Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
The Internet

A Diploma and an Email Account for Life 112

ackthpt writes "Graduate college and you may gain an email address for life. This story in the Associated Press Get that ordinary 'grad' email or get the prestige of 'alumni' email address. Great for keeping in touch with your college buds, or "Schools can also be sure they'll get the latest e-mail addresses of their alums to send newsletters, invitations to events, perhaps even pitches for financial gifts." That 'financial gifts' is probably the kicker, after working with a 'college development office' for years, I learned how valuable it can be to shorten the distance it takes to reach out and touch someone. Of course, there's still the anonymity of that old ivy-covered-standby, Hotmail.U ;-)" Plus if you don't like your fellow grads, its easier to mass filter!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Diploma and an Email Account for Life

Comments Filter:
  • In Finland every citizen is going to be given a lifetime e-mail account within the next few years. So, just like you got your social security number at birth, you'll also get a personal e-mail address (which probably will be "your SS#".fi or something).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:15AM (#243716)
    CS majors not only get a lifetime email address

    Too bad they still don't get a life...

  • I graduated from Virginia Tech last May, but my email address there still seems to work.. Does anyone know if VT has an email-for-life policy, or am I just an anomoly?

    Alex Bischoff
  • I graduated from University of California, Davis in the early 1990s, and had been using email for some five years up to that point. It was clear then that email was a preferred mode of communications, and it's only become more so.

    I've been long stunned at the absolute lack of clue universities have had in not picking this up as a standard service. They already run services for thousands (or tens of thousands) of students, faculty, staff, and associated personnel. Keeping mail services open for alums wouldn't be much of an additional load, and, as a channel for communications and alumni donations, it should pay for itself many times over. Exceedingly short-sighted IMO.

    And, no the Cal Aggie Alumni Association [] still lacks clue.

    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

  • The direct benefit for the university is the income it can derive from alumni donations and through its marketing efforts. If the university abuses its resource to the point that alums desert it, they've managed it poorly.

    If the service is implemented as a forwarder (common with other systems, such as the ACM/IEEE email systems), users are free to apply their own spam blocks to the service.

    I'd expect the best option to be posting a periodic (monthly/quarterly) newsletter to recipients, selling sponsorship spots in this medium.

    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

  • Hey, Simon's Rock. Cool place :-)

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:08AM (#243721)
    Email addresses are ubiquitous as your normal snail mail addresses when it comes to people contacting you, and with people moving in and out of workplaces, ISPs, and schools with much more frequency, email addresses could change at a drop of the hat. Fortunately, it's very easy for most standard mail servers to alias ex-employees or students to point at some other site of the person's wishes. All they need is to edit a line in a alias file (assuming you're dealing with standard mail servers). Yet most places don't offer this; once you are gone, your mail account is gone, and if you had used it for any significant correspodence, you're screwed. Sure, most of us on /. will have our own private mailbox that we use for our correspodence and use the work/school provided one only for that purpose, but 99% of computer users aren't like us.

  • I have been using my main email address since the fall of 1993 . My email address is listed on several web sites that I run, and has been posted, unchanged, to Usenet over 2000 times in the 7.5 years.

    I have been on a couple dozen mailing lists, both commercial and hand-run over the years. I am still on about 5 different commerial mailing lists set up by companies to announce things. For about a year, I replied to most spam that I got, complaining and asking to be removed.

    I even post to /. with my email address unchanged.

    To date, I do not run any major SPAM filters and only get about 4-5 spams a week. I simply trash them anymore, figuring that if I kept replying I would only get more.

    Perhaps that is the way to avoid SPAM. Perhaps spammers remove your email address after a certain amount of time, figuring that there is no way anyone would ever keep their email address more than five years...
  • IEEE and ACM have been around for decades. How long has been around?
  • by Alan Shutko ( 5101 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:52AM (#243724) Homepage
    I think it's better to get your lifetime email address from somewhere like,,, or your preferred professional society.

