AUB Style Guide

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A
abbreviations and acronyms

Spell out each word in the acronym in the first reference and put the acronym in all capitals between parentheses. In subsequent references, refer to the abbreviation/acronym only without a definite article, or you can refer to the center, the committee, the program, institute, etc. with lowercase initial letters.

  • The Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS) does not offer degrees. CAMS is located in College Hall. Please see the enclosed map for additional instructions on how to reach the center.
Below are some commonly used acronyms.
  • American University of Beirut (AUB)
  • American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC)
  • Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA)
  • Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB)
  • Rafic Hariri School of Nursing (HSON)
  • Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS)
  • Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI)​
​a​cademic degrees
Use an apostrophe and lowercase for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • You must have a master’s degree in order to apply for that position.
  • She has a master’s in economics, but he has a master of science in economics.
  • He has a bachelor’s in French literature.
Use the following abbreviations: BA, MA, MS, PhD
  • She received an MA in agriculture.

The plural form of these abbreviations is: BAs, MAs, MSs, and PhDs – without the apostrophe.

Academic degrees and academic fields are lowercase unless part of a proper name (e.g., Department of Economics) or they include a proper noun (e.g., English). Degree abbreviations are capitalized but degree names are lowercase when spelled out in prose.

  • She studied economics. She earned a bachelor of arts in economics. She earned a BA in economics. She studied in the Department of Economics. He received his PhD in French literature.
The name of the honorary degree that AUB awards is the Doctor of Humane Letters. The abbreviation is: Hon. DHL
ac​ademic degree abbreviations
You will find a list of academic degree abbreviations here.
addresses
AUB’s Beirut address is:
American University of Beirut 
PO Box 11-0236, Riad El-Solh 
Beirut 1107 2020
Lebanon 
+961-1-350000 Ext. xxxx


AUB’s New York address is:
American University of Beirut 
The Debs Center 
3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor 
New York, NY 10017-2303 
USA
adv​iser– not advisor
age
  • He is a 65-year-old man.
  • He is 65 years of age.
  • His daughter is just three years old. His three-year-old daughter is brilliant.​

alma mater

Write this way (lowercase) when referring both to the university someone attended and also the song. ​

alumni/alumnus

  • Alumnus (male)
  • Alumni (pl. male or male and female together)
  • Alumna (female)
  • Alumnae (pl. female only)

You can find lists of all the regional alumni chapters here with their proper names.

am/pm

See time
American University of Beirut

When referring to AUB in documents to be distributed off-campus, the first reference should be the full name, “the American University of Beirut (AUB).” Thereafter, write “AUB” without the definite article.

  • The conference will take place at AUB. (Don’t write “the conference will take place at the AUB.”)
Lowercase “university” unless using the full name “American University of Beirut.”
There is no need to spell out AUB in stories for the website or MainGate magazine.
ampersand
The ampersand (&) should be used only with the names of companies if the ampersand is part of the official company name. In all other cases use the word “and.”
Arabic names
When alphabetizing, consider El and Al, Abu and Abou, etc. part of the family name. So, for example, El-Hajj should be alphabetized under “E.” Strive to be consistent with the spelling of people’s names. If there is inconsistency between the email name and official listings, use the latter.
AY

Spell out “academic year” the first time. After that you may use “AY” instead.



B
BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve
Always capitalize BOLDLY when referring to the campaign.
  • In January 2016, the university launched BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve to raise $650 million.
Acceptable shorter alternatives are:
  • the BOLDLY campaign
  • the BOLDLY AUB campaign
  • BOLDLY AUB
  • the campaign​
buildings and rooms
Always capitalize names of buildings. Capitalize rooms when using room numbers or a building name. Lowercase elsewhere.
  • The Office of the President is located in College Hall.
  • The Department of Philosophy is in Nicely Hall, Room 301.
  • The meeting place, Room 148, is in Fisk Hall.
  • The room is in West Hall.
  • The event will be held in Auditorium B1.
The reference to a building should be listed first by the full official name. It can subsequently be referred to by its more common name, i.e., Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, Olayan School of Business or Rafic Hariri School of Nursing, Hariri School of Nursing.
bylaws
– without a hyphen

C
campus
Do not capitalize
  • The AUB campus is beautiful.
  • Student clubs usually meet on campus.
Hyphenate when used as an adjective.
  • The party was an on-campus event.
Campus M​aster Plan
capitalization

It is increasingly the style in English to not capitalize many words that were capitalized in the past.

Academic degrees and subjects

Academic degrees and academic fields are lowercase unless part of a proper name (e.g., Department of Economics) or they include a proper noun (e.g., English). Degree abbreviations are capitalized but degree names are lowercase when spelled out in prose.

