Style Guide

About the style guide

The following guide has been designed by the Communications and Marketing Office to give you a help­ful reference to commonly asked style questions pertaining to LaGrange College.

Why adopt a style across campus? Each individual comes from a differ­ent background and generation. Each writes for a different audience and a different purpose. The news media have adopted the “Associated Press Stylebook” as their national rulebook to maintain consistency. For this guide, specifically tailored entries have been developed through careful thought on what is best for an aca­demic setting and what does not con­fuse nor alienate our constituents.

This style guide is the accepted style for LaGrange College written com­munications directed to the public, such as advertisements, brochures, calendars, catalogs, flyers, newsletters and tabloids, posters, recruitment materials and our Web pages. Using it as a guide for your written cor­respondence would be helpful to the campus community as well.

This editorial style is not applied to monographs, scholarly research, journal articles, faculty-written books or articles, dissertations, etc. Its guidelines should never be confused with that of the “Stylebook of the American Psychological Association.”

This style guide differs from the “Associated Press Stylebook” in sev­eral ways. Before distributing news releases, the Communications and Marketing Office will ensure that content follows Associated Press Style.

To suggest issues for future revisions of this style guide, please e-mail Dean Hartman ( or Debby Baker (, or send suggestions through campus mail.



abbreviations and acronyms—Do not use on the first reference; instead, use the official name. An abbreviation may be used later if it would not confuse the reader. Avoid the overuse of abbreviations or acronyms so the reader is not burdened by an “alphabet soup.”

academic dean—The formal title is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean. See academic titles, administrative titles for capitalization rules.

academic degrees—Use lowercase bachelor’s degree or master’s degree for general purposes: bachelor’s degree in biology (unless referring to an LC degree, where it is uppercase), bachelor’s degree in English. Use uppercase for formal degree names: Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Teaching. Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. only when identifying many individuals by degree. When abbreviating a degree such as B.A. or M.B.A., be sure to use periods. Also: an associate degree (no possessive).

academic departments—Capitalize the formal names of academic departments: Religion and Philosophy Department. Lowercase informal references: the department, religion and philosophy. In most instances in news releases, department names will be lowercase.

academic titles, administrative titles—Capitalize titles such as president, vice president, professor, chairman and dean when they precede or follow a name or when the title and name appear in a listing. In news releases, such titles will be lowercase when they stand alone or when they follow a name. Per Associated Press style, news releases will not include the title Dr. before a name unless referring to a medical doctor. Named professorships and chairs are always capitalized, either when standing alone or after the designees’ names: John Wesley, Ely R. Callaway, Sr., Professor of International Business; John Wesley, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Music; Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Art and Design John Wesley.

administrative departments—The full names are capitalized: Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid Office. In most instances in news releases, such names will be lowercase.

Admissions—Notice the s at the end of Admissions in Admissions Office.

adviser—Not advisor.

Alumni Association—LaGrange College Alumni Association on first reference. Alumni Association can be used on the second reference; it will be lowercase in news releases.

Alumni Office—Alumni and Community Relations is the official title.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae, alum—Generally, an alumnus (alumni is the plural) is a man who attended a school. An alumna (alumnae is the plural) is a woman who attended a school. Alum is a casual term for either a male or female. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and/or women who attended. Our college has about 10,000 living alumni.

a.m., p.m.—Lowercase and use periods in textual material. There is a space between the figure and a.m. or p.m.: 10 a.m., 10:30 p.m. Notice the lack of :00 on 10 a.m. Avoid redundancies such as “We met in the morning at 9 a.m.” Note: 12 noon or 12 midnight is redundant. Simply use noon or midnight.

annual—An annual event is one that has been held two successive years. First annual should be strictly avoided.

Athletic Director—Not Director of Athletics. See academic titles, administrative titles for capitalization rules.


Board of Trustees—Capitalize when referring to the formal LaGrange College Board of Trustees or the Board of Trustees. Subsequent references can be the board, trustees or board members. In news releases, Board of Trustees will be lowercase when standing alone.

buildings—See Appendix B for a list of LaGrange College buildings.


