University Technology Services

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Name Services

Name Services

Your Name on Records, Rosters, and Communications

Legal Name is generally the name recorded on a birth certificate and is used for legal, administrative, and other official purposes. Some Oakland University students, alumni, employees, and other constituents are known by a Preferred First Name other than a Legal First Name.  Oakland University supports adding Preferred First Name to Legal First Name in university records.  This site presents information about maintaining your Legal Name and your Preferred First Name and how these names are used, as a Common Good Service called Name Services.  The home of Name Services is the university implementation of Ellucian Banner.  Both Legal Name and Preferred First Name will be originally stored in Banner.  

Display of Preferred First Name

The standard display of Preferred First Name is as follows:

  • Alone in a salutation (i.e., "Dear Sam").
  • In a formal list (i.e., Mary Smith (Molly) where Mary is the Legal First Name and Molly is the Preferred First Name. 
  • In a casual list (i.e., Molly Smith).

Other available options in various products and solutions are acceptable as long as Preferred First Name is included wherever possible, the name is consistent with the individual's preferred identity, and Legal Name is unaltered.  Some communications systems, such as Gmail (OU Webmail) in G Suite provide separate options for displaying personal names.

Designating a Preferred First Name

Individuals may designate a Preferred First Name by entering that name in the MySAIL portal or the MySAIL app.  Changing Preferred First Name and deleting a Preferred First Name are handled in the same MySAIL applications.  This name change is recorded on records in the core system, Ellucian Banner.  

Places Where Preferred First Name May Appear

Preferred First Name will be displayed on records systems and reports where appropriate and in compliance with university policy (under development).  Legal Name will continue to display in those functions that require a standard of legal identification. As we develop important displays of Preferred First Name, we will update a list here.

  • MySAIL Portal and MySAIL App:  Fall 2016
  • G Suite:  Fall 2016
  • ADMNET (Windows Computer Display Name): Fall 2016
  • Moodle:  Fall 2017 (8/28/2017)

Requesting a Legal Name Change

Individuals may request a change to Legal Name using established university processes found in the locations below:  

Your Name in G Suite

Change your name display in Webmail (Gmail - G Suite):
  • On your computer, open You can't change your username from the Gmail app.
  • In the top right, click Settings .
  • Click Settings.
  • Click the Accounts and Import tab.
  • In the "Send mail as" section, click edit info.
  • Add the name you want to show when you send messages.
  • At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Other helpful information is posted in Gmail Help.

Change your name display in Calendar (Calendar - G Suite):

  • Edit the calendar - on your computer, open Google Calendar.
  • On the left side of the page, click My calendars.
  • To the right of your calendar, click the drop-down menu > Calendar settings.
  • In the box at the top, choose a new name.
  • At the bottom of the page, click Save.

Other helpful information is posted in Calendar Help.


Please send questions or suggestions to, Attention:  CIO - Name Services.

August 2017