The University officially made the switch from Colonial Mail to Google Mail on Aug. 7, after about a year of negotiations.
Students and alumni have since created more than 13,000 GWMail accounts through Google, which include more storage space and features than CMail accounts, University officials said. Unlike CMail, the new GWMail service will not expire after students graduate.
“Google Mail comes with Google applications, Google calendar, Google documents,” said Charlie Spann, interim managing director of Information Systems & Services. “They have a unique approach to mail.”
GWMail uses the same log-in usernames as CMail, but the e-mail addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com. Once a GWMail account is opened, any mail sent to the gwu.edu account will automatically forward.
CMail will remain accessible to students for six months on the University’s Web site. After that period, students will no longer be able to access the CMail interface.
Discussions for this change began in spring 2007, when the University met with representatives from Google and Microsoft about their e-mail services.
Administrators said they ultimately chose Google Mail partly because many students already forward their mail to a GMail account.
Dave Steinour, deputy chief information officer, said GWMail’s greater storage capacity will be a great asset for students. “(Colonial Mail) couldn’t provide them with enough storage to keep them happy.”
Some students have expressed concerns about switching to a new account so late in their GW career, as well as the new lengthy domain name.
On Sept. 26, a Google bus will park outside Kogan Plaza to promote the new GWMail system.