Cabinet—Capitalize the term for the body of advisers to the president, except in news releases: Cabinet or President’s Cabinet.

Callaway Campus—Refers to the southernmost portion of the campus donated to the college by Callaway Foundation, Inc., in 1992. Use of this label can confuse visitors; include only when referring to the historic gift and the property’s origins.

Callaway Education Building—Do not use Callaway Educational Building.

Callaway Foundation, Inc.—“The” does not come before the name, and Inc. always is preceded by a comma.

Capitalization—For specific rules, see a specific topic in this style guide. For example, academic degrees, academic departments, academic titles and administrative departments.

Challenging the mind. Inspiring the soul.—LaGrange College’s tagline (note the periods), which reflects the spirit and philosophy of the institution. It is sometimes used as part of the college logo; see the Visual Identity Program for guidelines.

Chair—When mentioning the head of an academic department, use chair rather than chairman or chairwoman. Chair, chairman or chairwoman may be used for the head of a committee, task force or other group.

Chapel—In referring to the building or the services held therein, Chapel is always capitalized, even in the case of an adjective: Chapel service.

Class of …—Class is capitalized when referring to the graduation year of a particular LaGrange College class: Class of 1958 (except in news releases).

College—When referring to LaGrange College as the college, do not capitalize it.

Columns—The name of LaGrange College’s magazine for alumni and friends. For postal regulations, it officially is known as LaGrange College Columns, and is published three times a year by the Communications and Marketing Office.

committee—Capitalize the full names of committees: the Cultural Enrichment Committee. Lowercase shortened and informal versions: A committee on academic integrity will meet.

company names—Abbreviate company, companies, corporation, incorporated, limited when a business uses one of these words at the end of its proper name, but spell out if the designation comes within the name: Ford Motor Co., Delta Air Lines, Inc. Use a comma before Inc. or Ltd., except when preparing an article for the media, in which case the comma is deleted.


dates—Do not use a comma between the month and year, or season and year, unless a specific date is given: The semester system began in fall 1999. A comma follows the year when used with a month and day in textual material: The holiday will be celebrated on Jan. 21, 2004, at LaGrange College. Also, spell out months when they stand alone or appear with a year: November 1999.

Dean—See academic titles for capitalization rules.

Dean’s List—Capitalize unless it is being included in a news release.

Degrees—See academic degrees.

Distinguished Service Alumni Award, Malcolm Shackelford Distinguished Alumnus AwardThe Distinguished Service Alumni Award is presented at commencement exercises. Note that Alumni and not Alumnus is used. The Malcolm Shackelford Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented at Homecoming. Note that Alumnus and not Alumni is used.

Dr.—This academic title is used in college publications to refer to those who have obtained a doctoral degree. It is not used in news releases per Associated Press style, which reserves that label for medical doctors.

drop/add—Not drop-add, or drop add.


email—Not e-mail or e mail


Fellow—Uppercase this honorary designation denoting outstanding achievement or service: She is a Fellow of LaGrange College. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. LaGrange College Fellows have made cumulative gifts of $50,000 to the college.

First Lady—Always uppercase when used in reference to the wife of the college president. It is considered a job title.

first-year student—use instead of freshman

fraternities, sororities—The full, formal name should be used on the first reference: Pi Kappa Phi. Avoid use of nicknames, but abbreviations are acceptable, such as AOII. Avoid use of the word sorority after the name since many are actually chartered as fraternities: Phi Mu not Phi Mu sorority.


GA., Ga., Georgia—Associated Press style dictates that the abbreviation for the state of Georgia is Ga. The U.S. Postal Service delivery address code for Georgia—but not for use elsewhere— is GA. See the entry for states.

Georgia’s oldest private college— Founded in 1831 as a women’s academy, LaGrange College can properly be identified with this terminology.

givathon—Not give-a-thon Greek—Use it capitalized in reference to fraternities and sororities.


the Hill—A nickname for the college’s campus; note the lack of quotation marks.

home page—Not homepage, Homepage or Home page.

