Student Preferred First Name

Wilmington University recognizes the need or preference for students to refer themselves by a name other than their legal given or first name. To maintain a respectful, comfortable, and engaging learning environment, students have option to provide a preferred first name.*

Examples of types of preferred first names include:

  • A middle name;
  • A nickname;
  • A name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing;
  • A name which better represents the individual’s gender identity

Where Your Preferred First Name Will Be Used

The University seeks to enable the use of a preferred first name wherever possible*, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies and within the capabilities of University administrative systems. Preferred first name will be displayed as first name in public or semi-public systems where names are visible to other students, instructors, faculty, and campus administrators. At this time, this includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Canvas, the University’s Learning Management System**
  • myWilmU Student Profile***
  • myWilmU for Faculty, including class lists, attendance and grading

Where Your Preferred First Name Will Not Be Used

  • To replace your legal first name in your official student record
  • For the first initial in your student email address (e.g.,
  • On your WilmU ID card, used for identity verification by faculty and staff, both in-person and online
  • On your official academic and financial records, such as transcripts and financial documents (see Legal Name Change below)
  • In written or electronic communications other than your classroom and online learning activities

* Students may enter a preferred first name once per academic year. The University reserves the right to deny or revoke a preferred name when a name is deemed inappropriate for reasons including, but not limited to: avoidance of legal obligation, fraud, use of obscene of offensive language, or misrepresentation. The Office of the Registrar will maintain and audit this data in the Student Information System.

** Zoom, our online conference and meeting service, will not automatically show your preferred first name as your first name. However, you may update your first name in Zoom to your preferred first name if you wish.

*** Not all places where your name appears in myWilmU will show your preferred first name.

How to Enter Your Preferred First Name

Applicants for admission to Wilmington University can enter a preferred first name at the time of application.

Current students can add or change their preferred first name in myWilmU:*

  1. Log in to MyWilmU.
  2. Go to My Account.
  3. Find My Records > View/Update Personal Information.

Students opting to use a preferred name after the start of the semester are responsible for notifying their teaching faculty and academic advisor; as well as other relevant parties such as coaches, student group advisors, campus employment supervisors, etc.

Legal Name Change

Students who have had their names changed legally by the appropriate government entities shall inform Wilmington University of the change by submitting the new name to the Office of the Registrar using the Student Data Change Form. Official documentation showing the name was changed legally is required.

Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Court order
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card or Tax Identification Number Card

The legal name will be used for official University records including, but not limited to the following items:

  • Academic Transcript
  • Diploma
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Employment Verifications
  • Degree Verifications
  • Legal Documents and Reports
  • Student Account Statements
  • Financial Aid Documents
  • Scholarship Documents
  • Admissions Application

Title IX

The Preferred First Name policy is consistent with Title IX and federal law which protects against discrimination based on gender. This is currently recognized as a best practice for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and is available to anyone who uses a preferred first name/pronoun on a daily basis other than their legal or primary name.

At this time, preferred pronoun can only be viewed and updated in Canvas. See Create Your Profile for instructions for how to enter a preferred pronoun in Canvas.