UW News

Vern Harner

June 8, 2022

UW doctoral student leads effort to change diploma name policy, demonstrating power of trans community

Person wearing Western shirt smiling with grass and trees in the background

In 2021, UW registrar Helen Garrett announced that, for the first time, the UW would allow graduates to use a chosen first name for their diplomas. The policy change was the result of efforts led by Vern Harner, a UW doctoral student in social work, and a change.org petition that earned over 30,000 signatures, demonstrating the power of the trans community.