Preferred Name Use

Purpose: MBKU recognizes that members of the community may use first names other than their legal first name to identify themselves. As an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community, MBKU supports the use of a preferred first name for certain purposes and records in the course of university business, communication, and education.

Policy: The University allows a student to use a preferred name. A legal first name will be used where required by law or university requirements. An individual’s information will be linked to an individual’s legal first name and, if designated, a preferred first name for the purposes of university records. A designated preferred first name will be used whenever possible during university life.


Legal first name: an individual’s first name as evidenced by one of the following documents: birth certificate; unexpired Government-issued photo ID (i.e., passport, driver’s license, or non-driver identification card); marriage certificate/license or divorce decree; or court issued name change order.

Preferred first name: a first name used on a daily basis that is different from the student’s legal first name.

Examples of reasons to use a preferred name include:

  • Student’s legal name is inconsistent with their gender identity
  • Student primarily uses their middle name instead of their first name
  • Student goes by a name significantly different from their first name
  • Student uses an English language name during their course of study

Note: Nicknames that are common abbreviations of first names (such as “Joe” for “Joseph” or “Kate” for “Kaitlyn”) are not covered under this procedure. For clarification on whether a name is a common abbreviation, students may contact Registration and Records.


Any student who uses a name other than their legal name, for any reason, is welcome to submit a MBKU Preferred Name Request Form (available on the Registration and Records tab on the portal) to, so long as it does not contain inappropriate or offensive language nor seek to misrepresent the identity of the individual. Registrations and Records will be responsible for updating the student record.

A preferred first name along with legal last name will be used in the following functions:

  • Marshall B. Ketchum University Identification Card
  • Email Name
  • Moodle Name
  • MyKetchum Display Name
  • Course Rosters
  • Presence Display Name
  • Unofficial Transcript

A legal first name, along with legal last name, will be used for the following functions:

  • Admissions Correspondence
  • Degree Verification
  • Enrollment Verification
  • Financial Aid
  • Federal and State Agency Reporting
  • Student Accounts
  • Official Transcript
  • Diploma
  • Accounts Payable and Payroll
  • Patient Records in Clinical Education (the record may also denote the preferred first name if the electronic health record system allows for it)

Each Program will be responsible for collecting student names for use in the following areas:

  • White Coats
  • Commencement and White Coat Programs
  • Scholarship and Awards Programs

Note: Students may use their preferred name for the above items. They should use their preferred name when placing orders for White Coats or when applying for scholarships. Registration and Records will notify the Programs of their students’ preferred names.