The following guidelines are intended to help Missouri Western faculty and staff prepare copy (text) for University publications and resolve basic questions about style. They are not inflexible rules, but rather an aid to maintain professionalism and consistency in University materials. Missouri Western has adopted the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook as the primary reference for all communications. If you have any questions, call Marketing & Communications at (816) 271-4148.
The most important thing to remember when you are writing copy for a publication is that the style should remain consistent throughout the entire piece. This guide is to help the entire University be as consistent as possible in all publications.
Alumna is female singular; alumnae is female plural. Alumnus is male singular. Alumni is plural and can be used for males only or mixed-gender groups.
If you are writing about an alumnus/a, include their graduation year as follows: Jane Doe ’75. Note the direction of the apostrophe before the class year. You can make it by typing the apostrophe in front of two numbers and hitting the space bar after the numbers. Or, the apostrophe can be created by holding down the Ctrl key and hitting the apostrophe key twice.
Do not use an ampersand (&) to replace “and” unless it is part of the correct name: Kat & Company.
Refer to it as Athletics in most cases. Director would not be capitalized unless used in front of a name. For example: John Smith, director of Athletics, or Athletics Director John Smith.
An apostrophe is needed for men’s and women’s sports, as in men’s basketball. The name of the sport is always lower case in regular copy (baseball, softball, for example).
Use Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Conference on first reference, MIAA on second reference. Use National Collegiate Athletic Association on first reference, NCAA on second reference. Missouri Western is in NCAA Division II. On second reference it can be DII or Div. II.
Capitalize Coach when used alone: Coach John Doe, but not when used with an adjective: men’s basketball coach John Doe. Another correct usage is John Doe, coach.
Women’s sports should never be referred to as Lady Griffs.
Capitalize Board of Governors, Missouri Western State University Foundation Board of Directors, Alumni Association Board of Directors. If board is used alone, lower case. Correct: The Board of Governors meets today. The board met to discuss personnel matters.
Buildings and Campus Spaces
|Agenstein Hall||Evan R. Agenstein|
|Baker Family Fitness Center||Baker family – Cecil, Ruth, Jack and Betty|
|Beshears Hall||Kelsy B. Beshears|
|Blum Student Union||Nelle Blum|
|Bushman Planetarium||Joseph R. and Bess Bushman|
|Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Science and Technology Incubator||Christopher S. “Kit” Bond (U.S. Senator and Missouri Governor)|
|Craig Field||Steven L. Craig|
|Eder Hall||Fred Eder|
|Eddie’s Bridge||Eddie Hirsch|
|Fulkerson Center||Lyman and Marie Fulkerson|
|Clock Tower||Glenn E. Marion|
|Griffon Indoor Sports Complex||—|
|Hearnes Center||Gov. Warren E. Hearnes|
|Juda Hall||Eugene and Peggy Juda|
|Kelley Commons||James and Jean Kelley family|
|Leaverton Hall||Leaverton family|
|Looney Complex||Marvin O. Looney|
|Missouri Department of Conservation – Northwest Regional Office||—|
|Murphy Hall||Janet Gorman Murphy McCarthy|
|Popplewell Hall||Frank Popplewell|
|Potter Hall||Thompson E. Potter|
|Remington Hall||Wes and Patsy Remington|
|Scanlon Hall||James J. Scanlon|
|Spratt Hall||Leah Spratt|
|Spratt Memorial Stadium*||Elliot “Bub” Spratt|
|Spring Sports Complex||—|
|Thomas Eagleton Indoor Pool||U.S. Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton|
|Tom Smith Court||Tom Smith|
|Vartabedian Hall||Dr. Robert A. Vartabedian|
|Vaselakos Hall||John and Betty Vaselakos|
|Wilson Hall||State Sen. Truman Wilson|
*Spratt Stadium or Spratt is acceptable as a second reference, but always use Spratt Memorial Stadium on first reference.
In general, try to limit the amount of capitalization used in a publication. Generally, lowercase references to proper names when not used in full: the program, the degree, etc.
