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Preferred First Name & Pronoun

Tulane University recognizes that some members of our student community use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. This becomes particularly important for our transgender and international students. 

Students can enter a preferred first name through Gibson Online, regardless of whether or not they have legally changed their name. 

In addition, transgender students will also be able to indicate their preferred gender pronoun (he, she, they, or preferred name only). This information will be shared with academic advisors, Campus Health providers, and faculty (through class rosters) to support students during their time at Tulane. 

Individuals are free to change the preferred first names provided that the request is sincere and it is not for the purpose of misrepresentation (i.e., using the process to avoid a legal obligation). 

Preferred first names that differ from an individual’s legal name will be used solely for Tulane’s internal systems. The University shall maintain a record of the student’s legal name which will be used when required by University business or legal need. All external reporting of your name must, by law, use your legal name. Students should use their legal name when conducting University business. 

Places Where Preferred First Name & Pronoun is Used

  • Splash Card
  • Class Rosters and Grade Rosters (and Preferred Pronoun)
  • Advisee Lists (and Preferred Pronoun)
  • Unofficial/Advising Transcripts
  • Directory Listing (unless you withhold your directory information via Gibson Online)

Places Where Legal First Name must be Used

  • Student Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Aid
  • Responses to enrollment inquiries such as verification requests
  • Official Transcripts
  • Diploma
  • International Student Status
  • Student Employee/Payroll Information

Please Note: preferred first name is used solely for Tulane’s internal systems; external systems (such as home-town newspapers, official transcripts, enrollment verifications, etc.) will continue to use your legal first name.

Keeping Your Legal Name Private

Under FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, directory information may be disclosed to the public. At Tulane, directory information includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name and preferred first name. A student who does not want to be included in the directory can withhold directory information via Gibson Online. This is subject to certain exclusions, including but not limited to emergencies. It is important to know that withholding directory information means that you will not be listed in the directory and the University cannot confirm your student status (e.g., for the purposes of insurance verifications, graduate application, or potential employment). The ability to opt out of directory information is available at the Update Confidentiality Flag link via Gibson Online. For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 504-865-5231. 

Tulane University's FERPA Policy

Enter Your Preferred First Name (optional)

Entering a preferred first name will change the first name that appears internally at Tulane, including but not limited to class rosters, grade rosters, advising lists, Splash Card, and directory listings (unless you have selected the Update Confidentiality Flag link via Gibson Online). 

Please be aware that use of a preferred first name will also change the first name displayed in the Tulane public online directory.

Enter Your Preferred Pronoun (optional)

If you prefer to use an alternate pronoun, you may select one of the following options to be used in conjunction with your preferred first name: (he, she, they, or preferred name only). These pronouns will only appear on class lists, grade rosters, advising lists and will also be shared with Campus Health. 

Changing Your Splash Card

Students who would like to have a preferred first name on their Splash Card should first log in to Gibson Online, click on the student tab and under Records select, Update Preferred First Name and/or Preferred Pronoun. After entering your preferred first name you can visit the Splash Card Office in the LBC to receive a new card.

Changing Your Legal Name

Students who wish to change their legal name must supply supporting legal document

Read our Frequently Asked Questions >>