Information for May 2024 Diploma Pickup for Undergraduate Students

Preferred Name Information

What Is a Preferred Name?

Some members of the Wesleyan community are known by a name that is different from their legal name. Students, faculty and staff who wish to be identified by a preferred name can enter that name in the Personal Information section of their WesPortal. This preferred name will appear in most University systems. While anyone is welcome to use a preferred name, this option has been developed to respond to the needs of some international students, transgender people, and others who prefer to use a middle name or a nickname.


Students will be able to select a preferred name to be used in the online campus directory, class lists, grade reports, course schedules, Moodle, WesPortal, and WesCard (upon request). Legal names will always appear on all external reports and documents including, but not limited to, paychecks, accounts payable checks, student billing, and tax forms. Legal names can only be changed when students pursue a legal name change with their home state and/or Federal authorities and then submit that documentation to the Registrar’s Office.

Faculty and Staff

Preferred names of staff and faculty will be collected and displayed on designated internal campus communications, documents and electronic sources such as the online directory, Moodle and WesCard (upon request). Legal names will always appear on all external reports and documents including, but not limited to, transcripts, paychecks, accounts payable checks, and tax forms. Legal names will only be changed when employees pursue a legal name change with state and/or Federal authorities and then submit that documentation to Human Resources.

Setting a Preferred Name & Disclaimer

Faculty and Staff can use the My Information>Personal Profile in WesPortal to set a preferred name online. Students can use the My Information>Enrollment Checklist & Addresses>Personal Data application in WesPortal.  Students without ready access to a computer may contact the Registrar’s Office for a paper form. Employees without ready access to a computer may contact Human Resources for a paper form.

Wesleyan will endeavor to display preferred names as outlined above, and intends to update the reports, documents and systems that are designated to use a preferred name. In the event that your preferred name is not displaying correctly, please contact the appropriate office: the Registrar’s Office for students, and Human Resources for faculty and staff.

Preferred Name FAQ

  • Can any member of the Wesleyan community set a preferred name?

    Any student, faculty or staff member may opt to set a preferred name.

  • Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?

    Yes, but the University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it seems inappropriate, and will contact you with questions or concerns in this regard.

  • Can I use my preferred name for everything at Wesleyan?

    No. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as for payroll, tax forms, financial aid, student employment, accounting records and student transcripts.

  • Where will my preferred name display?

    Preferred name will display in the campus directory, class lists, grade reports, advisee lists, Moodle, WesPortal, and course registration functions. Email searches and display names (gmail profiles) use preferred name.

  • How do I get my preferred name on my Wesleyan ID?

    After you designate your preferred name in your WesPortal, visit the Wes Card Office in North College to request a new Wes Card with your preferred name. Please remember that your Wes Card is not a legal form of identification.

  • Which name will the University use in news releases, official social media and on the College‚Äôs website?

    Your preferred name will be used to promote your activities, awards or accomplishments. If you want your legal name to be used by Communications, please instruct them to do so when they contact you about potential news releases.

  • How do I correct or change my legal name?

    The process for changing your legal name varies by state and country of residence and reason for the change. If you have pursued a legal name change at the state or Federal level, please bring or send legal documentation to the offices listed below so that Wesleyan can update your record. U.S. residents must change their names with the Social Security Administration as well.

    Students: Submit legal documentation to the Registrar's office. In addition, student employees must submit an updated I-9 form to the Payroll Office.

    Faculty and Staff: Submit legal documentation to Human Resources.

  • Who will have access to my legal name?

    Select administrative staff, Public Safety employees and, if you’re employed on campus, your supervisor(s) will have access to both your legal and preferred name.

  • I am an incoming student and I submitted a preferred name on my application. Do I need to submit a preferred name again?

    Yes. The Office of Admission uses the name provided on your Common Application to communicate with you during the admission process. After you are offered admission, you will have an opportunity to set a preferred name through WesCheck. Your preferred name will then be the name that you will be known by to the University community. Until that time, or if you do not choose to set a preferred name, your legal name will be used.