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Latin for the New Graduate

What Will You Be?

Sometimes graduates are unsure which Latin term to use in describing themselves. Every student has an alma mater, which in Latin means "nurturing mother." Upon graduation, the student becomes a "foster child" of the nurturing mother. This list will help you determine what kind of foster child you are.


  • A man is an alumnus — this is the masculine singular form of the Latin term for "foster child."


  • A woman is an alumna — this is the feminine singular form of the word.


  • This is the masculine plural form of the word, and it applies to two or more graduates (male or female) of an institution. An individual cannot be an alumni.


  • This is the feminine plural form of the word, and it applies to two or more female graduates an institution. An institution that enrolls only women has alumnae — it never has alumni.


Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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