News & Events

Identity Guidelines

This page provides guidelines for using logos, colors, and other visual cues related to Mars Hill University’s institutional identity. Consistent use of these items will help us project a unified visual message about the university. Please address any questions or suggestions to Mike Thornhill, Director of Communications, at

Graphic Standards

Mars Hill University guidelines for logos, fonts, colors, and other items related to visual representation of the university brand are available by downloading this PDF of the Mars Hill University Graphic Standards Manual.

Editorial Style Guide

Official university writing style generally follows the Associated Press Stylebook ("AP Style") and/or the Chicago Manual of Style ("Chicago"), with certain institutional variances. This Mars Hill University Editorial Style Guide is a work in progress. Updates will be posted here until codified in a more formal publication and/or web page.


alum, alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus: We will generally follow the Latin variations with alumnus used for a singular male, alumna for a singular female, alumnae for a group of female former students, and alumni for a group of males or a group of mixed gender. To avoid unnecessarily cumbersome writing, the less formal alum is acceptable for use in referring to a singular former student of either gender (the plural of alum is alums). The terms alum/alumna/alumnus are not restricted to those who graduated from MHC/MHU, but include all former students who attended at least one semester.

apostrophes in dates: Use an apostrophe to indicate the absence of "19" in a year (preference is to use all four digits, but two digits with apostrophe may be used on second and subsequent reference) but not to form a plural for a decade; e.g., ‘07, 1990s. Also note that, for printed material, the apostrophe in the example ’07 should be a "single right quote" (see your layout program’s "help" feature for instruction on inserting that special character).

Appalachia, Appalachian: Rhymes with bastion, not with nation (


dates: Use figures, without commas: 1975. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma: Feb. 14, 1987, is the target date. When a phrase refers only to a month and year, or a season and year, do not set off the year with a comma: January 2012, Fall 2009. Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s. Years are the lone exception to the general rule in numerals that a figure is not used to start a sentence: 1976 was a very good year.

departments, divisions, and programs: Full formal names of MHU departments, divisions, and programs are capitalized: Department of Music, Department of Education. Second references or shortened versions are lowercased: biology program.


internet and web related words: We will follow the lead of Wired magazine (and, now, the AP Style Guide): World Wide Web is capitalized, as is Web when used specifically to refer to the WWW; otherwise, internet, web, and their derivatives are not capitalized. Electronic mail is email.


titles: Personal titles immediately preceding a name are capitalized; those following a name or set off by commas are not. Position titles used without a name are not capitalized.
  The latest discovery by Associate Professor Scott Pearson. . . Ashby F. Walker, assistant professor of sociology, has found . . .
  A professor of music at MHU since 1985, Dr. Reed teaches . . .

This rule applies not only to academic titles, but also to administrative titles.
  President Dan Lunsford, the president . . .
  Thornhill became communications director of Mars Hill University in 2004 . . .
  The director of student activities helped select the band for the dance . . .

An exception to this rule is a “named” title.
  Katharine R. Meacham is the Bost Professor of Philosophy at Mars Hill University.

Treat references to the trustees of Mars Hill University in the same way as other personal titles discussed above.
  Our office recently received a visit from Trustee Wayne Higgins. Bonnie Adams was previously a trustee of the university.


university/college: Lowercase the word, even when referring to this institution, unless the word is used as part of the full name of an institution. As of 2013, the institution is Mars Hill University; references to Mars Hill College should only be used in regard to the institution during its days as a college.
    Mars Hill University, Mars Hill College, the university, the college