Admit Days, Reed Arts Week, Renn Fayre, and Reunions. In running text, lowercase is preferred for convocation and reading week.


The names of exhibitions are set in italic {three contemporary artists are brought together in the Cooley Gallery’s show, Abstract}. Titles of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other works of art are also italicized. Note: Use exhibition as a noun to describe showings of art objects {the exhibition ends tomorrow}; use exhibit, which has several meanings, as a verb {the artist has exhibited widely}.



See social media policy.


A mass noun that refers to an indeterminate collection of people can take either a singular verb to emphasize the group {the faculty is meeting in Vollum}or a plural verb to emphasize the individual members {the faculty are discussing Commencement}. If a mass noun appears throughout a piece, use one verb form consistently. Add the word members to make it clearly plural {several faculty members couldn’t attend}. See staff.

foreign words and phrases

Italic is used for foreign words and phrases if they are likely to be unfamiliar to readers. Foreign words and phrases familiar to most readers are not italicized (a good indication is to see if it has its own entry in Webster’s). Unfamiliar foreign words used repeatedly in a work need be set in italic only on first reference.


Use lowercase {add/drop form, declaration of major form}. Use full caps if the name of the form is an acronym {federal funds are awarded based on the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid}.

This compound has become accepted as a single word. See Chicago Manual of Style (17th Edition), section 7.83, for more information on the trend toward closed compounds.


gender-neutral pronouns

Use the singular they, them, and theirs when a subject's gender is unspecified or when the individual has expressed a preference for gender-neutral pronouns. {If a student needs on-campus housing, they should contact the residence life office. The student should log in with their Reed ID.}

gender-neutral language

Use gender-inclusive words for generic meaning: humankind instead of mankind, artificial or synthetic instead of manmade, etc.

geographic locations

Well-known regional terms are capitalized {the Pacific Northwest, the East Coast, Eastern Oregon}. Terms derived from compass points that indicate location are lowercased {they flew north, the southern states}. Portland is divided into five so-called quadrants; these quadrants are capitalized, {Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, North}. Colloquial Portland neighborhood names are also capitalized {Overlook, Lents, Ladd’s Addition}.

Lowercase coast in references to the Oregon coast. Spell out Mount in Mount Hood.

Great Lawn

See outdoor spaces.


home page

Home page is two words.

Honor Principle

Uppercase is preferred. Honor Principle may be used as a noun or an adjective {campus is governed by an Honor Principle, and an Honor Principle case—or Honor case—was brought against him}, but not as a verb {do not use Honor cased}.

Humanities 110

In running text, capitalize and spell out the name of the course on first reference {Humanities 110 is an intensive yearlong interdisciplinary course}. In the rest of the document, Hum 110 may be used. In ad copy, Hum 110 is preferred.


See punctuation.



Use without periods, because the letters do not stand for separate words.


Close up spaces between initials in names {F.L. Griffin, not F. L. Griffin}.


Lowercase and spell out. Do not use Net.


junior qualifying examination

See academic progress.


lecture series

Annual or otherwise ongoing lecture series—including the Greenberg Distinguished Scholar Program, the Public Policy Lecture Series (PPLS), and the Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Series—are capitalized. Individual lectures and individual lectures within a series are capitalized and enclosed in quotation marks.


Capitalize the titles of lectures and set in quotes.

letter spacing

Use only one space after a period. Do not use any spaces on either side of an em dash {will he—can he—obtain the necessary signature}.



See Reed Magazine.

maiden names

See surnames.

mail services

Use mail services rather than mail room {mail services is located in Gray Campus Center}.

multicultural resource center

See building names.


The definition of myriad is numerous. Avoid the redundant myriads and a myriad of.



Nonprofit, a compound formed with the prefix non, does not contain a hyphen. See section 7.89 of the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) for a hyphenation guide to compounds and words formed with prefixes.


Spell out whole numbers from zero through nine {three people came in fifth} and any number beginning a sentence. Use numerals for other numbers {there were 14 students}. In a sentence or paragraph that contains many numbers, choose either numerals or spelled-out numbers for all numbers.


The Odyssey

The title of the work is the Odyssey, not The Odyssey. In running text, lowercase the when used and set in roman type {the Odyssey}.


OK is preferred to okay or ok.


With frequent use, this compound has become accepted as one word (it has gone from on line to on-line to online).

online news and other sources

See electronic publications.

outdoor spaces

Capitalize named outdoor spaces {Eliot Circle, Great Lawn, Quad}. The Barry Cerf Memorial Theatre and Garden Area may be capitalized as it is known: Cerf Amphitheatre.

See appendix A for a full list of outdoor spaces.



See events.

Parent & Family Weekend

See events.

parking lots

Use lowercase in running text {the college encourages faculty and staff members who work in Eliot Hall to park in the north lot}.


Percentages are expressed in numerals. In nontechnical copy, percent is usually used {8 percent}. In scientific copy, or in a sentence or paragraph that contains many expressions of ratio, the symbol is used {8%}. If a sentence begins with a percentage, spell out and capitalize the number {Eight percent of students completed the survey}.

personal pronouns

See gender-neutral pronouns.


Use lowercase for campus policies {Reed’s animal policy, the noise policy}.


Form the possessive of singular nouns by adding an apostrophe and an s {the book’s cover}. Form the possessive of most plural nouns by adding an apostrophe only {the books’ covers}. The general rule extends to proper nouns, including names ending in s, x, or z, in both their singular and plural forms {Marx’s theories; Dickens’s novels; the Fosters’ residence}, as well as to words and names ending in an unpronounced s {Descartes’s vicious circle}. When the singular form of a noun ending in s is the same as the plural, form the possessives of both by adding an apostrophe only {politics’ irritations}. The same rule applies when the name of a place, organization, or publication is a plural form ending in s, such as the United States, even though the entity is singular {the United States’ role}.

postdoctoral research and scholars

Spell out postdoctoral on first reference {postdoctoral research; postdoctoral appointment}. Following the first mention, postdoc may be used to refer to a postdoctoral research appointment or a postdoctoral scholar.


Use third-person-plural pronouns—they, their, them, and themself—as singular pronouns when referring to an individual who is nonbinary or who does not identify with a gender-specific pronoun {their major is biochemistry and molecular biology}; when referring to an individual of unspecified gender {the first-year student told the college spokesperson what they saw}; when referring to indefinite pronouns {“I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly”—Jane Austen}; when referring to singular nouns that stand for many persons {“’tis meet that some more audience than a mother, since nature makes them partial, should o’erhear the speech”—William Shakespeare}; or to avoid inappropriately gendered constructions {each senior should submit approved copies of their thesis to the registrar’s office by April 29}. See Merriam-Webster’s usage guide for more information.

Public Policy Lecture Series

See lecture series.


Following are answers to some of the common questions about punctuation. For more details on punctuation, see Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition), chapter six.

Colons and semicolons: Use a colon at the end of a complete sentence to introduce a list or to set off a dependent or independent clause {Alumni have access to a range of services on campus: the sports center, the library, and the computer labs}. Use a semicolon to connect the two parts of a compound sentence (two independent clauses) when the clauses are not connected by a conjunction {we have received a copy of the style guide; a follow-up email about semicolons is not necessary}.

Commas: A comma should be used between each element in a series, including the use of a serial comma before and or or {community activities at Reed include theatre, lectures, and sports}. Do not use a comma before Jr. or Sr. {Vine Deloria Jr. was one of the preeminent Native American intellectuals of the twentieth century}.

Ellipsis: An ellipsis is the omission of a word, phrase, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage; indicate such omissions by the use of three spaced periods {. . .}; include spaces before and after the ellipsis points.

