Institutionally Recognized Names

Kalamazoo College recognizes that as a community many of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, the college will make every effort to use a student’s preferred or Institutionally Recognized Name (IRN).

Please note that some records may require the use of legal names only, such as federal and medical documentation. Students who are utilizing the IRN should always be prepared to reference their legal name as well as provide their college identification when necessary.

Legal Names

In order to change the name on your official college records such as transcripts and employment records, you must legally change your name. A legal name change is recognized by submitting a social security card, passport, court documents, and/or government issued visa. If you are a graduate, you can also request an updated diploma with your current legal name. Although your name will be changed on all documents, your prior name will continue to be listed as a previous identity in the college’s database in order to ensure that any searches of your former name will access the correct files.

Processes and requirements for legal name changes vary by state. If you are interested in changing your legal name within the State of Michigan, the Michigan Legal Help website may be a helpful resource to consult.

IRN Will Appear:

  • Online directory
  • Class rosters
  • Dean’s List
  • Faculty Advisee Lists
  • Degree Audit
  • Honors Program Lists
  • Library Records
  • Major/Minor Lists
  • Moodle
  • Residence Life Staff Rosters
  • Student ID card (Provided you obtain a new one from the Security Office)
  • Email display name

Legal Name Will Appear:

  • Financial Aid and Billing Records and Communication
  • Official and Unofficial Transcripts
  • Diploma
  • Gift Receipts
  • Paychecks and Paystubs
  • Registrar’s Office Records (i.e. permanent student file records)
  • Some official forms or correspondence from the College such as financial aid awards, residence life contracts, departmental or program notices, new hire forms, etc.
  • Student Health Center
  • Study Abroad and Study Away (i.e. travel documents, signature documents)
  • Time Entry System

Students who have had their name legally changed should submit the appropriate documentation noted above to the Registrar’s Office. Your new legal first and last name will appear on ALL college documentation listed above, though one’s former legal name will be stored in some College records and not redacted.

ID cards

We understand that it may be important to you for the college identification card to reflect your IRN. You can obtain a new ID card with your new name if you have registered your legal name change or IRN with the Office of the Registrar. ID cards are produced in the Security Office in Hicks.

Pronouns and Gender Identity

In addition to the IRN, students may select a pronoun and from the list provided in their directory preferences to be displayed on class rosters and in WebAdvisor.

Students may also select a gender identity from the list provided in their directory preferences to be kept as part of their student record at Kalamazoo College. At this time, this will be used for record keeping purposes only and will not be displayed on rosters or in WebAdvisor.

Process and Implementation

Beginning Fall 2017, the College will launch the initial use of the IRN as well as pronouns and gender identity, as described above. Updates will be communicated to the campus community as the necessary changes are completed to support continued implementation.

Students are able to request their IRN below. Once the request is fulfilled, the IRN will be displayed in the areas noted above within three business days. The Office of the Registrar has the authority to deny any request or remove an IRN in extreme cases – including but not limited to multiple requests from the same person or a requested name that is inappropriate (profanity, for example). In the rare circumstance when such a denial is made, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the Registrar. The Registrar will convene an appeal committee comprising the Director of Gender Equity and the Dean of Students to reconsider the request and the denial.

Student Privacy Considerations

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Kalamazoo College allows for the release of directory information, which includes a student’s IRN. If a student does not want disclosure of the IRN to external organizations or persons, they can set a directory flag on the student record, which initiates a FERPA restriction. Choosing a FERPA restriction means the College will not list the student in the directory and cannot confirm student status to anyone inquiring about the student record. However, mail to the student may still be sent using their IRN to home addresses. For this reason, the IRN should not be considered a “private” name for use at the College only.

Please contact the Registrar, Nicole Kragt (Nicole.Kragt@kzoo.edu), with any questions regarding these guidelines and their implications.