Chosen Name and Identity Guidelines

As part of our ongoing and conscious efforts to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at Saint Joseph’s, and stemming from our mission and desire to recognize all community members as they would like to be recognized, the University has instituted Chosen Name and Identity Guidelines.

In partnership with the Trans-Inclusion Working Group, Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Provost’s Office, students, faculty and staff now have the ability to select the chosen name they wish to use on official documents and in official University systems, including the Google platform, Canvas and the University Directory.

We recognize that faculty, staff and students may use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Except when an individual’s legal name is required by law, policy or business needs, current employees and current students may choose to be identified in some University systems by the chosen name that they have designated in accordance with these guidelines. These include and are listed below.

OIT improvements made during spring and summer 2020 allow for Chosen Name to be shared across most University systems automatically. OIT will continue to partner with administrative offices to ensure chosen names are available in all University systems where possible. There are some instances where legal names are required, but generally, chosen names will be utilized. Please note that legal last names must be used in all instances.

We encourage all members of the SJU community to navigate to the Personal Information menu in the Nest to ensure name, gender, and pronoun fields are as you wish them to be seen by the University community. Any changes made to these fields will display in University systems on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Instructions on how to update your chosen name can be found here.


  • Chosen Name: A chosen name is an alternative to an individual’s legal/primary first, and middle name that students, faculty, or staff wish to be known by in the University community.

  • Gender Identification: Gender identification is the personal sense of one’s own gender. Gender identity can correlate with a person’s assigned sex at birth or can differ from it.

Legal Name Changes

A person’s legal first, middle and last name as it appears on official government documents such as licenses, passports, social security cards, birth certificates and tax forms. For staff and faculty, legal name changes must be handled through Human Resources. For students, legal name changes must be handled by the Registrar’s Office.

Saint Joseph’s University is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. This is a critical step forward toward equity and treating all our community members with the dignity and personhood they deserve. Proudly, Saint Joseph’s University is leading in this area among our peer institutions, especially with regard to the integration of OIT platforms.

Where Will My Chosen Name Appear?

A student’s chosen name will be used when your legal name is not absolutely necessary. Below you will find a table of where you should expect to see your chosen name or legal name

  • Chosen Name: Class rosters, The Nest, Canvas, Diploma*, Residential Life

  • Legal Name: Billing, Tax Documents, Official Transcripts, National Student Clearinghouse, Payroll

*In order for your chosen first name to appear on your diploma, please submit a ticket to the Registrar’s Office at