🎓 Congrats, grads

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Graduation season is upon us, and even if you’re not attending one, you’ve likely heard more about them this year, thanks in part to the ​protests​ on college campuses over the Israel-Hamas war.

And while there are ​important language choices​ to be made around coverage of protests, we’re zooming out this week and focusing on graduations generally and specifically on the graduates themselves.

People speak and write often about “alumni,” but you hear the singular versions of this word – “alumna” and “alumnus” – much less often. And while “alumni” is used to refer to a mixed-gender group, “alumnae” is reserved for a group of all-women graduates.

It’s a lot to remember, not to mention there’s not really a gender-neutral alternative, except maybe “alum.”

Luckily, there’s a simple solution: Just use graduate instead.

Opt for gender-neutral language when referring to graduates of a school. "Graduate" and "graduates" work just fine instead of alumni, alumnus, alumna or alumnae: "She was a graduate of the University of Chicago."

Congratulations to all the 2024 graduates!

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