    Personally, I do not trust my financial institution^W^Wcollege to maintain my email address for years without constant donations. Even then, I find it likely that they'd drop it if they decided it wasn't worth the cash. With a professional institution, you have an instition usually far less financially driven than a university. You are paying yearly dues, but you're getting specific benefits for those, instead of lining the chancellor's bowling alley.
  • At least they are planning to extend it to past alumni.
    They are less likely to go under than some free forwarding services.

  • How times a week do most folks get an email from someone announcing they've stopped using and are now using, please update your address book...

    Frankly stable addresses are a great thing, too often they turn over, become difficult to track, etc.

    Since most degree-granting instutions are more stable them most dotcoms this is an appreciated service. In return for the occasionial spam from the school one gets a stable address.

    The accounts aren't forced on anyone, they're a voluntary sign up folks are free to take advantage of. They're usually not real accounts either but rather fowarding services, thus there's no storage-space or connectivity issues.

    Send mail to and it'll automagically get redirected to Should Bubba decide to change to AOL our hypothetical graduate need only update the service at in order to get all of his email now forwarded to, no need to mass-email all of his drinking buddies.

    Once the email is forwarded one is of course free to treat it as any other email: filter-to-death, file-and-ignore, whatever. want to kill it completely? Then just cancel the service or redirect it to a dead account.

    ps Other places offer like services, off the top of my head I can think of the Association for Computing Machinery & One is presumably around for the long-term, the other, well we'll see how their business model works out...

  • and get all the email addresses you want for life...

  • After all, where do you think all the BOFHs-in-training are? Just think of all the, um, interesting problems you're likely to have with one of these.

  • You must be getting filtered by your provider. My circumstances are extremely similar to yours; I get a dozen or two spam a day, depending on how successful the latest "get 10bijillion email addresses free" campaign is.

  • permanent email addresses is that they must be jealously guarded. I have four main email addresses; the one at work, which I give to work contacts, my main email address, which I use in general, a hotmail account, which I give to people that I know damn well will spam me, and a fourth, which is a redirector email that goes to my general account. The redirector is a permanent email address that I have through a club that I belong to.

    It's basically a lifetime email address. I ONLY give it to friends that have a clue and won't use it to send me internet greeting cards, or "email this story to a friend" from a newspaper, or whatever. If it ever hits a spam database, I'm doomed for life.

  • or he posts to usenet with his email address in the From header
  • I've had a net email address since 1986,
    had three major jobs in that time,
    and seen bboards & ISPs rise and drop like flies.

    An alumni organization is probably as stable as
    anything else- one school been around since 1865
    the other 1889. Funny, I don't use the two email-
    addresses-for-life I got from them yet.
  • Least they could do was give you a shell account or dialup....

    And risk a rogue hacker like Kevin Mitnick causing $200 billion in damages??
  • My alumni account is where 90% of all my UCE spam comes in--I don't know whether my alum organization sold their list (they do like money) or if it was through other means. Not to mention it is where 100% of my "join the alumni association!" "travel with ex-Greeks, drunkenly piss on the seven wonders of the world!" offers come through.

    Mmmmmmmmm. procmailicious.
  • by SimplyCosmic ( 15296 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:28PM (#243735) Homepage
    Well, I've always looked at it as paying $14,000 for an ethernet internet connection, and getting an education thrown in for free.

  • >instead of lining the chancellor's bowling >alley.

    let me guess, you go to Washington University in St. louis too.

    The B-school hotel is what's really pissing me off though (and the fact that Eliot's become immortal)
  • your netID there is your initials, then a number, which is the number of people with your initials who've come before you plus one.

    I'm not sure about that.. since some people before my number doesn't show up in the directory.

    They don't appear to be giving it out to anyone (after about 5 years), but darned if every spammer on the planet doesn't have it anyway

    I get spam but not much, compared to my onebox account... it's a matter of not putting your email on ebay (I used to have my cornell email there, but once I changed it, the spam coming directly to my cornell acct reduced)... and even sites like Slashdot.

