Each member of the Wellesley College community has a unique username that they use to log into various systems, and this username followed by @wellesley.edu is their primary email address. We also create email aliases using their legal and preferred names (see Gmail email aliases for details). The usernames have been constructed using the first initial and last name, truncated to 8 characters. The truncation is required because many of the older systems that we continue to use impose this restriction. Since usernames must be unique, when this process results in a conflict, we add middle initial and or additional digits to resolve those conflicts.
Recently, we have encountered serious issues whereby confidential emails have been sent to the wrong person because of common usernames. The sender assumed that the recipient must have the first initial followed by last name without realizing that already was assigned to someone else. In order to minimize such errors, we will be moving to a new methodology for creating usernames and default email address for all accounts created AFTER January 1, 2019. Please note that none of the existing usernames and email addresses will be affected.
We will also be amending the acceptable use policy soon to indicate that if the username confusion arises in the future whereby confidentiality can potentially be compromised the College will reassign email addresses to avoid the problem.
Username Assignment Methodology After 1/1/2019
Beginning January 1, 2019, all new usernames will be created using first initial and last initial followed by the next available sequence number (e.g., gr2). Current usernames will not be affected by this change. This change will help reduce the risk of email confusion mentioned earlier. Every new user will continue to have additional email aliases that we provide for clearer email addresses:
- First name dot last name (email@example.com)
- Preferred first name dot last (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information about these aliases, see our Gmail email aliases website.
If I already have a username, will there be any changes to my existing username or email addresses?
No. This change will be applicable ONLY to new accounts created on or after January 1, 2019.
How will I know the email addresses of the members of the community after this change?
You can continue to look them up in the College Directory (https://webapps.wellesley.edu/directory) or start typing their name in Gmail and locate them in the dropdown. Also, if they initiate an email, you can look up their email address in the From field. You can also add to contacts by searching and selecting.
Can I request a different username?
Unfortunately, we cannot change usernames. Usernames are required to login. However, if you would prefer to send emails using one of your aliases and share one of your aliases with your contacts, please see our Gmail email aliases website for details. Note that this will not change your username, only the email address recipients see when they receive your email.
I would like to modify my aliases, how do I do that?
All aliases are automatically generated and unfortunately we cannot entertain requests for any aliases other than the ones provided. However, if you have an official name change or have a preferred name that you have not yet requested, please contact the appropriate office to request the necessary updates: