Using a Preferred/Chosen Name

The ability to use a preferred/chosen name is essential to feeling welcome and included.

Students have the option to enter an alternative name into HUB, and this will be reflected in class rosters and other systems.  Students also can change their display name in Gmail and their UBBox profile.  

Faculty and Staff have the ability to request a preferred/chosen first name through an online form, and that will be reflected in the UB Directory.

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion can also help students and employees to change their UBITName, directory and other information to reflect their preferred/chosen name.  

On this page:

Why "Preferred/Chosen"?

Some UB information systems have the ability to capture a name that is different from an individual's legal name.  If entered, this alternative name will supersede the legal name where possible in various University systems and forms.  At UB, this option is usually referred to as 'Preferred/Chosen Name.'  'Preferred' and 'Chosen' have different meanings to different users of this feature.

For some individuals, such as international students who use an "Americanized" name or individuals who use a nickname such as a shortened version of their legal name, their alternative name may be preferred over their legal name, but they still may have an attachment to their legal name.

For some individuals, including many in our transgender community, an alternative name is their chosen name and an essential part of their identity.  Instances where their legal name is used may be unsettling or painful, even when unintended or accidental.  

UB uses 'Preferred/Chosen Name' terminology acknowledging the diverse group of individuals who may use this feature.

Student Records and Reports

Students may enter their preferred/chosen names through MyUB. This name will appear in the following systems:

  • UB Card (preferred/chosen name appears on the front, legal name appears on the back)
  • Handshake (Career Design Center system)
  • Housing System
  • HUB Administrative Access (Student Services Center)
  • HUB Faculty Center — Class Rosters
  • HUB Faculty Center — Grade Rosters
  • HUB Student Center
  • PathFinder
  • SmartEval (Course Evaluation)
  • SSC Campus (Early Alert System)
  • UBlearns
  • UBLinked
  • UB Online Directory
  • UB Portfolio

UB's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will cover the cost of a replacement UB Card for students who require a new card to reflect their gender identity.

Faculty and Staff Records

UB faculty and staff can submit a Preferred First Name Request form to identify themselves by a name other than their legal name. The preferred/chosen name will appear in the UB directory and in some university systems such as HUB, UBlearns and EAB Navigate. Please know that there will be official university record systems where an employee's legal name will still appear. Employees can complete and submit the form electronically and documentation is not required.

Changing Your UBIT Name or Email Display Name

Your UBIT Name

Your UBITName is the series of letters appearing before @buffalo.edu in your email address. In some cases, the UBITName includes a first name that you no longer wish to be associated with. If you have entered a preferred/chosen name to reflect your gender identity, you are eligible to submit a request for a Different UBITName. It is important to note that UBIT strongly recommends that individuals change their UBITName between semesters, where possible. Students completing a UBITName change during a semester must notify all course instructors to ensure UB Learns grades, postings and interactions carry forward to the new UBITName account.

Your Email Display Name

Your Email Display Name is the name that appears when you send email communication to others. UBIT will change your Email Display Name when necessary to reflect your gender identity. You may contact the UBIT Help Center at ubithelp@buffalo.edu to change your Email Display Name.

When a Legal Name May Still Appear

There are some documents and systems that require the use of a legal name by law.  These include transcripts, bills, tax forms, diplomas, financial aid documents, immigration documents, and medical records. 

UB is in the process of updating other data and systems that do not yet allow for the use of a preferred/chosen name and require additional work.  We are making progress toward enabling more widespread use of preferred/chosen names through these systems.

Important Facts to Know

  • Using a person's preferred/chosen name and pronouns is essential to inclusion and is expected of all UB employees.
  • Be aware that a student may have a first and/or middle name that is different from the name on an ID card or other document.  For verification purposes, the last name will remain the same.
  • A student's person number will appear on the UB student ID card and can be used to verify identity.
  • Contact EDI if you have any questions or concerns about a preferred/chosen name issue or if you would like assistance navigating the processes to reflect your preferred/chosen name in various University information systems.