Chair is the preferred usage when referring to the head of a committee or board, rather than chairperson, chairman or chairwoman.
Cities with State Name
Several large cities do not require a state to follow, such as Chicago or St. Louis. Kansas City requires a state to follow it to differentiate between Kansas and Missouri. Consult an AP Stylebook for a complete listing, under Datelines. State names are spelled out except when they are part of mailing addresses.
Missouri Western has three colleges:
- College of Business and Professional Studies
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science and Health
Missouri Western has four schools:
- Steven L. Craig School of Business – use Steven L. Craig School of Business or Craig School of Business on the first reference. Second references can be Craig School of Business, the School of Business, or CSB.
- Graduate School – uppercase when referring to Missouri Western’s Graduate School specifically.
- School of Fine Arts
- School of Nursing and Health Professions
When writing a date, use figures for the numerals, but not the ordinal number. June 12, 2012 is correct. June 12th, 2012 is incorrect. Abbreviate the following months when used with dates: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. The following is correct regarding commas and abbreviations: Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.
If you are writing the month with no date following it, such as My birthday is in September, the month is not abbreviated. When using the month and year, there is no comma between them: November 2016.
When writing decades, such as 1960s, there is no apostrophe between the zero and s.
Uppercase degrees when using the full name of the degree: Bachelor of Arts in Music. Lower case if not using the full name: Joe earned a bachelor of science degree. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, or when used alone and not followed by “degree,” but do not use an apostrophe for associate degree. No apostrophe is needed for bachelor or master when followed by of science, of arts, etc.
Departments and offices should be uppercase: Admissions, Department of Biology. Do not abbreviate department in any usage. For most nonacademic departments, refer to as their name only.
Academic Department and Program Names:
- Department of Biology
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Communication
- Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics
- Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
- Department of Education
- Department of Engineering Technology
- Department of Health Professions
- Department of Military Science/ROTC
- Department of Nursing
- Department of Psychology
- Department of Social Sciences and Humanities
- Early College Academy
- Health Information Management
- Health, Physical Education and Recreation
- Honors Program
- Law Enforcement Academy
- Physical Therapist Assistant Program
- Population Health Management Program
- Respiratory Therapy Program
- Social Work
- Steven L. Craig School of Business
Nonacademic Department, Office and Facilities Names:
“Office” is only used in a few cases for clarity. When using Office, it should be capitalized.
- Academic Affairs
- Accessibility Resource Center
- Accounting Services
- Advising, Tutoring, Learning and Academic Support (ATLAS)
- Alumni Relations
- Baker Family Fitness Center
- Barnes and Noble Bookstore
- Business Office (using Office is usually necessary to differentiate it from the Craig School of Business.)
- Campus Dining
- Career Development
- Catering Services
- Center for Academic Support
- Center for Diversity & Inclusion
- Center for Entrepreneurship
- Center for Franchise Development
- Center for Military and Veterans Services
- Center for Service
- Center for Student Involvement
- Center for Workforce Development
- Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Science and Technology Incubator
- Conferences and Special Programs
- Counseling Center
- Creative Services
- Development Office
- Esry Health Center
- Financial Aid
- Financial Planning and Administration
- Global Engagement
- Grants and Sponsored Programs
- Housing and Residential Life
- Human Resources
- Institutional Research Data
- Key Office
- Mail Services
- Marketing and Communications
- Missouri Western State University Foundation
- Missouri Western State University Foundation Accounting
- Nontraditional and Commuter Student Services
- Parking and Security Services
- Physical Plant
- Prairie Lands Writing Project
- President’s Office
- Recreation Services
- Risk Management & Safety
- Scheduling Services
- Student Affairs
- Student Employment
- Student Government Association
- Student Success and Academic Advising Center
- Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
- Technology Services
- Telephone Services
- Testing Center
- University Advancement
- University Police
- Walter Cronkite Memorial
The following is a suggested blurb for press releases or publications if you need a University description:
Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.
