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University of Detroit Mercy

Full name always on first reference

The full name "University of Detroit Mercy" must be used in all instances on first reference. Do not use "the" in front of the full name when it is a subject or object. For instance, "Please visit University of Detroit Mercy" is correct, but "The University of Detroit Mercy will host" is wrong.

If University of Detroit Mercy is a modifier, "the" may be appropriate, such as "The University of Detroit Mercy professor...," since "the" applies to "professor."

Second and later references

After the proper first reference, you may use "Detroit Mercy" or "UDM" to refer to the University. (Use of "UDM" is once again allowed beginning in 2023. For background, see UDM usage history, below.)

  • "UDM" may be used on flyers, press releases, posters, and items such as mouse pads, coffee mugs and others, as long as the full name of the University and its logo are also included.
  • For University websites, "Detroit Mercy" will remain in use on first reference in website content, after which "UDM" or "Detroit Mercy" may be used. (Full name is already part of webpage design.)
  • At this time, there are no plans to alter or change logos or graphic identities.

When using just "the University" (on second or later reference), always capitalize University if referring directly to Detroit Mercy.


Generally, only provide an acronym if you use the acronym later in the same text. On first reference, provide the full name before the acronym in parentheses. For example, "The Homeless Action Network of Detroit (HAND) will team up with Detroit Mercy's Institute for Leadership and Service (ILS). HAND and ILS have cooperated on several previous campaigns."

For external or mixed audiences (e.g. press releases), always identify University of Detroit Mercy by full name on first reference. When writing only for an internal University audience, Detroit Mercy may be used without explanation.


"Alumni" should be used for a plural reference; "alumnus" should be used for an individual male or "alumna" for female. Never use the slang, "alum." A generic reference to an individual should be alumnus.

Attribution (quoting a source)

When attributing the source of a quote in Detroit Mercy publications, use said. For example: "Enrollment has exceeded our forecasts," said John Smith.

Class year

In all alumni publications, an alumnus' class year should be included with his/her name with the following style: "Jane Doe '89 was active as a student." Note the apostrophe before the two-digit class year. (We no longer put a comma after the class year in copy, unless it is required by the rest of the sentence's structure.)

For multiple graduation years, list each year followed by a comma, for example: "David Smith '75, '77 gave a presentation." Class year information is available in Raiser's Edge or from the Alumni Relations Office.

Do not use expected grad years for current students.

Headline style

Headlines should always contain an active verb and be a complete thought.


Normally, whole numbers one through nine should be spelled out. Numbers higher than nine are written in digits, e.g. "All seven students were 20 years old." Use numbers for hundreds and thousands, e.g. "Detroit Mercy's student population hovered around 5,000." Use the words "million" or "billion," e.g. "eight billion people; 11 million dollars."

UDM usage history

UDM is OK again

In 2016, University of Detroit Mercy launched a marketing research study and rebranding effort that included a new logo, new brand line and a ban on use the school’s longtime abbreviation, UDM.

At that time, the marketing research firm hired to help with the new brand and research effort believed that UDM was confusing to the marketplace and that Detroit Mercy would be a better option than the acronym.

Well, the University made a good faith effort, but old habits die hard. With media outlets and organizations such as ESPN refusing to use Detroit Mercy and continuing to choose UDM, as of 2023, the University will now once again use UDM in various assets under certain circumstances. Continue to follow the policy above for all references to University of Detroit Mercy.