Marriage/Name Change

J Potter jras at
Wed Apr 3 02:26:17 EST 1996

I know this topic has been discussed before but I had an experience today 
that kind of surprised me.  I married this year and took my husband's 
name (I have no publications that matter in my maiden name).  This was to 
the disappointment (real or feigned, I don't know) of my advisor.  So I 
am giving my grad student seminar this week and circulated the abstract 
with my married name listed.  Suddenly this afternoon in passing one 
faculty member (male) said he was "disappointed" to learn of my name 
change.  This comment brought out about 2-3 more faculty (both women)from 
their offices.  One who was also "disappointed" and one who thought it 
was fine.  I felt kind of defensive with all of the questions ...I don't 
know if this so-called "disappointment" would be better termed "surprise" 
on their behalf because I am obviously one of those "feminist" types 
(as I told my advisor, it means to me to have the freedom to CHOOSE even 
if I choose the traditional route) but I am concerned about: 1) why 
anyone cares and cares to mention it and 2) will the questions end once I 
graduate and go on to a place where people will only know me as a Potter?

Any advice or recounting of your experiences would be appreciated.


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