Wellesley College: Creating an Inclusive Campus Environment Through Correct Name Pronunciation

2018-03-07T09:27:31+00:00 February 27th, 2018|Case Study, Commencement Ceremonies, University Systems|

As told to NameCoach by Ravi Ravishanker, CIO & Associate Provost, Wellesley College

We are small, residential college for women. We try to provide the best education and overall experience that paves the way for young women to become world leaders.

Our challenge is that we are a very small, liberal arts college. We take pride in knowing our students and giving them the best experience we can.

One of the traditions at the college is at commencement. Every student walks and receives a diploma from one of the deans. The whole experience of someone calling their name and them walking to the podium to receive the diploma is a big part of the ceremony and a big part of the college’s tradition.

NameCoach has vastly simplified the process.

In the past, we did everything from people coming to the help desk to record their name in a recorder to dialing a number in the phone system and leaving their name on voicemail. All of that was clumsy. Collating it all into a usable format wasn’t easy. Now it’s just a matter of getting as many of our students as possible to record their names into the NameCoach system. We can put things together much quicker and more reliably.

We’ve used NameCoach for three graduation classes so far. We typically have 600 students who participate in commencement. The number of students who record their names is in the 90-95% range.

It’s very popular with our seniors. We have a checklist for seniors that we roll out in the fall. Last year, more than 80% of them recorded their names in NameCoach. We get it in front of them early. We monitor how many have recorded and remind them to record. In a lot of cases, students have legal names and preferred names they want people to use. You create a much more inclusive campus and learning environment when you learn to say someone’s name correctly.

Feature image by Juan Ramos on Unsplash