Preferred or Non-Legal Name

While a person’s legal name is used by default, NC State University recognizes that, as a community, many of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not or misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a preferred name can and should be used wherever appropriate in the course of university business and education. Students may choose to identify themselves within the university community with preferred first, middle and/or last names that differ from their legal names.

The preferred name will appear instead of the legal name in many university systems and documents as noted below.

Individuals are free to determine the preferred names by which they want to be known within the university community. However, inappropriate use of preferred name by an individual will result in removal of the preferred name from that individual’s record. Inappropriate use includes names that attempt to avoid legal obligation, misrepresent the individual, harass, threaten or are otherwise objectionable.

Preferred names will be used or made available in the following systems and records:

  • Campus Directory
  • NC State Google Apps – Display Name (includes Gmail, Drive/Docs, Google+)
  • MyPack Class and Grade Rosters (for students and employees taking courses)
  • Learning Technologies (including WolfWare, Moodle, Collaborate, Mediasite)
  • Most MyPack Student Center navigation pages

Official/Legal names will continue to be used official University records, including but not limited to the following:

  • Wolfpack One Card
  • Legal documents and reports produced by the University
  • Student Account Statement (bills)
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship documents
  • Transcripts and diplomas
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Student employment documents
  • Employment Verifications
  • Employment documents
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other payroll documents
  • Benefits enrollment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a preferred/non-legal name?

A preferred/non-legal name is a name that you can designate to be used on certain University-related records or documents in place of your legal name. It is a name that you wish to be known or identified by, and is different from your legal name.

How do I set my preferred name?

For students, you can update your preferred name in MyPack Portal > Student Homepage > Personal Information tile > Select the ‘Preferred Name’ line > Edit the ‘First Name’ box > Select ‘Save’

For employees, updating your directory listing with a preferred name will carry the preferred name to your Gmail account and other areas listed above. Visit the form to Update Your Directory Listing (Faculty/Staff), and log in with your Unity ID and Password to complete the update.

What are the guidelines for setting preferred names? Can it be whatever I want?

You may designate a preferred first name in the MyPack Portal. Updates to your middle and/or last name must be completed in the Office of Registration and Records, 1000 Harris Hall. Generally, you can set a preferred name to any name, but the University reserves the right to delete a preferred name if it is used inappropriately. Inappropriate use includes names that attempt to avoid legal obligation, misrepresent the individual, harass, threaten or are otherwise objectionable.

Do I have to provide and set a preferred name?

No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional.

Can I delete my preferred name?

Yes. If you have designated a preferred name and later decide that you would prefer to use your legal name on all records, you can do so in MyPack Portal > Student Homepage > Personal Information tile > Select the ‘Preferred Name’ line > Select the ‘Delete’ button > Select ‘Save’

How do I correct or change my legal name at the University?

You can change your legal name on University records by completing and submitting the Name Change/Marital Status Change Request Form to the Department of Registration and Records. You will need to present official documentation that shows your legal name. Do NOT submit this form or any official/legal documentation via email.