Proper Names

Individual Names

  • Always give the full name (or two initials with surname) of persons the first time they appear in the body of the text.
  • After referring to an individual by full name, the second reference should be to surname only, e.g., Smith. It may be acceptable to refer to the subject by first name if there is more than one individual referenced with the same surname.
  • Maintain courtesy titles after first reference when referring to persons of religious orders.

Correct: Fr. Dymowski, Sr. Coughlin, etc.


Courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs. etc.) should be used in correspondence only.

Do not use a courtesy title and an abbreviated reference indicating academic degree in the same line.

  • Correct: Dr. John Doe or John Doe, Ph.D.
  • Incorrect: Dr. John Doe, Ph.D

When shortening titles of religious designation, follow these examples:

  • Correct: Sister Martha Marie to Sr. Martha Marie or Sr. Martha Marie, CCVI
  • Correct: Father Michael Baker to Fr. Michael Baker
  • Correct: Monsignor Peter Gallagher to Msgr. Peter Gallagher

Capitalize titles when they precede a name. Do not capitalize a title when it follows a name or stands alone; e.g.,

  • Correct: Director of Public Affairs John Smith attended the conference.
  • Correct: John Smith, director of public affairs, attended the conference.
  • Correct: The director of public affairs will attend the conference

When referring to faculty of the schools, use the full name of the school if space allows or the area of academic instruction before or after the person's name.

  • Correct: Dr. John Doe, professor in the Dreeben School of Education, presents …
  • Correct: Dreeben School of Education Professor Dr. John Doe, presents …
  • Correct: Dr. John Doe, professor of religious studies, presents …
  • Correct: Professor of Religious Studies Dr. John Doe presents … (Capitalize areas of instruction when preceding the name)

When referring to a title with a national reference, always capitalize the descriptive name.

  • Correct: Dr. Ann White, professor of French studies, taught the class.
  • Correct: Professor of English Jane Brown lectured at a recent seminar.

When the abbreviated degree, including licenses, follow a name that stands alone, such as in a list, periods should not be used. However, periods should be used in copy, for example, in an article’s body of text. Multiple degrees and licenses should be listed in chronological order from earliest to most recent degree or license earned. It is optional to list multiple degrees or just the terminal degree, e.g., Jane Doe, PhD.


The term “faculty” refers to the entire instructional staff. It requires the use of a singular verb. An individual should be referred to as a faculty member.