Homecoming—Capitalize when referring to LaGrange College’s annual alumni event (except in news releases).

HOPE scholarship—Georgia residents who maintain a 3.0 average may receive $3,000 annually in HOPE funds to attend LaGrange College. HOPE stands for Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally.


italics—For college copy, never italicize or underline the titles of books, periodicals, chapters, articles, etc. As appropriate, use quotation marks as directed by Associated Press style.


Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc.—When preparing an article, do not use a comma to separate a name from Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc.


LaGrange College—Not La Grange College (no space between “La” and “Grange”).The preferred usage for image purposes is to spell out LaGrange College rather than using LC or LaGrange. On a second reference, acceptable terms are the college, LaGrange and, sparingly, the institution or Georgia’s oldest private college.

LaGrange College logo—Digital copies of the college logo (wordmark) can be obtained from the Communications and Marketing Office. Rules for usage are found in the Visual Identify Program guidelines.

Leadership Council—Capitalize when the formal name is used; in news releases, lowercase the council. This volunteer group’s mission is to advance the college, and it selects three annual priorities on which to focus its attention.

lectures—Put the full title of lectures in quotation marks: The subject of his lecture is “A Passion for Poetry.”


McAlexander, Dan—The proper name for the president of LaGrange College is Dan McAlexander. He holds a doctorate in music but prefers only to use Dr. in very formal instances. McAlexander or the president may be used in subsequent references.


Nick Allen Pavilion—Correct name for the shelter in the picnic area near the tennis courts on the south end of campus.


Panthers—Capitalize the LaGrange College mascot. Women’s teams are not referred to as Lady Panthers.

phonathon—Not phon-a-thon

president—See academic titles for capitalization rules.

Price Theater—Not Theatre. However, the department is referred to as the Theatre Arts Department.

professor—The term professor is used very specifically; it is not a generic term for anyone teaching at the college. It should be used only in reference to those who have official status as full professors. Other designations are associate professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor and instructor. See academic titles for capitalization rules.


Quadrangle—Capitalize when referring to the space on the Hill.

Quadrangle Society—The Quadrangle Society was established in 1994 to recognize those persons who have provided for LaGrange College through a planned gift.

quotation marks—As a general rule, use periods and commas inside quotations marks. For more Associated Press guidelines regarding punctuation, consult the Communications and Marketing Office.


Rev.—When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word “the,” because, unlike Mr. and Mrs., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand for a noun; therefore, it also is acceptable to refer to someone as the Rev. Dr. Exception: Rev. without the is acceptable in lists and tabular material.


SACS COC—Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges on the first reference; the acronym without periods may be used on subsequent references. When referring to the college’s official accreditation by this body, the following statement must be used: LaGrange College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

servant-leadership—not servant leadership

semesters—Lowercase. No comma precedes the year: fall semester 1999.

Scroll—The student literary magazine, which is published once a year.

Speakers Bureau—Do not use an apostrophe.

states—In LaGrange College publica­tions and news releases, the names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. No state name is necessary if it is the same as the dateline. This also applies to newspapers cited in a story. For example, a story datelined Providence, R.I., would reference the Providence Journal, not the Providence (R.I.) Journal. See datelines.

Eight not abbreviated: The names of eight states are never abbreviated in datelines or text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

In the body of stories: Except for cities that stand alone in datelines, use the state name in textual material when the city or town is not in the same state as the dateline, or where necessary to avoid confusion: Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, Illinois. Provide a state identification for the city if the story has no dateline, or if the city is not in the same state as the dateline. However, cities that stand alone in datelines may be used alone in stories that have no dateline if no confusion would result.

Abbreviations required: Use the state abbreviations listed at the end of this section:

  • In lists, agate, tabular material, nonpublishable editor’s notes and credit lines.
  • In short-form listings of party affiliation: D-Ala., R-Mont. See party affiliation entry for details.