  • She studied economics. She earned a bachelor of arts in economics. She earned a BA in economics. She studied in the Department of Economics. He received his PhD in French literature.

Job titles

A person’s title is only capitalized when it comes directly before the person’s name. Use only one title before the person’s name – i.e., either Provost Harajli or Dr. Harajli, not Provost Dr. Harajli.

All titles that are not in front of a name should be lowercase:

  • Provost Mohamed Harajli; Dr. Mohamed Harajli, provost of AUB.
  • Associate Dean Colin Smith; Professor Colin Smith; Associate Dean for Research Colin Smith; Dr. Colin Smith, associate dean and professor of biology
  • Chairman of the AUB Board of Trustees Philip S. Khoury; Chairman Khoury; Dr. Philip S. Khoury, chairman of the Board of Trustees

Full formal names

Capitalize only the full formal name of a group or institution.
  • The American University of Beirut; the university
  • The University Senate; the senate
  • The Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs; the committee
  • The University Research Board; the board
catalogue
chair/chairman
In general, use the gender-neutral term “chair” unless the holder of that office has specifically requested that you use chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson. See examples below:
  • The current chair of the Board of Trustees is Philip S. Khoury.
  • Chairman Khoury will be speaking at the gala dinner in November.
co
  • coeditor, coauthor, coworker
colons
Use a colon to separate the main title from the subtitle even if there is no colon in the original title.
  • Fenby, Jonathan. Chiang Kai-Shek: China’s Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost.
    New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004.
From The Chicago Manual of Style, “when a colon is used within a sentence, the first word following the colon is lowercased unless it is a proper name. When a colon introduces two or more sentences, or when it introduces speech in dialogue or an extract, the first word following it is capitalized.”
  • We have two choices: to stay or to go.
  • I thought this quote was particularly good: “Our goal is to be a university that, with all of your help, can help change the discourse on citizenship, on knowledge, on responsibility, and on research.” (Fadlo R. Khuri, President’s Club Reception, November 23, 2016)
commas
Use commas to separate elements in a series. Even in a simple series, put a comma before the conjunction.
  • The student is taking classes in history, English, mathematics, and science.
  • The student wants to major in sociology, philosophy, or political science.
committees and boards

Capitalize the word “committee” or “board” only when it is part of a formal title.

  • The FAS Graduate Studies Committee is meeting next week.
  • When is the next Board of Deans meeting?
  • The Board of Trustees usually meets in New York.
  • The board meets next week.
computer/internet terms
Some commonly used computer, internet, and telecommunications terms:
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • cell phone
  • cookie
  • cyberspace
  • double-click
  • dpi: dots per inch, a measure of print and screen resolution
  • email (no hyphen)
  • end user (n.), end-user (adj.)
  • firewall
  • freeware: free software
  • homepage
  • hyperlink
  • hypertext
  • internet
  • JPEG or JPG (but be consistent)
  • junk mail
  • login (n. or adj.), log in (v.)
  • online
  • webpage
  • website
conferences
Capitalize the official titles of conferences. Capitalize the word “conference” only if it is part of the official title.
  • The Digital Transformation Middle East 2017 conference will take place on September 8-9, 2017.
contact information
Department Name
American University of Beirut
PO Box 11-0236
Riad El-Solh 1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon
+961-1-350000 Ext. xxxx
currency
  • Lebanese pounds are designated as LL.
  • US dollars are designated as $.
  • Both the abbreviation (LL) and the symbol ($) precede the numbers with no space; $5 and LL10,000.
  • Payment must be made in US dollars.
  • The foundation made a grant of $17 million.
  • That book will cost €40.


