Student Name and Legal Sex Designation Changes

Congruent with Pacific University’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment, Pacific University supports changes to legal name, preferred or chosen first name, and legal sex designation. These efforts aim to support:

  • students of all genders, including transgender, gender non-binary, and genderqueer students,
  • students who have made legal name changes, and
  • students who prefer to be known by nicknames.

Current students can submit changes of their name of record, preferred name, and/or legal sex designation through the Name and/or Legal Sex Designation Change Request Form. Changes to legal name and sex require accompanying evidence of the legal basis for the change, as explained in the form.

Employee name or legal sex designation changes should be directed to Human Resources.

Legal Name

Pacific University maintains a student’s name of record including the legal first name, middle initial or full middle name, and the family (last) name. This name is always used in business processes that require the use of the legal name, such as payroll records, student transcripts and financial aid.

Preferred or Chosen Name

A preferred name is a first name that is chosen to be used instead of legal first name. Students may go by a chosen name that is different from their legal first name by entering a preferred first name on the university application or by submitting a Name and/or Legal Sex Designation Change Request Form.

The university will work to have preferred name appear instead of the student’s legal first name in university-related systems and documents, except where the use of the legal name is required by university business or legal need. For more information, see the Preferred Name Policy.

After entering your preferred name, please allow 2-3 business days for your preferred name to propagate to the Boxer Card system. You can then request a new Boxer Card at the Campus Public Safety office. In extenuating circumstances, students may submit a request the Dean of Students Office for the card fees to be waived.

Setting a new preferred name in University systems can have ripple effects throughout your day-to-day experiences. Changing your preferred name more than once can lead to confusion regarding your identity and challenges in customer service, and so we recommend no more frequently than once per semester.

Preferred name only applies to your first name. If you would like to change your middle or last name on your university record you will need to change your legal name.

Campus Use of Preferred Name

Preferred names are utilized in the following areas:

  • My Account
  • BoxerOnline
  • Moodle
  • Symplicity Residence: student housing database
  • Symplicity Advocate: student conduct and care system

Campus departments are encouraged to utilize a preferred name in their business practices, and campus technologists who need data access to a preferred name can obtain assistance by emailing the campus Helpdesk

Once you request a preferred name, allow 2-3 business days for it to be processed. Different university systems will be able to access this information on different timelines.

Legal Sex Designation

The university is required to collect legal sex designation in order to comply with federal reporting including IPEDS reporting, student employment, international student status and the granting of federal financial aid. If you are an employee or federal aid recipient, your designation must match your sex designation with the Social Security office. If you are an international student, your designation must match the sex designation on your passport.

Pacific University recognizes that gender is not limited to, nor always congruent with, the categories available in legal sex designation and supports all gender identity expression. Though the university does not currently collect gender identity data in its information system, this service is being explored.


Sex, gender, gender identity and expression and sexual orientation are protected under Pacific University’s Non-Discrimination Statement.

For information about LGBTQ+ support and opportunities, visit The Center for Gender Equity LGBTQ+ page.