Hyphens and dashes: Use a hyphen to separate numbers that are not inclusive of a range, such as telephone numbers. Use a hyphen to form compound adjectives that come before a noun {part-time job, but the job was part time}. Do not hyphenate words that begin with the prefix non {nonviolent, nonsmoking} and do not use a hyphen with adverbs ending in ly {mildly amusing style guide}. Use an en dash to connect words and numbers if you want to signify up to and including {June 5–8}. An em dash is used to set off an amplifying or explanatory element {it was a revival of the most potent image in modern democracy—the revolutionary idea}, as an alternative to parentheses or commas {the influence of three impressionists—Monet, Sisley, and Degas—is obvious in her work}, or in place of a colon. Do not use spaces on either side of an em dash.

Quotation marks: Punctuation generally goes inside closing quotation marks; however, colons, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation points go outside closing quotation marks unless a question mark or an exclamation mark is part of the quoted material.

Slashes: Avoid the informal use of slashes to indicate alternatives {he/she, and/or}. When quoting two or more lines of poetry in running text, slashes with space on each side are used to show line breaks.



See outdoor spaces.



In running text, use the full name of the Reed College Research Reactor on first reference; in the rest of the document, reactor may be used.

Reed Admit Days

See events.

Reed College

Capitalize Reed College; lowercase the college.

Reed College wordmark and other matters of visual identity

Following are answers to some common questions about Reed’s graphic identity. For help in determining how and when to use these graphic elements, see the Reed College Graphic Standards.

  • Reed College seal: The seal is used only on official college documents, including the diploma.
  • Reed wordmark: This is the official graphic representation used in college communications, both online and in print.
  • Reed griffin: The griffin appears in both formal and informal communications.
  • Reed red: Reed uses a set of colors to maintain consistency and recognition; Reed’s core color, known as “Reed red,” is Pantone (PMS) 1807; the equivalent for the web is HEX #5E0501.
Reed magazine

The full title of the alumni magazine is Reed Magazine, not Reed or Reed Magazine. For the magazine’s style sheet, see appendix B.


Students and alumni whose class year is later than 1958 are generally referred to as Reedies. See Reedite.


Alumni whose class year precedes 1958 are generally referred to as Reedites. See Reedie.

residence halls

The term residence hall is preferred to dormitory and dorm. Capitalize the names of individual residence halls {Anna Mann, Bragdon Hall, Chitick, Farm House, Spanish House}; lowercase groupings {cross-canyon residence halls, the grove, the language houses}. See appendix A for a list of buildings.


scientific names

In lists and in running text, the Latin names of species of plants and animals are italicized. Each binomial contains a genus name (or generic name ), which is capitalized, and a species name (also called specific name or specific epithet ), which is lowercased (even if it is a proper adjective). {Rachel Fox ’15 wrote her thesis on the life-history and the genome of Daphnia magna .}

Phyla, orders, and such are not italicized.


See dates.


See punctuation.

social media policy

Following are answers to some common questions about Reed’s official presence on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In general, users should consider how their use of words and images will reflect on the college. Individual faculty or student pages can and should be a forum for personal opinion; however, if an employee or student group at Reed creates a page that could be affiliated officially or unofficially with the college, we ask that

  • use of the wordmark and other graphic elements follow the Reed College Graphic Standards;
  • the full name of the college be used {Reed College Alumni, Reed College Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library};
  • applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA, as well as NAIA regulations, be followed, and that all applicable institutional and legal privacy, confidentiality, and copyright policies—including the web and copyright policies described at—be followed.

For general matters of spelling, Reed recommends using Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Following is a partial list of words where Reed has a preference:

  • adviser
  • theatre, but for proper nouns follow the style of each theatre company {theatre majors and Reed Theatre, but the Gershwin Theater}

A mass noun that refers to an indeterminate collection of people—see faculty—can take either a singular verb to emphasize the group {the staff is included} or a plural verb to emphasize individual members {the staff are meeting in the Eliot Hall chapel}. When taking the plural verb, staff members is preferred.

state names

Spell out state names in running text. Names of states are set off by commas when used after city names {a student from South Boston, Virginia, arrived first}.


The student-to-faculty ratio at Reed is typically between 9:1 and 10:1. When noting the student-to-faculty ratio, separate the expression of ratio with a colon (with no space between the numbers and the colon) and the compound adjective with hyphens {Reed has a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio}.


