Student Preferred First Name

Wilmington University recognizes the need or preference for students to refer themselves by a Preferred First Name other than their legal given or first name. The University seeks to allow the use of a Preferred First Name wherever possible, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies and within the capabilities of University administrative systems. In public or semi-public systems where names are visible to other students, instructors, faculty, campus administrators, and the general public, preferred name only will be displayed in selected areas during Fall 2021. Before that time, Preferred First Name will be gathered but not used in any systems or communications unless the student changes it themselves in the learning management system, Canvas.

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

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.

Examples of places where Preferred First Name will be used

  • Canvas, the University’s Learning Management System
  • myWilmU Student Profile
  • myWilmU attendance and grading for faculty

Applicants to Wilmington University can designate 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. Click Registration & Records on the student toolbar.
  3. Click My Records > Update Personal Information.

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, students can indicate a nickname in Canvas, the learning management system. This nickname is visible to the student’s course instructors and to other students in the student’s course(s). Students may update their nickname directly in Canvas.

At this time, preferred pronoun updates are updatable and viewable only in Canvas. Students may update their personal pronoun directly in Canvas.

See Create Your Profile for instructions for how to enter a nickname and preferred pronoun in Canvas.