Change Your Preferred Name in Brown Systems

For legal name changes, see our article Change Your Legal Name in Brown Systems.

If your name change or nickname is not legal, you can still use a preferred name in many Brown systems. If you are a student with a sensitive name change related to gender, the Office of Student  Life can advise and assist you with other steps, for example, informing faculty of your preferred name. Please note that a preferred name cannot be used on your transcript.

1. First, change your preferred name with the office of record for your primary affiliation at Brown:

  • If you are a student, change your name with the Office of Student Life
  • If you are faculty/staff, change your name in Workday -  under Personal Information, choose Preferred  Name, and edit your name as needed
  • If you are a Sponsored ID (Brown affiliate), change your name in MyAccount -  on the Profile page enter in a preferred first and last name.

2. Once you have confirmed that the office above has changed your preferred name, submit an Access Request form with the type “Name Change”.

If you find this confusing and need some guidance, contact the IT Service Center and ask to speak with Computing Accounts and Passwords. This step will change your Brown username and email address to match your preferred name. Your old email address will be added as an alias so you can still receive email sent to that address.

3. Confirm and update your Gmail settings

  • A day after your access request is completed, verify that your display name is correct in Gmail - an old name may have ‘stuck’ if you customized it in the past. To do this, go to Settings (the Gear icon), Accounts, and then click the “edit info” link next to your email account if necessary.
  • Your name in the auto-complete Gmail directory will update, but it will take 24 hours.
  • You may still receive emails that show your old email address and/or name. This does not mean the name change wasn’t effective, but that the person emailing you just has your old information stored; you cannot control how others have your information saved in their contacts.



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