Westminster College values and honors diverse experiences and perspectives. Referring to students and employees by the name they wish to be called creates a welcoming and respectful learning and working environment.
Students and employees can provide a preferred name to be used on campus. Your preferred name is used instead of your legal name in Self-Service, in the campus directory (for faculty and staff only), and on class rosters. Legal names will continue to be used on transcripts, financial aid, payroll, some employee paperwork (I-9 and W-4), and other contractual documents.
A legal name is the name that appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card.
The term “preferred name” refers to a name you wish to use that differs from your name on legal documents and/or differs from the name listed on your original student or employee college record and that has not been changed legally.
Reasons for choosing a preferred name are personal and different for each individual. Possible reasons include:
- Preferring to use a nickname or middle name instead of a legal first name
- Choosing a name that aligns with your gender identity
- Wanting a preemptive name change while in the process of legal divorce proceedings
Terms and Conditions
Preferred names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. When you set your preferred name, you agree that you have not set a preferred name with an intent to impersonate someone else, to deceive, or to defraud.
Hate speech, inappropriate language, or repeated frequent use of the preferred name feature may bar you from using it in the future, at the college’s discretion. The college reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language.
Your preferred name may be used in any Westminster College system or correspondence.
Adding or Changing Preferred Name
Log into Self-Service and follow the name change instructions to change your preferred name. It can take up to 7 business days for your name to sync across all systems that accommodate preferred name. You may change your preferred name at any time and more than once.
Where Preferred and Legal Names Appear
Your preferred name will be displayed in most campus systems, but you may need to notify professors or staff members when a class is already underway and a current roster cannot be referenced.
Where Preferred Names Appear
- Career Center system (Handshake)
- Giovale Library system (Koha)
- Class rosters
Where Legal Names Appear
- International/immigration/SEVIS documents
- Student records and accounts
- Student financial services documents
- Financial aid records
- Employee/student employment records
- Federal requests for information
- National Student Clearinghouse
- Academic certificates
Legal Name Changes
Setting a preferred name does not change your legal name. Students who need to change their legal name with Westminster should submit a Change of Personal Information Form along with a copy of their legal documentation such as a marriage license, passport, permanent visa, court order, or state issued driver's license or ID card to email@example.com. Faculty and staff should send a completed form and documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internal Systems Integration Request for Preferred Name
If you identify a college system that needs to be updated to accommodate preferred names, please submit a request.
Student Questions: email@example.com
Faculty and Staff Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Westminster ID Questions: email@example.com