Seasonal References
Because of the time it takes to produce the magazine, we urge you not to date your copy with seasonal references ("I hope everybody is enjoying this lovely spring") and to always watch the use of the future tense. If John Jones is moving to Seattle in June and your column will appear in the summer issue in August, you should say, "John Jones moved to Seattle in June."

Classmate vs. Non-Classmate Names

Role Style Guide Example
Classmate, full name bold first and last names John Smith
Classmate, first name only no bold John
Alumni in other classes no bold; identify class Paul Jones ’99
Spouse no bold Jane Smith
Widows bold first and last names Mary Anderson
Friends no bold Cindy Martin
Students no bold; identify class Julie Adams ’16
Parents of Students
no bold; identify class with P’ James and Linda Adams P’16
  • Every instance of the mention of the full name is bolded.

Married Names

Name Example
Name while at Amherst Elizabeth Moore
Classmate retains birth name Elizabeth Moore
Classmate uses married name Elizabeth (Moore) Taylor
Classmate uses both names Elizabeth Moore Taylor
  • For classes from 1976 to the present, secretaries should indicate whether or not married couples are alums: John and Mary Smith assumes Mary is an alumna.


  • Use only one space between sentences.
  • Don’t use a serial comma. (Correct: Mary, Bob and Pete met for dinner. Incorrect: Mary, Bob, and Pete met for dinner.)
  • Lowercase the words “reunion” and “commencement.”
  • The word “email” is lowercased, with no hyphen.
  • In general, spell out whole numbers below 10, and use figures for 10 and above. For ordinal numbers, spell out first through ninth and use figures for everything else.
  • Ages: Always use figures (i.e., a 5-year-old boy).
  • Baby stats: “The baby weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and he was 20 inches long.”
  • Lowercase “class of 1970,” and when a class is mentioned without a year attached. (“Members of the class met in San Francisco” or “class notes.”)
  • Lowercase degrees: master’s degree, doctorate.
  • Lowercase job titles when they appear after a name or separately from a name: professor, director, president. Uppercase when the title precedes the name, such as Professor Baird.
  • Apostrophes for shortened class years should face the correct way: ’71. (To do this, hold down the Ctrl key and type the apostrophe twice.)
  • Abbreviate states as follows: Alaska, Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla.; Ga., Hawaii, Idaho,  Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Ohio, Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Texas, Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo. Memory aid: Spell out Alaska, Hawaii and the contiguous states that are five letters or fewer.
  • In most cases, the name of a city or town should be followed by the state name (Worcester, Mass., Portland, Ore.) Here is a full list of domestic city names that do not require a state: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington. Also: Amherst, Northampton, Hadley (unless you’re referring to an Amherst that is not in Massachusetts).
  • Use New York City instead of New York, N.Y.
  • When a state is mentioned without a city attached, please spell out the state name.
  • Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces. Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of words in condensing quotes. (“We weren’t looking forward to the snowstorm ... but we ended up having a great time sledding with the kids.” If the words that precede an ellipsis constitute a complete sentence, use this style: “We went to the store. ... Later, we came home.”
  • Nothing should be underlined. Words placed in emphasis should be in italics.
  • Italicize titles of newspapers, magazines, books, plays, boat names, newsletters, TV programs and movies.
  • Change two hyphens (--) to an em dash (—). No blank space before or after the dash.
  • Do not include addresses, phone numbers or email addresses.

Secretary's Name and Email Address
We include the name of each secretary at the end of each column. Please print or type your name as you would like it to appear in the magazine at the bottom of each submission of your class notes.