Chosen Name Policy

Approved by: Officers
Responsible Office: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Responsible Administrator: Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Date Established: August 2020
Date Last Revised: August 2020

Mount Holyoke College is a women’s college that is gender diverse. We seek to support individuals across the gender-diversity spectrum by providing options to indicate a chosen name to be used on campus. We affirm every individual’s right to be represented by the name they choose for themselves.

Name Policy

Mount Holyoke College supports the need for individuals to choose a name that accurately reflects their identity. This policy provides specific support for transgender and nonbinary individuals, any individuals who choose to regularly use a name that is different from their legal name and those whose professional name is different from their legal name. The chosen name will be used for College purposes as broadly as possible on campus whenever a legal name is not required.

Definitions of terminology

A legal name refers to the name assigned to individuals in government-issued identification cards, such as a passport or Social Security card.

A chosen name refers to the first name any individual uses to represent themselves, other than their legal first name, for College purposes that don’t require use of the legal name.

A nickname refers to a name that a person prefers for informal communications and greetings. It will appear in the College directory and whenever possible in systems that can include a nickname as an additional field. It will not appear in place of the individual’s legal name or chosen name on any official College documents.

Most College functions are met through the use of the legal name, chosen name or nickname. Additional names may be collected by the College for specific purposes (e.g., a diploma name or name used in citations.)


Mount Holyoke College upholds that personal pronouns are essential in affirming the diversity and fluidity of gender identities. Pronouns are neither preferred nor optional. We strive to ensure that every member of our campus community is addressed in a way that acknowledges and respects the fullness of their gender identity. We encourage all students, faculty and staff to communicate their pronouns to others, through spoken communication when meeting or greeting someone in person or virtually, or in writing, such as email signatures, business cards, resumes or nametags.

To learn more about pronouns:

Where Names Appear

Legal Names

Legal names may appear on documents or in office systems that rely on legal and medical records, such as systems within Health Services, Human Resources, the Registrar’s Office, and Student Financial Services.

Chosen Names

  • Campus Directories (students: internal directory; faculty/staff: internal and external directory)
  • Gmail and GSuite services profile name (email address does not change)
  • The MHC Moodle site (Five College Moodle sites may not reflect chosen name changes)
  • my.mtholyoke
  • OneCard
  • Pathways
  • Various other systems (LinkedIn learning etc.)

Do you have another example to add to this list of where names appear? Please let us know. Thank you for supporting and participating in this policy.

How to change “first name” to a “chosen name” on campus

  • Log in to my.mtholyoke.
    • Students: Go to the Self-Service Menu and click on “Demographics & Contact Info” and then “MyProfile.”
    • Employees: Go to the Self-Service Menu and click on “Employee Profile” and then “MyProfile.”
  • Click on “Edit Personal Identity.”
  • Update your chosen name and nickname, as applicable.
  • Click “Save.”