W&M IT Timeline

Key Events

First computer on campus (1967)
First computer lab (1988)
Internet available (1994)
Cable TV (1996)
First W&M webpage (1996)
IT's birthday (1997)
Technology Support Center created (1998)
@wm.edu email address (1998)
Blackboard (1999)
First registration in Banner (2003)
Banner Finance (2004)
Banner HR (2006)

W&M Digest (2007)
W&M website moves to Cascade (2008)
VoIP phone system (2010)
Google email for students (2010)
Jones Hall becomes home for (most of) IT (2010)
Exchange email and calendar for Fac/Staff (2011)
E-Commerce (Credit Card Payment System) (2012)
Launch of W&M Mobile (2014)
CRM (Building Bridges) Project (2015)

Wireless network upgrade begins (2016)
Blackboard moves to the Cloud (2016)

1967Professors wonder if the new computer will replace them in this picture from the 1967 Colonial Echo
  • IBM 360/50 is W&M's first computer.
  • Prof. Raymond W. Southworth (Math) is the Director of the Computer Center.

Director of the Computer Center, Raymond Southworth

1969
  • Jones Hall opens.

A picture of the Computer Center from the 1968 Colonial Echo

1976
  • IBM 370/145 replaces the IBM 360/50 with updated technology.
1977
  • IBM 370/158 replaces the IBM 370/145 with updated technology.
1981
  • First Prime computer at W&M, used for academic interactive computing from CRT terminals in labs around campus.
1982
  • Second Prime computer is added.
1983
  • Prime is upgraded and third Prime computer is added to systems.
1986
  • W&M joins BITNET, an early TCP/IP Internet email and file server access system that connects universities and research centers to each other.
1988
  • W&M purchases 40 PCs for first PC lab on campus.
Removing Gandalf in 1989 - Two of three people pictured still work in IT
1989
  • New Telco system replaces Gandalf terminal port selection switch with ADIs, which allow for data over voice on the new Telecom system.
  • Data can now be sent over the wires of the phone system.
1990
  • Last Prime computer is removed in December.
1991
  • IBM RS6000 AIX mail server is implemented.
  • AIX is a Unix operating system.
  • A lab for academic Unix is installed. DB2, an IBM database system, is installed on the mainframe.

One of W&M's early website homepages

1994
  • Internet is made available for faculty and staff.
1996
  • Residence halls are wired for Internet access.
  • Cable TV is available in residence halls.
  • First W&M webpage is created, including a space for IT.

W&M IT forms on November 3, 1997

1997
  • Official birth year of W&M IT as we now know it. On November 3, 1997, the four departments that reported to the Associate Provost for Technology (Educational Media Services, Telecom, Computer Center and the Help Desk) merge into one department, creating what we now know as Information Technology.

1998
  • Formation of the Technology Support Center. Creation of Academic Liaison Program for greater support to academic departments.
  • IBM's AIX mail solution is used for email in June.
  • In August, email addresses are shortened to @wm.edu, replacing @facstaff.wm.edu and @mail.wm.edu. Uninterruptible power supply is installed after the motor generator for the Jones Hall machine room fails.

Blackboard debuts in 1999

1999
  • Blackboard Course Management System (known as Course Info) debuts in W&M courses.
  • In May, the listserv ITINFO-L begins "disseminating IT news items that apply to wide segments of the community." This is an early version of the W&M Digest.
  • The Equipment Service Program starts to lease institutionally-owned computers in July.
  • First Fall Startup with W&M IT staff stationed in residence halls to assist students with connecting to the network before classes begin in August. Before 1999, students were charged by a local company for assistance.
  • In September, Hurricane Floyd floods Jones Hall and the computer room. Mail moves to Sun Enterprise 3500 server. Carnegie Mellon's Project Cyrus is used to run the back end of mail on campus. SAP is installed on Sun Unix servers.
  • In December, Y2K testing of administrative applications takes place on the mainframe. Christmas on Ice causes widespread power outages for more than a week. Sun Enterprise 1000 and L11000 robotic tape library are installed for Unix growth.
Sun Enterprise 10000 Server
2000
  • Formation of Enterprise Information System.
  • Email is running on Sun Unix servers.
  • In August, last Novell server is removed from campus and labs are converted to Windows 2000.
2001
  • In June, main website is on Worthog, an AIX system.

2002 W&M website homepage

2002
  • Banner goes live with Admissions.
  • Harvest application is installed for administrative code tracking.
  • Sun SAN is used for storage.
  • Campus Pipeline, aka My.wm is first available in August.
  • ePrint server is installed in September.
2003
  • In April, registration in Banner begins. Enterprise 10000 system is traded in for new Sun systems.
  • In July, Mirapoint email is implemented for students, faculty, and staff. Sun 1280 is used for Banner production.
2004
  • Facilities Administration Management Information System (FAMIS) software and hardware are purchased and installed.
  • Banner Finance goes live.
  • Blackboard hardware upgrades occur.
  • Disaster Recovery system starts, allowing for the availability of information and system operation on another machine in the event of an emergency.
  • In January, Enterprise 10000 machines are removed from the building.
  • In November, WM Course Evaluations software is released. Residential network authentication occurs.

IBM Thinkpad T42

W&M's Mini Mainframe

2005
  • Notebook requirement for students begins, with W&M recommending the IBM Thinkpad T42.
  • MyNotebook program is instituted to meet the need.
  • Administration network authentication occurs in February.
  • In April, EMC SAN/NAS is installed, supplying greater storage capacities.
  • Planning "mini mainframe" replacement for real hardware in October.
2006
  • Banner HR goes live in January.
  • In March, mini mainframe is installed and old mainframe hardware system is removed.
2007
  • Automated provisioning of IT accounts goes live, including email for life for alumni in March.
  • In July, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is installed, allowing secure remote access to Banner Admin enterprise business applications. Last AIX machine is removed.
  • In November, WM Digest goes live with condensed email announcements for faculty and staff.
2008
  • In July, Cascade web content management system is released. Encrypted wireless is available, providing an additional layer of protection to Internet traffic. Banner Fixed Assets goes live.

Outlying IT departments move to Jones Hall in 2010, making the building a central hub for W&M IT

2009
  • Mini mainframe is removed in January.
  • In May, Cisco CSS load balancer is replaced with Citrix Netscaler load balancer, offering more flexibility and manageability.
2010
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) campus phone system project begins in January.
  • In April, Gmail replaces aging Mirapoint web-based mail for student email.
  • Enterprise Information System team moves to Jones Hall from the Dillard Complex in October.

The ShoreTel VoIP phone system replaces the PBX system in 2010-2011

2011
  • Microsoft Exchange email replaces aging Mirapoint web-based mail for faculty and staff in the spring.
  • Calendar conversion to Microsoft Exchange begins in January.
  • In May, Oracle calendar retires and calendar conversion is complete.
  • Conversion of campus phone system to VoIP is complete in December. VoIP replaces the aging PBX phone system. Calls are now transmitted through the network instead of an analog phone line.

Previously a complex portal system, myWM becomes a simple webpage in 2012

2012
  • In June, new myWM webpage is implemented, replacing the Luminus platform.
  • In September, limited release of online course evaluation system for specific departments in Fall 2012 semester.
  • Start of eCommerce (credit card payment system) implementation. eCommerce system through TouchNet to include payment gateway, bill payment, marketplace and mobile technology in November.

W&M gets a new mobile application in 2014

2013
  • Start of ID System Project in January, which replaces aging door access and transactions systems with one consolidated system to streamline data entry.
  • Final phase of online course evaluation system implementation in May, including the first evaluation period with all courses using new online evaluations.
2014
  • Launch of the new mobile application, William & Mary Mobile, available for iOS, Android, and at m.wm.edu. It provides information about the campus and services for the W&M community.

The new CRM system will aid in effective engagement with W&M

2015
  • The adaptation of a campus-wide Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) solution begins. The Building Bridges initiative will bring together the processes related to recruitment, student success, and advancement into one platform.
  • In September 2015, contracts are granted to three vendors: Salesforce, TargetX, and ACF solutions.
2016

  • Blackboard moves to the Cloud in 2016A campus-wide wireless upgrade begins in July, starting in the dormitories and finishing in the academic buildings.
  • In August, Blackboard moves to the Cloud as part of the Business Innovation initiative, a strategic effort to improve effectiveness and efficiency across the university. Blackboard is now faster and more efficient.
2017
  • Digital Cable TV was installed in January 2017. Contour, which allows users to stream cable TV on mobile devices also became accessible in the spring semester.