Use of Alumnus, Alumni, Alumna, or Alumnae
You may use alumna when referring to a woman who has attended a school; alumnus when referring to a man who has attended a school; or alum or graduate as a singular, gender-neutral option. Use alumni or graduates when referring to a group of multiple genders. Use alumnae when referring to a group of women only.
Listing of Names, Grad Years, and Majors
All alumni of UMBC, including faculty and staff, should be notated as such in all print and web instances. Only degrees earned at UMBC should be listed behind a person’s name.
List the graduate’s name followed by graduation year (’98) and major (lowercase unless proper noun) and then the year of graduation. Use a comma between the date and the major.
- The meeting was led by Bill Glover ’90, information systems, and included a discussion on this year’s events.
- The meeting was led by Thomas Levering ’77, English.
In the case of a single graduate degree earned at UMBC, list the graduate’s name, followed by the degree earned and year of graduation, and then the area of study.
- The meeting was led by Jeannie Brown, M.S. ’84, mechanical engineering.
- The meeting was led by James Wilson, Ph.D. ’04, physics.
In certain special uses (see: Invitations and Name Tags), exceptions to these rules can be made.
When listing grad years, there are two preferred ways of writing the apostrophe before the numerals; this may depend on the type of font or word processing system you are using, or whether you’re publishing the information online. Use the guide below to maintain consistency across university publications:
Listing Multiple UMBC Degrees
List abbreviated graduate degree following undergraduate degree.
- Mary Brown ’81, mathematics, and M.S. ’95, information systems management, serves on the Alumni Board of Directors.
- Joe Wilson ’76, M.S. ’82, psychology, was featured in the magazine.
- Richard Hill ’90, computer science, M.S. ’92, computer science, and Ph.D. ’98, computer engineering, is working in Washington, D.C.
Do not list degrees that were not earned at UMBC.
- William Smith ’81, M6, biological sciences, visited campus.
The following print and electronic communications are used to stay in contact with alumni:
- UMBC Magazine
- E-Triever – monthly e-newsletter
- Retriever Net – alumni website and online directory
- UMBC Alumni on social media: Facebook I Twitter: @UMBCalumni
Invitations and Name Tags
Certain additions or deletions to the standard rules for listing alumni degrees and grad years may occur for special use in invitations and name tags.
Honorary titles may be used with discretion as long as they are used consistently. For alumni who have earned a doctorate at another school, a “Dr.” may appear in front of the name, but that information should not appear in the listing of the degrees that happens after the name (see: Listing of Names, Degrees, and Majors). For alumni who earned a Ph.D. at UMBC, a “Dr.” may appear in front of the name, with the Ph.D. information also included after the name with any relevant UMBC degree listings.
Event organizers may choose to abbreviate or delete certain alumni degree and grad year listings on name tags, but we suggest always keeping the grad year/s at a minimum.