In Reed Magazine, former surnames of alumni are included as middle names. When a name has been changed more significantly, use née to note a former name for women {Saira Siren (née Samantha Brown)} and né to note a former name for men {The Forest (né John Forest Coleman)}.


telephone numbers

Use hyphens {503-771-1112} and spell out the word extension. Note: the main campus line is the only Reed phone number that begins with 771.


In running text, the title of an unpublished work—including a thesis—is set in roman type, capitalized as a title, and enclosed in quotation marks {Truman Colbert’s thesis was called “If I Can’t Get There from Here: Nineteenth Century Writings on the Promised Land.“}

See pronouns.

The abbreviations a.m. and p.m. are used in running text, headlines, and lists. Include a space between the numeral and the abbreviation {6 p.m. not 6p.m.). When using from to indicate duration, follow it with to {from noon to 9 p.m. not from noon–9 p.m.}. Do not use 00 for the hour {6 p.m. not 6:00 p.m.}. Use noon and midnight instead of 12 p.m. and 12 a.m. Do not repeat the abbreviations a.m. and p.m. when indicating a range {from 6 to 8 a.m. not from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.}. 


Timê is preferred; timé is also acceptable. Either accent mark is meant to show that the final e is not silent, but represents the letter eta in the original Greek word.


See social media policy.


uniform resource locators (URLs)

A URL—for example,—is designed to lead a reader directly to an internet source.

If a URL has to be broken at the end of a line in a printed work, the break should be made

  • after a double slash {//};
  • before a single slash {/}, tilde {˜}, period, comma, hyphen, underline {_}, question mark, number sign, or percent symbol;
  • before or after an equals sign or ampersand.

When citing a web address in print,

  • omit the format for transmitting data {http://}, unless the format is secure {https://};
  • include the domain name {};
  • include the final file name {.html} if the URL points to a file {}.

When citing a web address online,

  • include the URL as a link from a word or set of words {purchase tickets};
  • do not write out the URL in an online posting.
university names

See college and university names.


vertical lists

See bulleted lists.

Volunteer Weekend

See events.


web page

Web page is two words.


This compound has become accepted as a solid word. Online is also one word; the terms web page and home page are two words. See electronic publications.


Well-being is preferred to wellbeing.


Capitalize named programs, including Federal Work-Study and Reed Work-Study. Lowercase work-study. Always include the hyphen; when work-study is used alone, the noun it modifies (funds or programs) is implied {let us know if you qualify for work-study (funds)}.



See social media policy.