D
dates
Dates should be written as month, day, year.
  • The Opening Ceremony was on September 4, 2017.
Do not use an apostrophe when pluralizing dates:
  • the 1980s, not the 1980’s
Do not contract dates:
  • the 1980s, not the ’80s or the eighties
When specifying a range of years, do not include the century for the second year in the series unless the range spans two or more centuries:
  • the 2017-18 (not 2017-2018) academic year
  • 1866-2016
Use en dash (–) or hyphen between date ranges. (en dash shortcut: Control plus the minus key on the numeric keypad)
Spell out all months.
  • Liberation Day is May 25.
  • We met in January 1994.
  • The Opening Ceremony was on September 4, 2017.
Avoid abbreviations such as st, nd, and th in dates. (If you use them, they should be superscripted.)
  • To officially mark the beginning of the 152nd academic year, the annual Opening Ceremony was held in AUB’s historic Assembly Hall on September 4, 2017.
When a phrase uses only a month and year, do not separate the year with a comma.
  • He moved to Beirut in September 1998.
When a phrase refers to a month, day, and year, use commas as follows:
  • She was born on September 21, 1947, in Cyprus.
  • Monday, September 4, was a holiday.
Use digits with “century.”
  • She is particularly interested in the 17th century.
  • Did you hear about the 9th century Arab dhow that was discovered in 1998?
departments, offices, and other campus units
Capitalize the full names of departments, divisions, and offices. Use lowercase for the words “department,” “division,” or “office” when they appear alone. Capitalize the field when it is used to mean the department, division, or office specifically. Do not capitalize the field when it’s used in a general sense.
  • She works in student affairs.
  • The Office of Financial Aid has been very helpful.
  • The History Department can be found in College Hall. It is a small department.
When listing more than one department in a series, write it like this:
  • The Departments of English, Chemistry, and History …
Please check here for the official names of centers, departments, institutes, offices, and other units.
​directions
  • northeast
  • southwest
doctor
“Doctor” can be used when referring to anyone who is a medical doctor or who has a PhD. It is preferred over “Professor” when referring to a faculty member.
  • Dr. Moueen Salameh recently retired from AUB where he served as registrar from 2000 to 2017.
  • Dr. Lama Moussawi, who is an associate professor at the Olayan School of Business, organized the third panel.
  • Drs. Salameh and Moussawi will be attending the meeting on Thursday.
drop out (v.)
dropout (n.)


E
ellipsis
Use the Word default, which is three periods that begin and end with a space.
  • For many Beirutis, Jawad’s village … might as well belong to another country.
emeritus
“emeritus” and “emirita” and “emeriti” are honorary titles. Since they are titles, they are capitalized when they appear before a person’s name.
  • Samir Makdisi was appointed professor emeritus of economics in 2008.
  • Professor Emeritus Samir Makdisi met with the students yesterday.
etc. – not etc…


E
faculties
Capitalize when referring to one of the faculties at AUB with the complete name; lowercase in reference to the faculty and faculty members.
  • Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS)
  • Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS)
  • Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB)
  • The school [referring to OSB] was once located in the Old Pharmacy Building.
founders
AUB celebrates its founders, the seven original members of the faculty of the Syrian Protestant College, on Founders Day (no apostrophe). They were: Daniel Bliss, David Stuart Dodge, Edwin Lewis, Harvey Porter, George Post, Cornelius Van Dyck, and John Wortabet.
full-time
  • He works full-time.
  • He is a full-time employee.
fundraising
FY
Spell out “fiscal year” the first time. After that you may use “FY” instead.

G
graduation year
  • Rana El Chemaitelly (BE ’93, ME ’08)
  • Zalmay Khalilzad (BA ’72, MA ’74)
  • Maroun Semaan (BE ’77)
  • AUB Trustee Huda Zoghbi (BS ’76)
  • George Wassouf (BS, expected ’18)
Please be sure to use the correct apostrophe: it should be ’79, not ‘79.


When referring to decades, use numbers, do not abbreviate, or use an apostrophe.

  • ​The 1980s, not the 1980's, the '80s or the eighties
  • Faris Nimr (BA 1874) received an honorary doctorate in 1890.


H
healthcare
Write this as one word both as a noun and as an adjective. The only exception is when it is written as “health-care” or “health care” in the official name of a program, book, etc.
  • Did you attend the conference on healthcare technologies in March?
  • There has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of healthcare that is now available.
  • AUB’s Healthcare Leadership Academy is housed at the Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • Dean Nuwayhid was one of the panelists during the “Protecting Health Care in Armed Conflict” conference in New York in September 2017.


I
inclusive language
Use “people-first language,” i.e., inclusive language that “does not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics including gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, economic background, ability/disability status, religion, sexual orientation, etc.” You will find that definition and helpful guidelines here​. Here are some examples:

Use gender-neutral terms:
  • “people” or “humanity” – not “mankind”
  • “workforce” – not “manpower”
Only refer to someone’s socioeconomic circumstances if it is relevant. When you do, use “people first” terms that do not stigmatize.
  • “people living in poverty” – not “poor people”
  • “people with financial needs” – not “needy people”
  • “underrepresented people” – not “marginalized people”
Avoid language that equates the person with the condition they have or defines them by it. Avoid language that has superfluous, negative overtones, and/or is regarded as a slur. Don’t refer to people who are not blind or who do not use a wheelchair as “normal” or “healthy.” Please check the guidelines here.
  • “person who is blind” – not “blind person”
  • “person who uses a wheelchair” – not “confined to a wheelchair”
One more inclusive example:
  • “undocumented immigrants” – not “illegal aliens”
italics
According to The Chicago Manual of Style, italicize the titles of books, newspapers, journals, movies, television programs, and named blogs (8.192). The titles of articles and chapters, songs, and exhibitions (8.201) should be set in roman and put in quotation marks.

