To foster an environment that is inclusive and that encourages self-expression, Lafayette College has established a policy whereby any College community member may use a preferred first name.

Lafayette College recognizes that individuals may use first names other than legal first names to identify themselves. Lafayette College will strive to use an individual’s preferred first name where possible, but the legal first name will continue to be used in business and other processes that require the use of a legal name.

Examples of systems and documentation that require the use of legal first name include, but are not limited to, financial aid documents, medical records, tax forms, non-resident visas, official transcripts, Lafayette email addresses, paychecks, picking up mail/packages from Post Office, and the Lafayette NetID.

Students electing to print their preferred name on their diploma who attend or plan to attend Professional Schools (e.g. Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Social Work, Law, etc.) should take into consideration that professional licensing requirements often require you to use your legal name. For example, application and licensure and federal employment require the use of the legal name. Therefore, not using your legal name on a diploma may result in the rejection, delay, scrutiny, and/or requirements for additional proof of identification associated with any applications for employment, licensure, credentialing, visa applications, and/or other processes that require verification of your identity.

Additionally, although Lafayette College considers the diploma to be a ceremonial document, some countries may require your diploma (in conjunction with your official transcript) for various legal, immigration, and employment purposes. Choosing to print your preferred name on your diploma may result in unforeseen complications due to the discrepancy between your diploma and other documents (e.g., transcript, passport, birth certificate, etc.) that contain your legal name. To avoid such complications, we recommend printing your legal name on your diploma if you plan to live, study, or work outside of the United States.

The Lafayette College ID card is not a legal form of identification. For College processes that require legal identification, individuals should be prepared to produce government-issued ID.

Lafayette trusts the members of the College community to choose preferred names after careful consideration, with good intentions, and with the community’s best interests in mind. The College reserves the right to reject requests and to remove preferred names with or without notice.

The preferred first name must be used in accordance with all applicable College rules and procedures as well as local, state, and federal laws.

For Questions Regarding the Preferred First Name Policy

  • Students contact the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Faculty contact the Office of the Provost.
  • Staff and Retirees contact the Office of Human Resources.
  • Alumni contact the Office of Alumni Relations.

Requesting a Preferred First Name Change

Students, faculty, and staff members can enter a Preferred First Name, review or update an existing Preferred First Name using Banner Self-Service.

  1. Go to the Personal Information page in Banner Self-Service
  2. Follow these steps:
    1. In the “Personal Details” block, click the Edit icon (circle with pencil) in the upper right corner.
    2. The “Edit Personal Details” window will open.
    3. Click in the “Preferred First Name” field.
    4. Enter your preferred first name or update an existing preferred first name.
    5. Click the blue “Update” button when finished.

The change will take effect immediately in Banner Self-Service but may take up to 24 hours for your update to be available in other systems that support preferred first name.

After 24 hours, you can obtain a replacement ID Card reflecting your preferred name. Visit the ID office in Marquis Hall; hours can be found on the ID Office webpage. Fees for preferred first name replacement ID cards will be waived.

The Lafayette College ID is not a legal form of identification. For College processes that require legal identification, individuals should be prepared to produce government-issued ID.