Following are the state abbreviations, which also appear in the entries for each state (postal code abbreviations in parentheses):

Ala. (AL), Ariz. (AZ), Ark. (AR),  Calif. (CA), Colo. (CO), Conn. (CT), Del. (DE), Fla. (FL), Ga. (GA), Ill. (IL), Ind. (IN), Kan. (KS), Ky. (KY), La. (LA), Md. (MD),  Mass. (MA), Mich. (MI), Minn. (MN), Miss. (MS), Mo. (MO), Mont. (MT), Neb. (NE), Nev. (NV), N.D. (ND), N.H. (NH), N.J. (NJ), N.M. (NM), N.Y. (NY), N.C. (NC), Okla. (OK), Ore. (OR), Pa. (PA), R.I. (RI), S.C. (SC), S.D. (SD), Tenn. (TN), Vt. (VT), Wash. (WA), W.Va. (WV), Wis. (WI), Wyo. (WY) and Va. (VA).

These are the postal code abbreviations for the eight states that are not abbreviated in datelines or text: AK (Alaska), HI (Hawaii), ID (Idaho), IA (Iowa), ME (Maine), OH (Ohio), TX (Texas), UT (Utah). Also: District of Columbia (DC).

Use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations only with full addresses, including ZIP code.

Punctuation: Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She said Cook County, Illinois, was Mayor Daley’s stronghold.

Headlines: Avoid using state abbreviations in headlines whenever possible.

Miscellaneous: Use New York state when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City. Use state of Washington or Washington state when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. (Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington.)

student-athlete—Notice the hyphenation.

student handbook—Called the Student Handbook and Panther Planner.


titles—See academic titles, adminis­trative titles.


the United Methodist Church—Don’t capitalize the.


vice presidents—Below are the offi­cial titles of college vice presidents:

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Vice President and Dean of Students

Vice President for Enrollment

Vice President for External Relations

Vice President for Finance and Operations

Vice President for Human Resources 


Waights G. Henry Jr. Leadership Award—is the correct title for the honor given to the most outstanding graduating student at commencement.

Wall of Outstanding Alumni—Alumni are added to the Wall of Outstanding Alumni each year at Homecoming. Also included in the display in Smith Hall are the president of the Alumni Association, the Distinguished Service Alumni Award winner and the Malcolm Shackleford Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.

WWW—Short form of World Wide Web. In later refer­ences, the Web is acceptable. But website is one word and lowercase. Also, Web site, Web page.



The college’s origins reach back to the settlement of West Georgia in the early 1800s. When the land between the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers was secured by the Indian Springs Treaty of 1825 and was opened to settlers in 1827, one of the five coun­ties formed on the western border of the state was named Troup, in honor of Governor George Michael Troup.

The Georgia Legislature passed an act on Dec. 24, 1827, providing for the selection of a county seat. It was named LaGrange, after the country estate of the Marquis de Lafayette, the Revolutionary War hero who had visited the region in 1825 as the guest of Governor Troup. The site for the town was purchased in 1828, and LaGrange was incorporated late that year.

On Dec. 26, 1831, the charter for LaGrange Female Academy was grant­ed at the state capitol. Andrew Jackson was president of the United States, and there were only 24 states in the union. Abraham Lincoln was 22 years old. The Creek Indians had been moved from the LaGrange area for only six years, and Atlanta did not yet exist. There were no fountain pens, type­writers or automobiles, and the fastest means of transportation in the region was by horse. The only other college in the state was Franklin College, now the University of Georgia.

The first location of LaGrange College was in a large white building at what is now 406 Broad St. The school moved to its present location, the high­est geographical point in LaGrange, after the construction in 1842 of the building now known as Smith Hall.

In 1847, the school became LaGrange Female Institute, and the charter was amended to allow the school the power to confer degrees. The name was changed to LaGrange Female College in 1851.