M
Main Gate and MainGate
  • The Main Gate is on Bliss Street.
  • AUB’s alumni magazine, MainGate, is published three times a year. (Please note the magazine’s formal name is The MainGate but the definite article does not appear in any other context.)
major (n. and v.)
  • The department offers a number of different majors.
  • She has the option of majoring in history, chemistry, or English.


N
names
When writing for an AUB publication such as MainGate or a story for the website, use the last name of a person after their full name has been introduced in the text. (The one exception to this is in Class Notes when the first name of the person is used after their full name has been introduced.)
  • Alumna Lina Khoury embarked on a career in arts administration soon after graduating from AUB. “I wanted to combine my passion for the fine arts with my business training,” explains Khoury.
numbers
Spell out all numbers from one to nine; use digits thereafter and commas as thousand separators for numbers over 1,000. Use a period for a decimal point. Return to spelling out multiples of a million from one until nine million and thereafter use 10 million, 11 million, etc. Do not contract millions to m or M.

When referring to percentages or currency, use digits, except for rounded multimillion sums. Spell out “percent” except when used in tables and in scientific texts. If a figure begins the sentence, spell it out.
  • The student attended three classes today with 10 colleagues.
  • The soccer team won 15 games last year.
  • Approximately 2 percent of AUB alumni live in Michigan.
  • Eleven people were disciplined following an investigation.
  • The foundation pledged $900,000 but raised that to $2 million in May.
  • Police estimated the crowd size at 900,000 but organizers said two million people attended.
Use digits with “century.”
  • She is particularly interested in the 17th century.
  • Did you hear about the 9th century Arab dhow that was discovered in 1998?


P
part-time
  • He works part-time.
  • He is a part-time employee.
percent
When referring to percentages or currency, use numbers, except for rounded multimillion sums and at the start of sentences. Spell out “percent” except when used in tables and in scientific texts.
  • Over 77 percent of students who apply receive financial assistance.
PhD programs
  • Check here for list of current PhD programs
phone numbers
  • Please contact us at +961-1-350000.
  • You can reach the Office of Student Affairs at +961-1-374374, Ext. 3170 or 3171
  • The phone number for the New York Office is +1-212-583-7600
policymaker
possessive
For most singular nouns, add an apostrophe and an “s” to make the possessive – even if the noun ends in an “s” or “z”.
  • student’s class
  • Abu Nawas’s car
  • Marx’s theories
  • Clausewitz's On War
For plural nouns that end in an “s,” add just an apostrophe.
  • students’ classes
  • members’ votes
  • the Jones’ house
When the singular form of a noun is the same as the plural, add just an apostrophe. Here are some examples from The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • politics’ true meaning
  • economics’ forerunners
Founders Day and Visitors Bureau are not examples of possessives and so there is no apostrophe.
postdoctoral
professor
You may use the title “professor” for all faculty members in professorial ranks, assistant, associate, and full.

Q
quotation marks
When using quotation marks, always place the comma and period within the quotation marks. Use single quotation marks only for a quote within a quote.
  • “We are a university of enormous influence and impact—all the more so for the fact we are seated in a region that is otherwise known for decadence and internecine conflict,” said President Khuri. (President’s Club Dinner, September 15, 2017)
  • “John shouted at Steve, ‘You’re doing it all wrong.’”
Please note that single or double quotes should not be used for emphasis.

R
regions
  • the Arab world
  • the MENA region
  • the Global South
religions
From The Chicago Manual of Style, “names of major religions are capitalized, as are their adherents and adjectives derived from them.”
  • Buddhism; Buddhist
  • Christianity; Christian; Christendom
  • Confucianism; Confucian
  • Hinduism; Hindu
  • Islam; Islamic; Muslim
  • Judaism; Jew; Jewish
  • Shinto; Shintoism; Shintoist
  • Taoism; Taoist; Taoistic
Use “the Prophet Muhammad,” not “Muhammad.”
Name of the religious groups: Sunnism, Shiism
  • Nor, crucially, does the existence of doctrinal differences between Sunnism and Shiism teach us anything about the relationship between sect and politics.
Description of the individual: a Sunni, a Shiite
  • The title of Rami Khouri’s lecture was “Beyond Sunnis and Shiites: Understanding the Turbulent Reconfiguration of Arab States and Citizens.”
The adjective: Sunni, Shia
  • A senior Shia cleric
  • A mainly Sunni area of Beirut
  • Fifty-one percent of Sunni Arabs said the country was going in the right direction as opposed to 36 percent of Shia Arabs and 5 percent of Kurds.