Buildings and other spaces

  • 28 West
  • Anna Mann (residence hall)
  • Aspen House (residence hall)
  • Bidwell House (residence hall)
  • biology: L. E. Griffin Memorial Biology Building
  • Birchwood Apartments (on-campus student apartments)
  • Bragdon Hall (residence hall)
  • Canyon House (residence hall)
  • Center for Advanced Computation
  • chemistry: Arthur F. Scott Laboratory of Chemistry
  • Chinese House (residence hall)
  • Chittick (residence hall) 
  • Dorothy Johansen House, DoJo
  • Educational Technology Center
  • Eliot Hall
  • Farm House (residence hall)
  • Foster (residence hall)
  • French House (residence hall)
  • Garden House (residence hall)
  • German House (residence hall)
  • Gray Campus Center
  • Greywood
  • Griffin (residence hall)
  • Health & Counseling Center
  • Kaul Auditorium
  • language houses (residence halls)
  • library: Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library, Hauser Library
  • MacNaughton (residence hall)
  • McKinley (residence hall)
  • Naito Hall (residence hall)
  • Old Dorm Block (residence hall)
  • Parker House
  • Performing Arts Building
  • Physical Plant
  • Physics: A.A. Knowlton Laboratory of Physics
  • Prexy
  • psychology
  • Reed College Apartments (on-campus student apartments)
  • Reed College Research Reactor
  • Russian House (residence hall)
  • Scholz (residence hall)
  • Sequoia House (residence hall)
  • Sitka House (residence hall)
  • Spanish House (residence hall)
  • Sports Center: Aubrey R. Watzek Sports Center 
  • Student Center
  • Studio Art
  • Sullivan Hall (residence hall)
  • Theatre Annex
  • Trillium (residence hall)
  • Vollum College Center
  • Woodbridge (residence hall)
Indoor Spaces
  • Aspen multipurpose room (Aspen)
  • Biology 19 (biology)
  • Blackbox Theatre (Performing Arts Building)
  • chapel (Eliot Hall)
  • Commons (Gray Campus Center)
  • Diver Studio Theatre (Performing Arts Building)
  • Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery (Hauser Library)
  • faculty and staff lounge (Eliot Hall)
  • Gray lounge (Kaul Auditorium)
  • Massee Performance Lab (Performing Arts Building)
  • Paradox Café (Gray Campus Center)
  • Paradox Lost (biology)
  • Psychology 105 (psychology)
  • Steiner Dance Studio (Performing Arts Building)
  • student union (Gray Campus Center)
  • Vollum lecture hall (Vollum)
  • Vollum lounge (Vollum)
  • Winch social room (Old Dorm Block)
Outdoor Spaces
  • amber bridge (western bridge across the canyon)
  • amphitheatre (Cerf Amphitheatre)
  • blue bridge (eastern bridge across the canyon)
  • canyon
  • chemistry patio
  • Eliot Circle
  • Eliot north lawn
  • Great Lawn (south of Eliot Hall)
  • grove quad (surrounded by Aspen, Sitka, Sequoia, and Bidwell
  • residence halls)
  • international plaza (language houses)
  • orchard (upper canyon)
  • Quad (surrounded by ODB, PAB, commons in GCC, and the student 
  • union in GCC)
  • tennis courts
  • upper and lower playing fields

Reed magazine style

In certain instances, Reed magazine style differs from the college’s house style, and in some cases, style and usage decisions only apply to copy that runs in the magazine. Presented here are guidelines salient to Reed.


Do not bold names in captions. All captions are complete sentences.


Use numerals when referring to centuries {21st century}.

class note formatting

Quoted statements by an alumna or alumnus do not need to be identified by the individual’s name, unless the note reports news of two or more individuals.

class years in class notes

Class notes are sorted by class years. Under a class year heading in class notes, use a class year only for individuals who are not in that class but are mentioned in the copy. The name and class year of an individual should be set in bold in copy. See class years for general information on treatment of class years.


Identify individuals in a couple separately {Joe Campbell ’33 and Martha Wendell Campbell ’34; not Joe ’33 and Martha Wendell ’34 Campbell}. If only one individual in a couple is an alumnus or alumna and they share a last name, omit the last name of the alumnus or alumna {John ’83 and Mary Smith}.


Use numerals when referring to decades {1970s}.


In copy, refer to a degree that is not readily understood by spelling it out, followed by the abbreviation {Lyra received a master’s degree in occasional potential (MOP)}.


Use title case; with subheads, use sentence case.


Following are answers to common questions about names in Reed Magazine.

  • Use a first name or nickname after initial mention of the full name of an alumnus.
  • Use preferred names rather than formal names. {James Robertston; then, Jim}
  • Identify an alumna with her birth name, if applicable {Virginia Paris Campbell ’34}.
  • Children who have their father’s surname need only be identified by their given names in a birth announcement.
  • Wedding announcements may present a challenge if an alumna has already changed her name and identifies herself in that way in her announcement {Mary and John Smith were married}. In such cases, note the birth name in parenthesis {Mary (Contrary) and John Smith were married}.

Percentages are expressed in numerals. In all copy that appears in the magazine—both scientific and nontechnical—the symbol is used {8%}.

Reunions designation

Use 15th class reunion to indicate 15 years since graduation; use 15th reunion to indicate participation in 14 previous Reunions.

sections of the magazine

Use caps to identify sections in the magazine {Class Notes}, lowercase mention of an individual portion of a section {in this class note, letter, or memorial piece}.