Preferred Name and Pronoun

Beginning in January of 2009 any student at the University of Vermont can indicate their preferred first name and pronoun to the university community regardless of whether or not they have legally changed their name.

Choosing a preferred name in the BANNER system will automatically change which name appears in many internal locations such as class lists, grade reports, and unofficial transcripts.

Preferred Name in the News

Places Where Preferred First Name is Used

Places Where Legal First Name is Used

Please Note: preferred name is used solely for UVM's internal systems; external systems (such as home-town newspapers, official transcripts, enrollment verifications, etc.) will continue to use your legal first name.

:: Keeping Your Legal Name Private

If you do not wish UVM to share your legal name with external organizations you have the option of requesting FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) directory exclusion, which revokes the University's right to share any of your information with any outside source. This option is available on the Preferred Name and Pronoun form.

It is important to know that choosing to request FERPA exclusion means that you will not be listed in the directory and the University cannot confirm your student status (e.g., for the purposes of credit card and insurance verifications, etc.). For more information, please contact the Registrar's Office at 802-656-2045.

It is not possible to change your legal name to preferred in the UVM system yet list your legal name in the directory.

:: How to Indicate Your Preferred Name and/or Pronoun

To indicate your preferred first name and/or preferred pronoun, log in to myUVM, navigate to the Registrar page and click on preferred name in the Personal Info section of the My Records channel. Follow the instructions posted on the Display/Update Preferred First Name and Pronoun form. Please remember to click Update to ensure that your preferences have been saved. For some applications, the preferred name will immediately display. For others, there is a 24-hour waiting period before changes will appear in the system.

Should you choose to list a preferred pronoun, it will only appear on class rosters and advisor lists. Your choice of pronoun is restricted to the following options: none (nothing listed), he, she, they, ze, and name only. Name only indicates a desire to never be referred to by any pronoun.

Staff with an administrative need (e.g., police, health, and financial services; Dean's Office staff) will see both legal and preferred names. Similar to GPAs and other sensitive information, these staff are trained on the implications of this access.

Please report any problems with this process to LGBTQA Services (Tel: 802-656-8637), Registrar's Office (Tel: 802-656-2045), or the Dean of Students Office (Tel: 802-656-3380).

Changing Your CATcard

After twenty-four hours, your preferred name will appear in the system and you can request a new CATcard. When making a name change on your ID card, it is possible to retain your old card if you so choose. Please visit the CATcard Service Center to have a new ID card issued. There is a five dollar fee for this service.

If you have questions about this process, please contact LGBTQA Services (Tel: 802-656-8637). You can also contact the Registrar's Office for more specific questions about information systems impacted by these choices.

Changing Your Email Address

UVM email addresses are comprised of three separate components: NetID, accompanying name, and email alias.

email components

If you chose the Please generate a new email address... option when you completed the Preferred First Name and Pronoun form, you will receive a new email alias and accompanying name based on your preferred name (e.g., instead of

If you also wish to change your NetID, or if you are not satisfied with the alias created for you, please contact Identity and Account Management (Tel: 802-656-2006). They can help you customize your entries if necessary. Generating the new alias happens overnight; send yourself an email the next day to see your new email address.

If you chose to change your UVM email to your preferred name but wish to communicate via email using your legal name, we recommend that you create a non-UVM email account for that purpose (e.g., gmail, yahoo).

For more detailed information about changing your email address please click here.

Watch this recent WCAX (Burlington, VT) interview!

You can also read more about this subject from a recent interview by the New York Times.