Use email in all instances. Use a hyphen for other e- terms: e-book, e-newsletter, e-commerce.
The name of the team is Griffon Esports.
Capitalize Esports when directly referencing the team. Lowercase esports when referencing the sport alone.
The correct usage is the Missouri Western State University Foundation. Missouri Western Foundation should be used on second reference. Depending on the usage, Foundation may be used as a second reference as long as it is clear what you are referring to. MWSU Foundation is only acceptable when space dictates the usage, such as Twitter or headlines.
On first reference, use Missouri Western State University. On second reference, the preferred usage is Missouri Western. Other acceptable second references are MWSU, as long as you are consistent throughout the publication. Western, Mo. West, Mo. Western, and Missouri Western State are unacceptable. When referring specifically to Missouri Western as the University, University is capitalized.
The Griffon, our mascot, is always capitalized. The athletic teams may be referred to as the Griffons. When used with the sport name, it should be Griffon football, no plural on “Griffon.”
The mascot is Max the Griffon. Max may be used on second reference.
Use the first and last names for people on first reference, and last name only on second reference. If the person has a doctorate, use the title Dr. – Dr. Jane Doe. On second reference, use Dr. with the last name – Dr. Doe. (See Titles for more information.)
For numbers 1-9, spell out: one, two, etc. For 10 and up, use the figure – 10, 29, 67, etc. This applies to first, third, etc., and 12th, 45th, etc. The exception is that if a numeral starts a sentence, it is spelled out. Example: Forty-three attended. Also, spell out casual references – There were hundreds of people there.
For ages and percentages, always use the figure. Examples: The nontraditional student, 37, graduated in May; 5 percent.
Several rooms on campus have been given names to recognize or honor people; use the room’s full name in copy, invitations, etc. (see list below). To avoid confusion, you may list the room number after the name. Correct: Blum Union Hoff Conference Rooms, 218-219 or Spratt Hall Kemper Recital Hall, Room 101. The “Named after” column is for information only.
Use one space after a period, semi-colon or colon.
Postal codes (MO, for example) are used only in mailing addresses. In regular text, spell out the state, such as St. Joseph, Missouri.
- 50th Street – the street that goes along the east side of parking lot O. It connects Mitchell Avenue and Messanie Street.
- Charlie Burri Drive – street that goes past Spratt Memorial Stadium
- Downs Drive – the circle drive around campus, named for State Sen. John Downs
- James McCarthy Drive – the drive between Downs Drive and the Faraon Street entrance, named for Dr. James J. McCarthy
- Ronald S. Reed Jr. Way – the drive at the main entrance between Mitchell Avenue and Downs Drive.
- SE University Drive – the drive that is on the east side of parking lot B and connects Mitchell Avenue and Downs Drive. It is the drive at the stoplight on Mitchell Avenue.
- SW University Drive – the drive on the west side of parking lot K that connects Mitchell Avenue to Downs Drive.
Please list telephone and fax numbers as (816) 271-4200, using the parentheses for the area code.
Lowercase a title if it follows the name, but capitalize if it is in front of it. Examples: John Doe, professor of chemistry. Professor John Doe teaches chemistry. For those with doctoral degrees, use the title Dr. in front of the name and no initials after. Incorrect: Dr. John Doe, Ph.D. The title Dr. is usually used in second reference – Dr. Doe. For those with a Juris Doctorate, list the initials after the name: John Johns, J.D.
Capitalize the word University when it is used as a proper noun referencing Missouri Western. For example, “The University has announced the development of a new program.”
Do not capitalize the word university when it is used as a common noun. For example, “Students graduating from high school should choose to attend our university.”
The website (website is one word and lowercase) may be written as www.missouriwestern.edu or missouriwestern.edu. Web page is two words, but webcast and webmaster are one.
For long URLs, employees may create a shorter URL. Go to http://griff.vn, enter their user name and password and type in the shorter URL you want to use and the original URL.