Want to really make yourself sound like you didn’t really deserve your degree? Use the words Alumnus, Alumna, Alumni or Alumnae wrong in a job interview, social media bio or resume.
This is a very common mistake and honestly it is often hard to remember the right use, so we at Watch The Yard created this really quick rundown of how to correctly talk about graduates.
The title alumnus is a Latin word meaning student. The Latin root of this word is masculine, so it refers to male graduates. If you’re referring to one man who graduated from a college or university you would use this word.
Example: “Sam is an alumnus of Morehouse College.”
The Latin word for graduates is traditionally male. When referring to one woman, the correct traditional feminine form would be alumna. The plural form of alumna is alumnae.
Example: “Kim is an Alumna of Spelman College.”
Alumni applies to a group of men or a group that consists of men and women but not a group of just women, for that see alumnae.
Example: This party is full of Howard alumni!
Alumnae refers to a group of two or more former students who are women. You will see this used when referring to the graduates of women’s colleges or the titles of graduate chapters of sororities like Delta Sigma Theta.
Example: There are a lot of Spelman alumnae who relocate to DC after graduation.
People also shorten the words alumnus, alumna, alumnae, or alumni to just alum. Please note that alum is pretty informal.
Here is a very simple graphic explaining it:
Omegas4 days ago
Black Greekdom Mourns The Death of Omega Psi Phi Brother Jelani Day
AKAs5 days ago
Alpha Kappa Alpha Just Raised Over $2.1 Million for HBCUs in 24 Hours
Greeks In Tech3 days ago
Seven Black Fraternity and Sorority Member-Owned Startups Were Just Awarded Google ‘Black Founders Fund’ Funding of $100,000 Each
Colleges5 days ago
HBCU Homecoming Essentials: 4 Styles Fit For The Big Day
Sigmas6 days ago
NFL All-Time Leading Rusher Emmitt Smith Is A Member of Phi Beta Sigma
Alphas3 days ago
Ramon Peralta Named Alpha Phi Alpha’s First-Ever Chief Creative Advisor
Alphas4 days ago
Co-Founder of the Morehouse School of Medicine Louis Sullivan is a Member of Alpha Phi Alpha
AKAs1 week ago
Lisa Borders, Former President of the WNBA Is A Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha