Chosen Name Policy

Lewis & Clark College recognizes that members of our community identify by names other than their legal or official names. A chosen (or preferred) name is often an important component of a person’s identity.


It is the policy of the College to use a person’s chosen name to the greatest extent practicable and permissible.

Students, employees and Alumni may choose to identify themselves within the College community using a chosen name that differs from their official/legal name. The chosen name will appear instead of the person’s official/legal name in the College’s systems and documents, provided that the chosen name is not being used for the purpose of misrepresentation, and except in those limited situations in which legal or other requirements necessitate use of official/legal names.

The College strives to make the process of electing a chosen name both simple and comprehensive.  However, due to the complexity of the College’s systems, it is recognized that changing a name in one system does not always change it in all systems.  The College will strive to inform members of our community of the limitations on our ability to fully change a person’s name in College systems and documents, while working to make the process as comprehensive and seamless as possible.

The ability to elect a chosen name includes the ability to have a chosen name on a diploma.  The registrars of the College’s three schools are responsible for implementing procedures necessary for the use of chosen names on diplomas, including a method to inform people of the complications that might arise if the name on a diploma differs from the person’s official/legal name.

The Dean of Equity and Inclusion—working with the registrars of the College’s three schools, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of Information Technology—is responsible for implementation of this policy and for communicating to the college community our commitment to the use of chosen names, the procedures for changing a person’s name in College systems, and the limitations that may apply to our ability to do so.

Approval Date

Adopted by Executive Council August 1, 2019