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Names in SPIRE

Learn more about the different name types that SPIRE stores and how you can update them.

To view the names you have on file with the University, log into SPIRE and navigate to Main Menu > My Personal Information > Names. The Names page opens, listing your names by type.

Student Primary Name

The Primary Name is your official name for your student records at UMass. All University documents (e.g., transcripts, Bursar statements, or official communications) will use your Primary Name. Your Primary Name also appears on your UCard.

Note: Your Primary Name appears in the UMass Directory and People Finder unless you elect to set up a different Preferred First Name. If you set up a Preferred First Name, you can then opt to publish either your Primary Name or your Preferred First Name or both names.

To update the Primary Name, students must contact their most recent Registrar’s Office (you cannot update this name in SPIRE). Below find contact information for updating your Primary Name:

  • University Registrar's Office (209 Whitmore)
  • Graduate School (534 Goodell)
  • University Without Walls (CPE) Records and Registration Office (213 Whitmore)

Fill out the name change form available in these offices or bring a signed letter requesting the change, together with copies of the relevant legal documentation (e.g., marriage certificate, etc.).

UMass employees of any type other than work study: Updating your Primary Name does not update your Human Resources Name. To update your Human Resources record, visit the Human Resources Employee Service Center (325 Whitmore).

Financial Aid applicants: If you change your name with the University, make sure your FAFSA information also reflects this change. For assistance, visit the Office of Financial Aid, 225 Whitmore.

Staff/Faculty Primary Name

The Primary Name is your name for the UMass Directory and People Finder.

Note: Your Primary Name appears in the UMass Directory and People Finder. You can also elect to set up a different Preferred First Name and have that appear in addition to your Primary Name if you wish.

If you have never been a UMass Amherst student, you can change the name published for you in the UMass Directory and People Finder by sending an email from a UMass email address to directory@umass.edu. You must include in the email your NetID (IT Account user name) or the number listed as the "Campus ID" on your UMass paycheck. Also make sure to include both your old and new names.

Note: The email requesting the published name change must come from a UMass email address. Changing your published name does not change your name on file with Human Resources nor for your UMass student record if you have one.

Staff/Faculty Human Resources Name

If you are a UMass employee of any type other than work study, the HumRes Name is your name on file with the Division of Human Resources. This name must be the same as your legal name and match the name on your identification. If you have both a Primary Name and a Human Resources Name, typically the two names are the same.

To update your Human Resources Name, visit the Human Resources Employee Service Center (325 Whitmore).

Note:  Updating your Human Resources Name does not update your Primary Name. To update your Primary Name, current and former UMass students must contact their most recent Registrar's Office (see information about this above) and staff/faculty who have never been UMass students can email directory@umass.edu. (Be sure the email request comes from a UMass email address)

Preferred/Chosen First Name

Staff, faculty and students, use SPIRE to record a Pref./Chosen first name if you wish. By default, your Pref./Chosen Name is the same as your Primary Name (first name only). If appropriate, enter a different preferred/chosen name or initials to let people know how you would like for them to address you. You can choose whether to display your preferred/chosen name in People Finder and the UMass Directory.

Once you save your preferred/chosen name, it appears on your Student Center, Faculty Center or Employee Center, as applicable. For students, your Pref./Chosen Name appears on SPIRE, on Moodle class rosters, and in parentheses on grade rosters next to your Primary Name.

Note: For students, official University documents (e.g., transcripts, Bursar statements, etc.) will continue to use your Primary Name, even if you also have a Pref./Chosen Name on file. For staff/faculty, official University documents will continue to use your Human Resources Name, even if you also have a Pref./Chosen Name on file.

To enter a preferred/chosen first name:

  1. In the SPIRE Menu, go to My Personal Information > Names. The Names page opens, listing your names by type.
  2. On the Names page, find your Pref./Chosen Name, which is set initially to be the same as your Primary Name). In the Pref./Chosen row, click Edit. The Change name page opens.
  3. On the Change name page:
    • In the First Name field, enter your preferred/chosen first name. Note: Use good judgment when adding or updating this information.
    • In the Date changes will take effect field, keep the default (today’s date) or use the Calendar icon to select a new date.
    • Click Save, then OK to confirm the save and return to the Names page. Your new Pref./Chosen Name will appear in the names list.

Publish Your Name in the UMass Directory & People Finder

If you are a UMass student, use the UMass Directory > My Directory Name page to control how your name appears in the UMass Directory and People Finder. You can opt to publish either your Primary Name or your Pref./Chosen Name or both (if they are different). If you opt to publish both, your Pref./Chosen Name appears in parentheses (e.g., Margaret (Molly) Smith , George (GK) K Jones, Jennifer (Buffy) Chang, etc.).

If you are a UMass employee of any type other than work study, use the UMass Directory > My Directory Info page to control how your name appears in the UMass Directory and People Finder. Your Primary Name appears by default but you can opt also to publish your Pref./Chosen Name name if you wish (if they are different).