Student e-mail addresses will change with switch to Gmail

Sunday, June 22

All student e-mail addresses will have different domain names when GW switches to Google Mail this fall, the University announced last week.

Beginning in August, the student e-mail suffix will change from “@gwu.edu” to “@gwmail.gwu.edu.” Students will have six months to transfer their messages from their Colonial Mail accounts to the new Google interface. Faculty and staff will continue to use Colonial Mail.

Rachel Blevins, information systems and services spokesperson, said e-mails sent to the “@gwu.edu” addresses will be forwarded to the new inboxes until the students graduate. She added that students should redirect any incoming mail to their new e-mail addresses.

“However, we recommend that all students pass along the new email address to their friends and family because he or she will be keeping this e-mail forever as part of the suite of benefits offered to GW alums,” Blevins said, referring to the new “e-mail for life” option.

Students will now be able to keep their GW e-mail accounts after they graduate. Current alumni can also activate this by visiting GW’s Alumni Online community at http://alumni.gwu.edu. Alumni accounts also use the @gwmail.gwu.edu domain name.

The announcement on Thursday was the first time in two months that the University discussed its contract with Google. University officials initially said they would sign a contract with Google in April, and said earlier this month that they were in legal negotiations.

The new e-mail service will have more than six gigabytes of storage, nearly 300 times the amount available in Colonial Mail, as well as Google applications such as Calendar and Chat.

“GWMail” is the third e-mail system for the University. The former e-mail system, Colonial Mail, was introduced in 2003 to replace the primitive “Webmail.” The University had hinted at the move to Google since 2006, but said for years that they were still exploring the security risks and complexities of several systems.

The new service will be run by Google at an off-site location, which will free up GW computer server space and save the University money, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said in April.

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