FOR ADVISORS' INFORMATION: Preferred First Name is not used on Diplomas or Transcripts

Dear Advisors:

As we approach the end of the semester, questions regarding diploma names arise.  Preferred First Name has been in use at UIC for some time, and I wanted to communicate on a few important things.

  • Preferred First Name will not appear on the diploma.
  • Preferred First Name will not appear on the academic transcript.

We use the Legal First and Last Name, with Legal Middle Initial, on the diploma.  Students can request certain adjustments to a legal name.  Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Diplomas can be found at  Our Records Department at 312=996-4381 is a resource for questions on diploma processing.

The University of Illinois Preferred First Name Statement can be found at

With text pasted below.

Thanks for the guidance you provide to students as they complete their studies at UIC.


Rob Dixon

Preferred First Name Statement

What is my preferred first name, and how can I set or change it?

Students may designate a preferred first name*, which certain University systems will then use. These systems include class rosters, the display name in Banner Self-Service, and the display name in a number of learning management systems (e.g., Blackboard, Compass, and Moodle), most online phone directories, and on the University i-card. The University will also retain your full legal name, which is used when required by the University, such as in tax documents, contracts, academic transcripts, diplomas, and certain health records. For further details (including information about surname changes), students can refer to the Office of the Registrar.

To set or change your preferred first name:

  • Students: Using campus portal or other resources, enter Banner Student Self-Service and under Personal Information options, select Preferred First Name.  Follow prompts.

Acceptable uses of preferred first names include:

  • A middle name instead of first name
  • An abbreviated name (Rob instead of Robert, Manny instead of Emmanuel)
  • An Americanized name (Wendy instead of Haiyan)
  • A name to which you are in the process of legally changing
  • A name that better represents your gender identity

You may not use your preferred first name to misrepresent who you are, nor may you use any profane or offensive language in your preferred first name. Your preferred first name is subject to approval by University administration, and those who intentionally misuse the preferred first name option may be subject to disciplinary action.

A preferred first name may take several days to appear in all systems that display preferred first names.

*Note:  UIC undergraduates have the option of setting a preferred first name during the application process and the preferred first name will carry forward to University systems.