Name Formatting in Advance

At UW, we use the following formats for mail names, salutations, and joint names/salutations. We are committed, however, to addressing our donors and alumni in the fashion they desire, so it may occasionally be necessary to alter the preferred name fields to better reflect the individual’s expressed preference.

If you are changing a format per donor request, please include a signed, dated note in the comment field indicating the specific change (example: “per donor request: ‘Bill and Maggie Johnson’ – L.Marker, 4/25/11”).

Additional name formatting examples can be found at

Preferred Names

People often have preferred names that are different from their legal names. We have an obligation to address entities how they wish to be addressed, but we also need to keep their legal names on file for research purposes.

How we maintain a person’s name fields in these cases has changed (April, 2015). Please review the changes below, effective immediately. You can download the full, revised, Biographic Maintenance Manual here. Please email if you have any questions.


Reminder: Any time you make changes to an entity’s name, if the entity is married/partnered, you will also need to adjust the Joint Salutation in Marital Info.

Joint Mail Names

Names Joint Mail Name 1 Joint Salutation
Mr. Richard Geier, Ms. Jane Geier Mr. and Mrs. Richard Geier Mr. and Mrs. Geier
Mr. Richard Geier, Ms. Jane Farham Mr. Richard Geier and Ms. Jane Farham Mr. Geier and Ms. Farham

We use unique formatting for certain joint names, such as when the woman of a couple holds a special title, or she is associated with the University of Washington and her husband is not, or both are doctors.

Names Joint Mail Name 1 Joint Salutation
Dr. Tom Jones, Dr. Karen Jones Drs. Tom and Karen Jones Drs. Jones
Dr. Tom Jones, Dr. Karen Smith Drs. Tom Jones and Karen Smith Drs. Jones and Smith
Mr. Mark Baxter (non-alum), Mrs. Isabelle Baxter (alum) Mrs. Isabelle and Mr. Mark Baxter Mr. and Mrs. Baxter
Mr. Mark Baxter (non-alum), Ms. Isabelle Campbell(alum) Ms. Isabelle Campbell and Mr. Mark Baxter Ms. Campbell and Mr. Baxter


Certain offices and titles require special mail names and salutations. Abbreviations are used as the Advance standard in the mail name in order to allow maximum use of Advance character limits. Where applicable, the term “The Honorable” should continue to be used after a person leaves the position.

Position Mail Name Salutation
U.S. Senator The Hon. John Smith Senator Smith
U.S. Representative The Hon. Bradford Hayes Mr. Hayes
Governor The Hon. Peter Daniels Governor Daniels
Governor’s Cabinet Secretaries The Hon. John/Jane Smith Mr./Madam Secretary
Attorney General The Hon. Michael Starter Mr./Madam Attorney General
State Senator The Hon. Amanda Hatfield Senator Hatfield
State Representative The Hon. Jeffrey Orford Mr. Orford
Judge The Hon. Philip Holt Judge Holt
Mayor The Hon. Nathan Jacobsen Mayor Jacobsen
Dean Dean Stephen Chandler Dean Chandler
Professor with doctoral degree Barbara Sterling, Ph.D. Dr. Sterling
Professor without doctoral degree or unknown Prof. David Sterling Prof. Sterling
Priest (Catholic) The Rev. Brian Anderson Father Anderson
Priest (Protestant) The Rev. Brian Anderson Rev. Anderson
Priest (with doctoral degree) The Rev. Dr. Brian Anderson Dr. Anderson
Rabbi Rabbi Daniel Bridge Rabbi Bridge

Former Officials

Some former officials may keep their former titles, but some cannot because to do so causes confusion. Here is the rule, according to Washington D.C. protocol expert Mr. Robert Hickey:

  • If the office is held by a number of people at once (Judge, Senator, Representative, etc.), former officials may retain the former title because using it will not cause confusion.
  • If the office is held by only one person at a time (President, Governor), then the title also belongs to one person only at a time. In the case of governors, we use “Governor” only for the current governor. Former Governors are addressed as “The Honorable.”


The array of military rankings is vast, but basic mail name formatting is as follows:

title or rank + full name + comma + abbreviation of branch of service (USN, USA, USAF, USMC, USCG)

Standard abbreviations may be used in the mail name to maximize character space. Note that for sub-levels of a rank (e.g., Major General, Lieutenant Colonel), the main rank is used in the salutation.

Position Mail Name Salutation
Admiral Adm. Denny Travis, USN Admiral Travis
Rear Admiral Rear Adm. Denny Travis, USN Admiral Travis
Captain Capt. Arthur Wright, USN Captain Wright
Commander Cdr. George Spinner, USN Commander Spinner
Lieutenant Lt. Brian Cunningham, USN Lieutenant Cunningham
General Gen. Adam Boyer, USA General Boyer
Major General Maj. Gen. Richard Davis, USA General Davis
Brigadier General Brig. Gen. Charles Cooper, USA General Cooper
Colonel Col. Steven Shepard, USA Colonel Shepard
First Lieutenant 1st Lt. Carl Standard, USAF Lieutenant Standard
Sergeant Sgt. John Smith, USMC Sergeant Smith
Corporal Cpl. Bryce Carter, USA Corporal Carter

Retired Military

Retired military follows the same format as active military, with the addition of “(Ret.)” at the end of the mail name:

Position Mail Name Salutation
Admiral Adm. Denny Travis, USN (Ret.) Admiral Travis

Military Joint Mail Names

The format for a military member and spouse does not include the service affiliation (USAF, etc.) following the last name:

Admiral Denny Travis, Susan TravisAdm. and Mrs. Denny TravisAdmiral and Mrs. Travis

Names Joint Mail Name 1 Joint Salutation

For any further questions about name formatting in Advance, please contact advhelp.