Changing your display name to a chosen name

Modified on Mon, Sep 25, 2023 at 2:22 PM

Lesley community members can choose how they want their name to be displayed by indicating a chosen name. 

When someone indicates a chosen name, it is not a legal name change.  A formal legal name change must be supported by legal documentation (birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, driver's license or court order, for example) and is done through the applicable office, like the Registrar's office or the Office of Human Resources. 

Chosen Name vs. Legal Name at Lesley

A chosen name is a first, middle or last name that an individual chooses, other than their legal name, to better reflect how they wish to identify, and it is a name that aligns with their sense of self.   Once a chosen name has been recorded it can take up to 72 hours to display in all University systems.

Here are areas where the chosen name will appear:

  • Blackboard/myLesley
  • Course Rosters for Students
  • Outlook Email Display Name
  • Lesley ID Cards
  • Self-Service

A legal name is defined as that name verified by a birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, driver's license or court order, for example.

The following lists areas/documents where the legal name will still appear:

  • Financial Aid documents
  • Student bill and other Student Financial documents
  • Official and Unofficial transcripts
  • Enrollment verification
  • Payroll
  • Immigration documents
  • Health Services
  • Human Resources / Workday

Examples for Types of Name Changes 

The following list provides examples of appropriate chosen name options at this time:

  • A shortened version of the legal name may be used (for example, Christine to “Chris”).
  • Initials may be used (David Craig to “D. C.”; Mary Ann to “ M.A.”; Teresa Luisa to “T.L.”).
  • A different chosen name than the legal name may be used (Craig to “Christy”; Cristina to “Cory”; Lenira to “Remi”).

Even when a member of the University community uses a chosen name, it should be understood that for University functions, the legal name will be used wherever it is currently required for legal purposes, which may include, but is not limited to: financial, medical, and law enforcement documents, transcripts, diplomas, W-4 forms, I-9 forms, payroll documents, Visa/immigration documents, personnel files, employment applications and related documents, background check documents, and insurance documents.

Re-issuance of ID's

For all individuals who already have an ID card, and then later request a name change, a new ID card may be issued by Campus Services free of charge, provided the old ID is turned in.  If the old ID cannot be turned in, it will be considered lost or misplaced and a fee will be charged. 

Fees are charged for new ID cards when the following has occurred: 

  • Lost or misplaced ID - $25.00
  • Damaged ID card - $25.00
  • Requested name change after receiving initial card – Fee Waived

Current Limitations

Currently, some technological limitations prevent our University systems from being able to do the following:

  • Display accents and symbols associated with the proper spelling and pronunciation of names. 
  • Change the Lesley username and email address to reflect the chosen name.

Consideration for Name Selection

The University reserves the right to refuse a chosen name in the event that the name reflects the use of profane words or other words that are deemed derogatory in nature.

How to Enter Your Chosen Name

  1. Log into Self-Service at
  2. Navigate to either the User Options (person) icon in the left navigation column and select User Profile from the menu or click on your username in the upper right and select User Profile from the menu.
  3. Click on Edit Personal Identity
  4. Fill out the form with your Chosen First, Middle and/or Last Name.

Once a chosen name has been recorded it can take up to 72 hours to display in the applicable University systems.

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