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Important Update to Alumni Google Services

Summary

For a variety of reasons, the university has decided to phase out alumni access to Google services beginning in January 2023 and ending in August 2023.

Full Description

Since 2010, William & Mary has extended access to Google services to alumni, including Gmail (email.wm.edu) and Google Drive. This access was not widely used, and to due to security and storage concerns, the university has decided to phase out alumni access to Google services beginning in January 2023 and continuing until August 2023, based on current usage. 

Maintaining communication with alumni is important to us. Therefore, accounts will be deleted in phases, beginning on January 9, 2023 and ending with the final phase on August 8, 2023. This will ensure we have enough time to reach out to alumni in each phase of the project to obtain an alternative email address and maintain that ability to communicate. If you would like to go ahead and update your information, you can do so by clicking the button below. 

Update Your Info

W&M IT will send targeted emails to alumni in each phase of the project. Alumni will be notified 60 days before their lockout date, and again 14 days out as a reminder. 

Timeline Table
Phases
Retirement Date
Phase 1 January 9, 2023
Phase 2 April 22, 2023
Phase 3 August 8, 2023
Why is the university phasing out access to alumni Google services?

We do not make any decisions, large or small, without considering what is best for the university community, which includes our alumni. A few of the reasons for this change include: 

  • Alumni email accounts are most heavily used in the first year after graduation, and then use drops off dramatically. 
  • Inactive W&M alumni accounts are being maliciously targeted and are at greater risk of being compromised. It takes a considerable number of resources and time from the W&M Information Security team to monitor this activity. 
  • Google pricing has changed for educational institutions. Services that used to be free are now incurring charges, and the university would now have to pay to maintain all these alumni accounts.  
How do I move my data?

No alumni data will be retained, but don’t worry, you are able to download or transfer your Google data. Here are some instructions:

First, check your current Google storage, set up an auto reply and forward on your alumni email. 

  • Verify the amount of data you have in your Alumni Google account. It is recommended that you remove any files that are not needed before migrating or downloading your data.   Most consumer Google accounts only include 15 GB of storage space and fewer files will also speed up the transfer or download process. 
  • Set up an Auto Reply on your alumni account.  
  • Set up an automatic forward to your personal account.

Second, choose from one or both of the following options:  

  • Migrate your Gmail and Drive data to another Google account - (Gmail & Drive only). When starting the transfer process, it is helpful to login to the Google account that is receiving your files with an incognito window or a different browser. 
  • Download your account data - (All Google Services). This option is best for long term storage or to be used with another service. 
Other Frequently Asked Questions
When will I lose access to my W&M email? 
The accounts will be deactivated in groups. Each phase will be notified 60 days in advance.  
I thought I would have email for life...what changed? 
Due to security and storage concerns, the university has decided to phase out alumni access to Google services.
I'm an alum but also a faculty/staff member who opted out of having my data migrated from Google. Does this change apply to me?

No. Faculty and staff who are also alumni but opted out of having their data migrated from Google will have their accounts retired at a later date. 

Are you going to give us an alternative “official” W&M email? 
No.
Will future graduating students have access to Gmail as they transition to alumni? 
No.
What if alumni depend on access to their W&M account for job applications or important contact information from their time at the university? 

Alumni should update their email in these places with a personal email address. We recommend putting an auto-reply up now with your new preferred address so that anyone who messages you from now until your retirement date will see that you’re changing your address. 

How will this impact shared content?

If you are a student, faculty or staff member who has shared content with an alum, the content is safe as long as it is in a shared drive (even if the alum is the owner/creator of the file). Content that has been shared with you by an alum but is not in a shared drive will be deleted. Moving content to a share drive is the best way to retain access to it. In the coming weeks, IT will make changes that will facilitate moving content into shared drives.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. We will be reaching out soon with specific details and dates for each phase.  

Please send any questions you may have to [[alumniemailproject]].