Name Change and Campus Processes
The University of Denver recognizes that naming and being called by the name one desires is an important part of being an inclusive and welcoming campus. As such, DU uses preferred first names and chosen/professional names widely in the course of DU business and education. Many of DU’s constituents routinely use a first name or full name other than their legal name, while for others the process of changing one’s legal name is the path forward. DU is set up to provide avenues for both purposes.
The information below details the different options for names which substitute in place of all or part of one’s legal name in University Systems.
Please note that given the large number of different software systems in use across campus, and their decentralized ownership, not all changes read efficiently across platforms. We cannot guarantee that every office/communication will have access to or use of non-legal identifiers. However, we are working to better coordinate within these internal systems.
Preferred Name Versus Professional Name
DU Maintains Two Options for Names
Beyond legal name, DU maintains two options for names which substitute in place of all or part of the legal name in University systems.
- A preferred first name; and
- A chosen/professional name.
Preferred First Name: The name by which an individual would like to be identified in everyday interactions. This can be a nickname, middle name, short form of the legal first name, or a different name entirely, and can differ for gender identity or other reasons. By default in University systems, this is the legal first name, unless you indicate otherwise.
Students (and employees) can submit a preferred first name online, via the Registrar site. DU will use preferred first name in most instances such as formal correspondence and online applications. In some instances (like course rosters), the preferred first name will be displayed in addition to the legal name, for example: Legal First Legal Last (Preferred First).
Chosen/Professional Name: If an individual's identity includes a different surname or wishes to limit the display of their legal name, they may specify a "chosen/ professional" name. This name will replace the legal name in most cases as the University is able to implement them. For example, the chosen/professional name of Cardi B would replace the legal name of Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar.
While DU will use of the preferred first name or chosen/professional name in most instances, students and employees should be aware that the legal name will continue to be necessary in certain communications and processes due to DU business or legal requirements, and/or software limitations.
To request a preferred first name or chosen/professional name change, please visit https://www.du.edu/registrar/other-student-services/identity-resources/preferred-names.
Legal Name Changes
Verifying your Legal Identity
Use of legal name is necessary for certain data exchanges, such as those where government agencies, employers, etc., must verify the legal identity. These include (but are not limited to) transcripts, payroll, tax, insurance, banking, financial aid, and federal or state reporting. Until you legally change this information (processes vary across state/local jurisdictions), the University must keep your current info on file.
More information about the legal name change process in Colorado can be found at https://www.law.du.edu/the-colorado-law-project/how-do-i/change-my-name
- For information about changing your legal gender marker, or if you need assistance (including financial assistance) in changing your name, visit the Colorado Name Change Project: www.namechangeproject.org
- Denver Fingerprinting (https://www.coloradofingerprinting.com/#13) offers expedited fingerprinting and background checks.
For information on processes in other states/territories, check https://transequality.org/documents
To update University records after a legal name change, download a name change request form at www.du.edu/sites/default/files/2021-11/namechange.pdf or pick up the form in the reception area of the Office of the Registrar. Submit the completed form with all appropriate documentation to the Office of the Registrar; you can contact that office with questions.
Pronouns and Gender Markers
Adding and Changing Pronouns and Gender Identity
There are fields in DU's information systems that allow members of our community to self-identify by gender identity and pronouns. DU already asks affiliates to self-identify by current legal sex (often coded as "gender"). By expanding our optional self-identification categories related to gender identity, we're able to understand and acknowledge our constituents more accurately and inclusively. To review, add, or change your pronouns and gender identity, you need to sign in to your MyDU account. Under the link "my personal profile" you can change your pronouns and gender identification.
Software used in some offices/programs (e.g., HCC medical records and HRE housing system) can use this information when provided directly via application or intake.
Please note that it can take 24 hours for the systems to update.