As the Civil War progressed across Georgia, Smith Hall served as a hos­pital for wounded soldiers. Several colleges were forced to close their doors, but classes at LaGrange Female College continued uninterrupted.

The Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South took ownership of the college in 1856. Today, it is an institution of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

In 1920, Bishop Warren Aiken Candler suggested that LaGrange Female College be moved to Atlanta. Students, the community and people of all denominations reacted by giving their time and money for the improve­ment of the college. Every schoolgirl in town was seen wearing a badge bearing the words “Save our college for me,” and the drive brought in a quar­ter of a million dollars in donations.

LaGrange Female College became LaGrange College in 1934, opening the door for several males to attend. They were considered such a distrac­tion that most remained only one semester. It was more than 10 years before men were actively recruited again. In 1953, the college officially became coeducational.

Today, LaGrange College is a four-year liberal arts and sciences college ranked in the top 10 and as a “best value” among 106 Southern com­prehensive colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Enrollment stands at more than 1,000 students, and the student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1.

The college offers more than 70 academic and pre-professional programs through a traditional day program, includ­ing graduate degrees in Education, Strength and Conditioning, Philanthropy and Development and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. LaGrange College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bach­elor’s and master’s degrees.

The college has welcomed students of all faiths and denominations since its inception, and it has a strong emphasis on servant-leadership.

LaGrange College holds a mem­bership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. Men compete on inter­collegiate sports teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soc­cer, swimming, lacrosse and tennis. Women’s intercollegiate sports include basket­ball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball.

Below is a listing of building names as used in LaGrange College publications.


LaGrange College buildings

Banks Building

Boatwright Hall

Broad Street Apartments

Callaway Academic Building

Callaway Auditorium

Callaway Education Building

Callaway Science Building

Candler Cottage

Candler Residence Hall


Fraternity Court

Hawkes Hall

Hawkins Hall

Henry Residence Hall

Hoppe Building

Hudson Natatorium

Ida Callaway Hudson Lab Sciences Building

Lamar Dodd Art Center

Frank and Laura Lewis Library

Manget Building

Margaret Adger Pitts Dining Hall

Mariotti Gymnasium

Mitchell Building (at Sunny Gables)

National Maintenance Services

Panther Field

Pitts Residence Hall

President’s Home

Price Theater

Quillian Building

Smith Hall

Sunny Gables Alumni House

Turner Hall

West Side


Other areas, rooms and facilities:

Bailey Room (Smith Hall)

Beason Recital Hall (West Side)

The Boopie (Jones Zone, Student Center)

Buchanan Patio

Charter Computational Mathematics Lab (Callaway Science Building)

Cleaveland Field (baseball field)

Cobb Board Room (Smith Hall)

Dickson Assembly Room (inside the Student Center)

Edmondson Parlor (Smith Hall)

Gulley Gateway

Harwell Room (Quillian Building)

Dr. A.M. Hicks Seminar Room (Hudson Lab Sciences Building)

Hines Conference Room (Lewis Library)

Jolly Lecture Room (Callaway Science Building)

Jones Zone (Student Center)

Lafayette-Henry Room (Smith Hall)

Mabry Gipson Student Center (Turner Hall)

Maidee Smith Patio

Mariotti Athletic Lounge (Mariotti Gym)

Melson Room (Banks Library)

Millennial Park  (dedicated in honor of Dr. Charles D. Hudson H’80)

Moshell Learning Center (Lewis Library)

Murphy Oak

Nick Allen Pavilion

Nixon Parlor (Hawkes Hall)

Shibley Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory (Callaway Science Building)

Softball Complex

Suber Archives and Special Collections (Lewis Library)

Academic Quadrangle (improvements made in honor of Lillian Clark ’24 H’89)

Turner Residence Hall (inside the Student Center)

Williamson Stadium (at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium)

Wheelock Study Room (Lewis Library)

Whorton Room (Smith Hall)



Publication Date: January 11, 2005

Revised: June 7, 2019

Updated: June 10, 2019