Content Strategy

Content Strategy

The voice and writing style guide is offered as a tool to ensure consistency among marketing, publications and other communications written on behalf of Illinois College. With the exceptions listed below, the Associated Press Stylebook serves as the primary reference guide for punctuation, italicization, and capitalization.

Communication Pillars

The items below represent the five main areas we have identified that set Illinois College apart from competitors and make the Illinois College brand unique. 

Graduate READY 
Current messaging: Graduate READY is more than just a catchy phrase — it's a promise we make to you and your parents. Access to expert faculty-mentors, small class sizes, global experiences, hands-on learning and an innovative approach to academics will prepare you with the skills to succeed in any 21st-century career. Our alumni are proving the value of an Illinois College education, with nearly 100% employed or in graduate school within a year of earning their degree from IC.

This pillar focuses on:

  • A large number of resources available on campus that includes dedicated career services staff.
  • Internships and other hands-on experiences that build resumes.
  • The growth value of community service and reflection. 
  • Connections to other academic institutions/alumni who are leaders in their fields.
  • Real student stories that highlight what it means to Graduate READY and how this concept is customizable to students across disciplines. 

Current messaging: Your Illinois College education has proven value that will last a lifetime and we want you to feel good about investing in your future. 

This pillar focuses on:

  • Consistent rankings as one of the best values in higher education by leading college guides including U.S. News & World Report, Barron’s Best Buys, Kaplan/Newsweek, Peterson’s Competitive Colleges and Money Magazine.
  • Finding ways to make excellence affordable. 
  • Partnerships with students and parents to develop plans that best fit needs.
  • One-on-one guidance at a higher level not seen at other institutions. 
  • Aid and values unique to IC ($1000 for each student toward a BreakAway, Finish in 4 program, textbooks included in tuition, etc.). 
  • IC costs less and the value is greater than those of our direct competitors. 

International Experiences 
Current messaging: To be successful in a diverse world you need the skills and experiences only available at a diverse campus like Illinois College. Whether you go on a BreakAway trip, study abroad for a semester, take one of our over 90 courses embedded with diversity experiences or build lifelong friendships with your classmates from around the country and world, you will be amazed at the number of opportunities to be part of an inclusive and diverse community. 

This pillar focuses on:

  • BreakAway and study abroad programs open the door for life-defining global experiences to be immersed in culture, study, travel, and work in places like Belize, Jamaica, Cuba, Japan, Greece, Austria, Ireland, and France, among others. 
  • The important work of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. 
  • Exchange programs on campus. 
  • Diversity and the growing (large) international student population on campus. 
  • Unique opportunities to work/complete research abroad with connections like the LUCE grant, Ritsumeikan exchange program, French program connection to Congolese immigrants, etc.
  • How such experiences prepare students for working in diverse teams/global careers in the future. 

Academic Innovation 
Current messaging: At Illinois College, faculty members serve as mentors who shape students for a lifetime. Our professors are leaders in innovation, discovery, and thought. They come to IC from the world’s top institutions for higher learning and have a wide range of career experiences to share. Working alongside faculty, students perform research, publish articles in academic journals, write books and present their work at professional conferences. IC engages with other academic institutions globally and these connections result in unbeatable opportunities for internships and experiential learning for our students. Most importantly, our faculty genuinely care about students as individuals and respect them as scholars.

This pillar focuses on:

  • Quality of faculty who are experts in their fields of study and research. 
  • Opportunities to work with faculty-experts, which is rare as an undergraduate at other colleges and universities. 
  • Unique opportunities available inside and outside of the classroom. 
  • BLUEprint (Illinois College’s personalized general education plan) helps students master critical skills that set them apart in the job market and prepares them to land their first job. 

Student-Centered Community
Current messaging: Our faculty and staff take the time to get to know you and your dreams for the future. Illinois College students are connected to professors, staff, and friends that help them know about the best opportunities on campus. With over 80 activities and student organizations, you can be a leader and make an impact in the role that works for you. You will not only be welcomed into a learning community, you will be empowered to explore and pursue a path to success that you are passionate about. 

  • Small class sizes (13:1 student to faculty ratio). 
  • Friendly, inclusive environment. 
  • More than “just a number."
  • Students receive one-on-one attention from all faculty and staff. 
  • Guidance from people who are knowledgeable and care about each student’s future. 

Exceptions and terms particular to Illinois College

The College's name can be abbreviated as IC but not as I.C.

