Chosen First Name Information

What is a chosen first name?

Gonzaga University appreciates that students may prefer to use a first name other than their legal ones to identify themselves. Students are therefore provided the opportunity to indicate their chosen first name in addition to their legal name. In this way students may designate a name they would like the community to use when addressing them in most circumstances - see below for a list of where a chosen name can be used.

The term “chosen” name refers to a name that an individual wishes to use that differs from the legal name on legal documents and/or differs from the name that is listed on a student’s original Gonzaga student record that has not been legally changed.

Students may request use of their chosen first name in lieu of their legal first name via ZAGWEB. As long as the use of the chosen name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation or avoiding a legal obligation, the University commits to using the chosen name where possible. The Office of the Registrar will maintain data related to student’s chosen first names.

Why would someone want to use a chosen name?

The reasons for selecting a chosen first name that may be different from a legally changed name are personal and specific for each individual. Students may have many reasons for asking to have their chosen names, over their legal names, displayed on non-legal documents. These reasons may include:

• Preferring to use a nickname or middle instead of their legal first name.

• Desiring to use a “western” or “Americanized” name rather than a name in another language.

• Wanting a preemptive first name change while in the process of legal proceedings.

• Choosing a name that aligns with their gender identity.

What is the process for adding a chosen first name?

Log into ZAGWEB at and enter your secure credentials. Click on the “Personal Information” tab, click on the NEW “Personal Profile” box and then on the “Personal Information’ block to add your chosen first name. Click on the “Personal Details” block and add your “Chosen First Name” information.

What is the process for changing a legal name?

It is important to note that by identifying a chosen first name a student has not legally changed their name. Access to the form to change a legal name can be found on the Registrar's Office Forms page.   Please understand that documentation is required to initiate changes to a legal name.

What is the procedure for changing or deleting a chosen first name?

Log into ZAGWEB and enter your secure credentials. Click on the “Personal Information” tab, click on the NEW “Personal Profile” box and the “Personal Information” block to edit/delete your chosen/chosen first name information. Click on the “Personal Details” block and edit/delete the “Chosen/Chosen First Name” information.

Where will my chosen first name appear and how soon are the updates made in our system?

  • Advisee Listing
  • Blackboard
  • Class Photo Roster
  • Class Roster
  • Diplomas
  • Grade rosters
  • Student Directory
  • Student Information System (Banner) Student SPAIDEN form used by University administrators
  • ZAGCARD: the front
  • ZAGWEB Personal Profile
  • ZAGWEB Student Profile

All system updates are automatic and immediate with the exception of Blackboard and diplomas. For Blackboard, updates will be made after a 24-hour period. For diplomas, contact the Degree Evaluation Office at

Where will my legal name be used?

  • Certification Documents
  • Financial Aid Records
  • Immigration/SEVIS Documents
  • Student Accounts
  • Student Employment Records
  • Transcripts
  • Legal Documents (e.g. contracts, waivers of liability)
  • ZAGCARD: the back

How is email affected by chosen first name?

If a student selects a chosen first name, the Zagmail email address will remain the same.  The display name can be modified to reflect the chosen first name by emailing  However, the email address itself cannot be changed.

Legal name--Joseph Smith
Chosen first name--Joey
Display name--Joey Smith