Using your chosen name

Information Technology-Computing

SUMMARY: Staff & Faculty now have the ability to display their chosen name through JMU systems.

The university recognizes that students, employees, and affiliates may wish to use chosen names other than their legal names to identify themselves.  At the direction of the Provost's Taskforce on Professional and Cultural Name Use, Information Technology has implemented Chosen Name display across many campus systems.  We hope that this new ability will help people with inclusion by using their chosen identity, and allows people to use their chosen name or nickname in daily use.   A distinction is made between your Legal Name, used for official purposes such as reporting, taxes or insurance, and your Chosen Name, used for general communication and display in many JMU systems.

Staff/Faculty: How to access this feature

Go to MyMadison and click the Employee tab. Under the Personal Information area, click Chosen Name/Campus Directory.

  • You may indicate a Chosen First Name, optional Chosen Middle Name, and Chosen Last Name.
  • You must have something in first and last name (system requirement).
  • You can choose initials instead of a name (such as "TK"), a hyphenated name (such as "Mary-Jane"), and multi-word in a name field (such as "Li Jie").
  • You can use characters with accents (such as É or ñ) but you cannot use special characters such as (), *, or @, among others.
  • Here are some examples, using the Legal Name of Josefina Maria Everett, with prior last name of Lopez.
    • Legal First, no middle, and Legal Last: Josefina Everett
    • Chosen First, middle initial, and Legal Last: Josie M Everett
    • Chosen First, no middle, and Chosen Last: Jo Lopez
    • Chosen First, Chosen Middle, and Legal Last: J M Everett
    • and so on...

Changes to your Chosen name may take a little while to propagate through our systems, especially Microsoft Outlook and 365.

Your eID will continue to be based on your legal name at this time and will not change with a Chosen Name.

Staff/Faculty can request changes to their Legal Names through Human Resources. Student Chosen or Legal Name changes must be requested through the Registrar's Office.

Policy 1345 is in the process of being updated to reflect the new Chosen Name capabilities.

Timeline of implementation


  • Campus Directory (most immediate and visible benefit)
  • Canvas
  • Medicat
  • Cherwell
  • Advocate


  • Card Services
  • Follett
  • Library
  • UREC
  • Scholarship Hub
  • Accomodate
  • CampusGroups

Yet to Come

  • Microsoft 365 and Global Address List (early July estimate) 

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by Information Technology

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2024

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