Address: 1101 West College Avenue
                Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

Phone numbers are separated by periods and not dashes. Example: 217.245.3000

When indicating the time at the top of the hour, do not include the minutes. (Example: 3 p.m.)  It is best practice to indicate 12 noon or 12 midnight for clarity.

When referring to Illinois College in campus communication, the word College should be capitalized. Example: The College was founded in 1829.

Graduate READY is always written as two words with READY in capital letters.

Finish in 4 - 4 is always represented as a number and not spelled out.

The BreakAway program is always spelled with a capital B and a capital A with no space between the words. The term study abroad has no special capitalization.

Illinois College uses the term "first-year student" rather "freshman."

Illinois College follows the NCAA in referring to participants in sports as "student-athletes."

Male athletic teams are called the Blueboys (one word).

Female athletic teams are called Lady Blues

A female graduate is an "alumna." A male graduate is an "alumnus." "Alumnae" describes a group of female graduates, while "alumni" is used for both an all-male group of graduates and a mixed group of men and women.

A retired male professor, trustee, or administrator may earn "emeritus" status; a retired female would earn "emerita" status. Groups are referred to as "professors emeriti."

Oxford comma - Use of the Oxford comma is permitted, even when following AP Style, as long as it is used consistently throughout.

Campus Building Terminology

Campus Buildings
Alumni House
Barnes House
Becker Center for Teacher Education
Beecher Hall
Caine Student Center
Campus Security
Campus Services
Center for Global Studies 
Crampton Hall
Crispin Hall
Cummings Dining Hall
Kirby Learning Center
McGaw Fine Arts Center
Parker Science Building
Rammelkamp Chapel
Schewe Library
Smith House
Tanner Hall
Whipple Hall

Athletic Facilities
Brooks Baseball Field
Bellatti Weight Room
Bellatti Tennis Complex
Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center
Coultas Natatorium
England Stadium
Green Athletic Field
Kamp Softball Field
King Fieldhouse
Merris Court
Sherman Gymnasium
Ware Family Track
Zelcs Fitness Center

Residence Halls
Lincoln Hall
College Avenue Apartments
Crampton Hall
Ellis Hall
Fayerweather House
Gardner Hall
Greene Hall
Mundinger Hall
Pixley Hall
Turner Hall

Campus Areas
Cummings Dining Hall (Caine Student Center)
Dunham Auditorium (Crispin Hall)
Fairfield Library (Lincoln Hall)
Historic Upper Quadrangle
The HUB (Lincoln Hall)
ICEBOX Theatre (Kirby Hall)
Larson Lobby and Patio (Crispin Hall)
Woodcock Art Gallery (McGaw Fine Arts Center)

Alumni Names
Do not set off a birth/maiden name in parentheses or quotation marks.
Right: Gigi Galloway Patterson, Gigi Galloway Patterson ’92
Wrong: Gigi (Galloway) Patterson, Gigi “Galloway” Patterson

If alumni couples share the same last name, identify each with his/her graduation year. For couples with different last names, list each full name and graduation year, as follows:

Right: Russ ’89 and Jaime Yoch Miers ’98
Wrong: Russ and Jaime Yoch Miers ’89, ’98
Right: Rob Robinson ’99 and Rhiannon Norris-Robinson ’99

If degrees are included in alumni names, separate them with a comma after the class year:

Right:  Josiah Kunz '12, Ph.D.
Wrong: Dr. Josiah Kunz '12
Wrong: Josiah Kunz, Ph.D. '12

Bold name and class year of alumni when used in copy. Bold all names used in copy. 

Alumni Class Years
When identifying students or alumni by their graduation years, use the two-digit year, preceded by an apostrophe when class year is within the last 80 years. Class years approximately 80 years or more should use the full year without the apostrophe. Do not use a comma between the name and the year.

Right: Molly Clark Daniel ’78, Bruce Kinnett ’76, Helen Ellis Anderson 1931
Wrong: Molly Clark Daniel, ’78, Bruce Kinnett, ’76

Be sure that the apostrophe is “curled” correctly (to the left)
Right: Molly Clark Daniel ’78
Wrong: Molly Clark Daniel ‘78


The name of the Campaign should always be written in italics. Inspiring Achievement: The Campaign for Illinois College or Inspiring Achievement are both appropriate references in text. 

When referring to the Campaign, a capital "C" should be used. No italics needed in this reference. 


For additional questions concerning voice and writing style, contact the Office of Marketing and Communication.