Alumni and Emeriti

Use the correct form of the word

Alumna (emerita) is singular female.
Jane is an alumna. Jane is an emerita.

Alumnus (emeritus) is singular male.
John is an alumnus. John is an emeritus.

Alumnae (emeritae) is plural female.
Jane and Mary are alumnae. Jane and Mary are emeritae.

Alumni (emeriti) is plural male and plural when both men and women are included.
John, Jane and Mary are alumni. John, Jane and Mary are emeriti.

Usage note: You are never wrong using alumni for groups, even when only women are included. Use of Alumnae (emeritae) is generally limited to references to the members of women-only organizations, such as sorority alumnae, but even in those cases, it is perfectly acceptable to use alumni. Never use "All alumnae and alumni are invited." Use "All alumni are invited."

Each alumnus and alumna is invited to attend homecoming.
All alumni are invited to attend homecoming.
He is an alumnus of WMU.

Each alumni is invited to attend homecoming.
He is an alumni of WMU.

Usage note: Do not use the slash form alumnus/na. Use alumni to refer to all or use alumnus and alumna (the full words) to refer to each. This style also applies to emeriti, emerita, emeritus.

Salutations for form letters

Form letters are addressed to groups. The salutation should, therefore, be plural. Capitalize key words, lower case articles and conjunctions, and end with a colon.

Dear Students:
Dear Alumni:
Dear Emeriti:
Dear Parents and Family Members:
Dear Members of the Board:
Dear Faculty and Staff: