What is a Preferred Name and how do I create one?

Starting in winter of 2017, Wayne State University will adopt a system to allow a student to record a Preferred Name with the university. This enhancement is designed to create a safe and welcoming environment on campus, where everyone knows that their identity is important to the university, its faculty and its staff.  


What is a preferred name? 

A preferred name is a name someone wishes to be known by when they attend class, receive most services at the university and communicate with the university.  


Where will a preferred name be displayed? 

The university will display someone’s preferred name in university systems such as Academica, email and class rosters. While all of these systems may not display a preferred name at the start of winter 2017, the university expects to make progress as the semester goes on. People will have the ability to customize their email address as well. All university communications should start to come to you under your preferred name.

Your patience is greatly appreciated, because not all the systems will be operative immediately, as considerable programming is necessary to implement this change. 


Where won’t a preferred name be displayed?  

The university will not use a preferred name for any legal purpose — issuing of financial aid checks, tax documents, paychecks, etc. It will not appear on information transmitted to the National Student Clearinghouse for enrollment and degree verifications, and it will not appear on your transcript. If you have legally changed your name, you may follow the normal process with the Office of the Registrar.


Can I get a new One Card? 

The process for getting a new OneCard is still being developed and will be announced shortly.


How do I provide the university my preferred name? 

Follow the steps below to manage your preferred name.

  • Log in to Academica.
  • Under the Settings menu, click Account Management.
  • Click Set Preferred Name under the Account Management menu.
  • Enter your first and last name in the appropriate boxes (middle name is optional) and click Next. You may only use letters — numbers and symbols cannot be entered.  
  • You will see your entries. If you want to make a change, click Back. Otherwise, click Submit.
  • The system will confirm that your request is being processed. Please allow up to 48 hours for university systems to reflect changes made. 

If you want to change your personalized email name or create a preferred email address, you may select those options in the Account Management menu and follow the prompts. There is, however, no need to set a preferred name unless it differs from your legal name.

I use Banner and don’t want to make a mistake. How do I find a student’s preferred name in Banner? 

Banner has not been modified to display the preferred name on the forms. The university is expecting the vendor to make these changes in an upcoming release, but it has not yet happened. Modifying Banner forms is too large-scale a project for the university to maintain, so a change in procedure is needed. You should always start a search for a student on the SPAIDEN form. Once you enter the student’s Banner ID or AccessID, click the Alternate Identification tab. Look for the record where the Name Type = PREF. The most recent one is the student’s preferred name.  


What if I have questions?

Contact the C&IT Help Desk at helpdesk@wayne.edu or 313-577-4357 if you have any technical questions. For other questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@wayne.edu.


NOTE: There is no need to set a Preferred Name unless it differs from your legal name.