Using a Chosen First Name at Arcadia

Any Arcadia University student, faculty, or staff member may choose to be identified within the University community with a chosen first name that may differ from the individual's legal first name. Honoring and facilitating the use of an individual’s chosen name is a critical way for Arcadia to remain an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Arcadia students who wish to use a chosen first name should initiate this process on the Chosen Name Request Form. A person's chosen first name will appear instead of, or in addition to, the person's legal first name in University-related systems and documents where it is technically feasible and where the use of the legal first name is not required by or necessary for University business or any legal need. The offices that are responsible for updating systems that reflect chosen names will be the only offices who receive this form from students. The University systems below will reflect the chosen name in their systems within 30 days after the form is submitted.

Arcadia faculty and staff who wish to use a chosen first name should initiate this process by contacting Human Resources at


Arcadia University Systems and Offices Reflecting Chosen First Names

The chart below indicates which Arcadia administrative systems and offices are currently using chosen first names, and which are not able to reflect this information. This listing will be updated as new listings and more systems are updated:

Currently Reflecting Chosen First Names Not Reflecting Chosen First Names
MyArcadia (instructions below) Academic Transcripts
Canvas Payroll/iSolved
Arcadia Email Display Name/Email Address Employment Verification and Documents
Zoom Display Name (instructions below) Student Financial Aid
SendWordNow Insurance Information
KnightLife National Student Loan Data System
SHS Patient Portal Reporting to any entity external to Arcadia
Landman Library  
Medicat (will appear as "Legal First Name (Chosen Name) Last Name"  


Adding and/or Editing Your Chosen First Name to MyArcadia:

  • Log in to MyArcadia
  • Click the Hello “username” button on the top right-hand corner
  • Click the edit button
  • Enter your chosen name in the “First Name” text box
  • Click the blue “Save” button at the bottom of the screen

Editing Your Display Name in Zoom:

  • Log in to Zoom
  • Click the “profile” button
  • Click “Edit” on the right side of the screen
  • Edit your Display Name

Chosen first name requests will be denied or revoked when a name is deemed inappropriate including, but not limited to, when a name is being used to avoid a legal obligation, or in cases of fraud, obscene/offensive language, or misrepresentation.

* KnightCards: Once a chosen first name is indicated in MyArcadia, individuals may obtain a  KnightCard with the chosen first name printed on the card in place of the legal name. 

The first card issued with a chosen first name will be printed at no additional cost for the individual. When subsequent replacement cards are requested, the individual will be charged $15 for the issuance of a replacement card. Therefore, if an individual already has a KnightCard and then adopts a chosen first name, the previous KnightCard should be returned to Dilworth Hall (Facilities Office) for a new KnightCard, at no additional cost.

The KnightCard that is printed with the chosen first name may be used as a valid identification card within the University. However, the KnightCard may not be used as an alternative to a legal ID, as it is not a valid legal form of identification.

** Diplomas: Students who complete the Chosen Name Request Form are entitled to receive two copies of their Arcadia diploma: one printed with their legal name and one printed with their chosen name at the time of degree conferral. Please be advised that in some situations, such as degree verification, a diploma reflecting a chosen name may not be used. The diploma reflecting an individual’s legal name may need to be used for degree verification purposes. 

Due to anticipated IT systems changes at the University, it is possible that this process may change in the future. Individuals who use or are considering using a chosen name should be alert for future announcements.

Please contact with any questions regarding the process for using a chosen name or if any issues arise during this process. 

The University is only able to amend systems to reflect an individual’s chosen first name. Systems must reflect an individual’s legal last name. For individuals who wish to legally change the name that appears on their birth certificate, including their first, middle, and/or last name, please see the following resources:

Pennsylvania Judicial Change of Name Law 

Montgomery County Judicial Change of Name Instructions and Petition 

Free legal assistance: Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania or Mazzoni Center

For those seeking counseling and support:

Other Resources for Students:

At Arcadia, discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s identity, such as, but not limited to, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and national origin is prohibited. Arcadia should be a place where all can live, learn, and work free to be their true selves. If you have been affected by discrimination or harassment, the Office of Equity and Civil Rights can provide you with resources and options.