S
seasons
Lowercase spring, summer, fall, and winter.
  • The conference will take place this fall.
  • It was an unusually warm summer.
  • The winter term will begin on January 8.
semesters
Use “term” and not “session” or “semester” to refer to AUB’s fall, winter, spring, and summer terms.
spelling
Use American spelling.
state-of-the-art
student residences
  • The men’s residences are Kerr I and Penrose.
  • The women’s residences are the Off-Campus Student Dorms, Boustany Hall, Jewett Hall, Kerr II Hall, Murex Hall, New Women’s Dorm.


T
task force
tenure track (n.)
tenure-track (adj.)
Please note that the adjective is hyphenated only if it appears before the noun.
  • He has applied for a tenure-track position. The position for which he has applied is not tenure track.
term
Use “term” and not “session” or “semester” to refer to AUB’s fall, winter, spring, and summer terms.
time
Give all times using the 12-hour clock. Use lowercase without periods and with one space between number and “am” or “pm.” Use en dash (–) or hyphen between time ranges. (en dash shortcut: Control plus the minus key on the numeric keypad) If both times are “am” or “pm,” only list once at the end.
  • The meeting will begin at 6:00 ​pm.
  • The Visitors Bureau is open 10:00 am–4:00 pm.
  • The Visitors Bureau is open between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • The meeting will be 6:00–7:00 pm.
Don’t use noon, midnight, or midday when describing the time. If the meeting starts at noon, it starts at 12:00 pm.
  • The Medical Center visiting hours are 10:00 am–12:00 pm and 4:00–8:00 pm.
titles
Capitalize a title when it appears before a person’s name. When writing for an AUB publication such as MainGate or a story for the website, use the last name of a person after their full name has been introduced in the text.
  • President Fadlo R. Khuri opened the session. In his address, Khuri spoke about the importance of …
  • Chairman of the Board Philip S. Khoury thanked the family for its donation. The chairman commented also about …
  • Provost Mohamed Harajli will meet with the faculty on Thursday. Harajli is expected to comment about the recent decision to…
  • Dr. Mohamed Harajli, provost of AUB, will be traveling to Dubai on Monday.
  • Associate Dean for Curriculum and Graduate Studies Saouma BouJaoude
  • Drs. Khuri and Harajli will be meeting with the deans on Friday.
Use only one title before a person’s name.
  • Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri or President Fadlo R. Khuri, but never AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri. If the context makes it relevant that President Khuri is a medical doctor, you can write it this way: Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, president of AUB, will meet with the alumni chapter on Monday.
  • Executive Vice President for Medicine and Global Strategy Mohamed Sayegh or Dr. Mohamed Sayegh, but never Executive Vice President for Medicine and Global Strategy Dr. Mohamed Sayegh.
Do not capitalize titles when they are used alone or after the person’s name.
  • The president gave the first address.
  • Fadlo R. Khuri, president of AUB, will be meeting with the students on Friday.
Do not use Mr., Mrs., or Ms. in stories for the website, MainGate magazine, etc.
  • Mary Jaber Nachar (not Ms. or Mrs. Mary Jaber Nachar), the associate vice president for administration and chief of staff, chaired the meeting on Thursday.
Don’t use His/Her Excellency.
Please note that “former president” or “former minister” is not a title and so should not be capitalized when it appears before a person’s name.
  • He met with former president Obama yesterday.
Acting Dean or Interim Dean is a title and so should be capitalized when it appears before a person’s name.
  • Acting Dean Robert Sloane met with the faculty on Monday.
Emeritus is a title and should be capitalized when it appears before a person’s name.
  • Chairman Emeritus Richard A. Debs
Capitalize titles when they appear in a list of participants.
  • Fadlo R. Khuri, President, AUB
  • Iman Nuwayhid, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
In the case of a series of dignitaries with the same title, do not capitalize the title:
  • Those attending the event included ministers Salim Sayegh, Mohammed Khalifeh, and Ziad Baroud.


U
US (n. and adj.)
  • He studied US history.
  • We will be visiting the US next summer.
University Senate
Capitalize only when you use the full formal name. Lowercase when only “senate” is used as either noun or adjective.
  • The University Senate discussed promotion policy during its meeting.
  • The senate will be meeting next week.
  • The senate meeting will be next week.


W
well-being