The University Name and Its Use
The institution’s full name – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay – is a good choice on first reference in most text.
UW-Green Bay is acceptable on first reference when context or audience makes the identity clear. UW-Green Bay is always acceptable on second and subsequent references. The acronym UWGB should be reserved for only the most local, limited and informal use.
The article “the” is not part of the formal name. The formal name includes a hyphen, not a comma. The hyphen may be dropped when the name is used as a display element or two-line design.
‘UWGB’ as an Occasional Option
UWGB will certainly persist on campus — uwgb.edu isn’t likely to disappear from e-use any time soon — and the acronym will pop up in casual conversation, in informal and internal text, and in some local newspaper headlines. Some students and alumni will shorten it further, to “GB.”
When expressed as such, an insider nickname, there can be a useful and appealing informality that communicates to the audience that they are “part of the family.” Longtime local residents and alumni from the institution’s earliest years, for example, will remember the monogram u-w-g-b used as an official institutional mark throughout the 1970s. Intercollegiate athletics used UWGB on uniforms as late as the 1990s.
Nevertheless, UW-Green Bay offices should avoid the usage in formal institutional communication and marketing materials.
|A general, formal or external audience||Familiar audience
|Preferred||“The UW-Green Bay Registrar’s Office will open Friday at 7:45 a.m.”||“We’re inviting all of you who attended UW-Green Bay, especially UWGB graduating classes from the 1970s, to return.”||“Visit UW-Green Bay on the web at www.uwgb.edu…”|
|Instead of||“The UWGB Registrar’s Office will open Friday at 7:45 a.m.”||“We’re inviting all of you who attended UWGB to return.”||“Visit UWGB on the web at www.uwgb.edu…”|
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has the advantage of a name that closely identifies it with strong and widely known entities: the respected and tradition-rich University of Wisconsin System, and a nationally recognized city. The “UW” in UW-Green Bay is widely understood throughout Wisconsin and the upper Great Lakes region.
UWGB should generally be avoided in institutional communication, especially when the audience might include those who are external to the campus, outside of our immediate region or relatively unfamiliar with the University and its programs. Why? Recognition of acronyms diminishes with distance. Consider UWRF, UMD and UALR. All are quickly understood by the citizens of River Falls, Duluth and Little Rock, but the acronyms may be incomprehensible to people elsewhere.
Additionally, UW-Green Bay serves — and derives support and strength from — its community. The use of UWGB does not uniformly reinforce that connection.
‘This is UW-Green Bay’
When a communication piece calls for a brief, at-a-glance introduction to the University, the following provides a solid foundation:
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution with an enrollment of approximately 6,600 students, exceptional academic facilities and affordable, high-quality programs at the undergraduate and graduate-degree levels. An interdisciplinary academic approach encourages students to be creative problem-solvers who value diversity, sustainability and community involvement. With a scenic bayshore campus and metropolitan mission, UW-Green Bay is convenient to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of the New North and Fox Valley regions. Excellent library and computer facilities, well-equipped classrooms, abundant fine arts opportunities, Division I athletics and premium student housing are prominent. Founded in 1965 and a member institution of the tradition-rich University of Wisconsin System, UW-Green Bay boasts more than 29,000 alumni. Graduates live and work worldwide, but many remain in Northeast Wisconsin to serve as the region’s teachers, health care professionals, business people, planners and civic leaders. The University is strongly linked to its community.