  • My account was up for 2 or 3 years after graduation, then was gone (though they gave me a head's up first). I just ran across this site [] which has access to such an alum account. I haven't had my address there long enough to judge it though.
  • I graduated from Rice in last year and I have had an alumni address since then. I was wary that they would use ths address for spam, but I have not received one unsolicited email from Rice on this account. Perhaps in the future they will exploit this service for the good of the university. But until then I will enjoy the obvious benefits of the service.

    I would be interested in hearing if anybody has had spam problems from their former Universities and if so what schools are they?

  • While OSU isn't able to provide lifetime email (We've 80k users as it is, with the smith.xxxx name approaching the 4000 mark for example), we do email forwarding for life, and its run through the alumni association. This provide everyone with what matters, the same name for as long as you want, and what is viable, using someone elses account. I think this is an excellent solution and will be very glad to keep my same email address. In the 2.5 years I've been here email has gotten more and more important, while the usefulness can be hampered if you have to worry about the logistics of getting a new address every couple of years. Who do you trust to keep in business for the rest of your life? The only other organization I would trust to do it would be the Post Office or some other federal body.

    In other words, yay for common sense.

  • is a great example of a hideously implemented system. Every student at Cambridge has a unique identifier used for their email address, and all hell would break loose if any of these were ever reused. However, there is no official commitment to not reusing these identifiers and as a result a completely different local part is used for the address. This wouldn't be so bad, except that they've chosen


    Namespace collisions? What namespace collisions?

    Thank God the university development office don't run the university mail servers.
  • I've had 3 "lifetime" email addresses disapear thanks to the internet-advertising downturn, DoS attacks, etc.

    I ended up buying a domain name, it's the only way to be remotely near sure.
    On top of that, you can trace where spam/junk mailers got your address from, (enrole as per se.)
  • Well, you're still using the "professional organization" addy as a symbol of who you are and what you do... It still functions to open doors to you.

    Arrogance is a risk; Harvard grads (for example) rarely state they went to Harvard unless pressed, asked, or it's on a resume, for just that reason. But there are times when it really does help. I never use my alumni e-mail (which does just forward to my regular e-mail) unless I'm applying for a job, but you can bet that when they see that address on a resume, they skip actually calling the school to see if I went there.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Think of how many organizations and services provide forwarding e-mail addresses today. Tons. They all give the same argument (and a compelling argument it is): ISP's come and go, making permanent, forwarding e-mail addresses a smart idea. But by that argument alone, you'd never need more than one.

    But the kicker about having several is that you can give out different e-mail addresses based on the role you're playing in that situation. An e-mail address is more than characters strung together, it is an identity, and often an affiliation with some organization.

    For instance:
    • I use my e-mail address for any sort of work related to Debian
    • I give out my university address to anyone affiliated with my university--especially profs, various offices, etc.
    • I use my sourceforge address for any work related to projects hosted on sourceforge
    • I give out my main address to friends and family, people who are writing to "Josh the guy" as opposed to "Josh the student" or "Josh the Debian maintainer."

    The fact that they all go the exact same place doesn't matter. They might not always. I might decide at some point to sort them differently or give them different priorities based on who the "To:" address in the headers is. If for some reason I cease to become a Debian maintainer in the future, I should no longer get Debian-related mail, and I could set up an auto-responder to indicate that I am no longer affiliated with the project.

    So even though it may seem like just another forwarding e-mail address, I think that each one that captures a different capacity you serve is useful.

  • Send mail to and it'll automagically get redirected to Should Bubba decide to change to AOL our hypothetical graduate need only update the service at in order to get all of his email now forwarded to, no need to mass-email all of his drinking buddies.

    I know it's only an example, but it seems unrealistic...after all, who would even think of changing from some other service to AOHell?

  • My college [] gave me a shell account and dialup # I could use after I left.
  • I ended up buying a domain name, it's the only way to be remotely near sure.

    Don't be so sure... [] :-(

    I got a .org name. Now there is talk -- and yes I know it's a remote possibility but still -- of restricting .org's to registered non-profits.

  • Most students come into colleges now with e-mail accounts somewhere. And they'll get a plethora of them throughout their life. So what? Well, my prediction is that the vast majority, maybe even like 90% or more, of these lifetime e-mail accounts will just remain dormant spam collectors. Now you have some poor under-budgeted and under-staffed college IT staff (oh oh, that's me) having to provide disk, redundancy, backups, etc, etc...

    Then what about policies for dormant accounts? Do they get deleted after a while? Do you expire messages not read for x number of years?

    It's a fairly good idea, but how's this? Give them a choice. Provide an actual INBOX for life or give them an easy way to forward that e-mail to their preferred mail address. But in either case, it should be something the student chooses. Let them know the service exists, but if they don't sign up for it, can it.

  • "fuh-see-shuss"
  • heh. My school [] has recently instituted an "email-for-life" policy, but it's not just forwarding. It's "keep the same address we gave you when you got here, not a special alumni domain address, and we'll keep maintaining the mail server". Incidentally, the IT staff was recently forced to institute a "any message older than a year in your inbox will be deleted" policy. Could just be coincidence, though.

  • how do I enroll at in order to graduate and get an account there? As a self professed geek I think I would stand to make more money, and look pimped out when I'm interviewed at at Fortune 500 co leading to a billion (rips Austin Powers) ... million dollar salary.

    SpeedyGrl []

  • I have one of those permanent college addresses. To avoid lifetime spam, I only hand it out personally to acquaintances or friends I would like to hear from anytime in the future, but who I don't expect to keep track of my potentally changing main email addresses.

    Seems like it'd also be a useful weak authentication tool- to prove to employers or whoever that you really did go to the school you claim to be from...
  • Well, this is St. Olaf that you're talking about. I'll bet that they can't afford it, after all they can't afford to keep their hockey team either. Not that I should be all that smug, Luther didn't let me keep my e-mail address either, though I do still have my shell account on the CS department server.

    For those of you who aren't in the know, and are rivals of sorts. It's generally a good natured thing, even if those Minnesota people are snobs.


  • Fortunately, it's very easy for most standard mail servers to alias ex-employees or students to point at some other site of the person's wishes.

    This is similar to what Indiana University does. I just graduated and signed up for a [] email account. What it does is foward your e-mail to your actual e-mail account. However, it is totally seperate from the e-mail address that you have used during your college career. This is cool for looking up people who you had went to school with. It's also nice for the universty to get the big buck donations from the alumni. :)
  • And maybe Cornell is filtering spam and you don't know it. Lots of ISPs do that without telling their clients, it isn't a far stretch for campus IT departments to do the same.
  • But your username might get changed on you if they hire a new faculty member with a similar name:

    There are, however, situations where an account name or csalias will be changed or eliminated. This is normally decided on a case-by-case basis by the facilities committee or csd-cf (depending on the situation). One case where this may happen is when a faculty member has a last name matching an existing account or csalias belonging to a student or former student.

    That's pretty insidious.

  • What happens when,, or whoever goes heels up?

    Get your own freakin' address []!

    I have a whole domain full of email addresses (that's a lifetime supply) and I can change service providers, taking my address with me, at the hat of a drop.

  • Least they could do was give you a shell account or dialup....

    You don't have those? I left the "institution" years ago and still have access to several. ;-) ....errr, the axe will fall one day, I'm sure.
  • CS majors not only get a lifetime email address and web page forwarding URL, we also get a shell account for life! [] w00t!
  • That will happen when cows fly. Seriously..How many of you visit this site via, most all of you I assume. Also consider that some nations don't have a concept of non-profit organizations, or the concept is different than that of which we know in the US. I don't know how you can automatically assume 'non-profit' out of organization. Wouldn't something like say, a local bowling league qualify for a .org, consider that they are neither out to make money '.com', not a networking group '.net', but just a organziation of guys who like to bowl. Of course its not worth the effort to become a non-profit organization, because quite frankly, for 15 people is just dumb.

  • Either that or it'll be that much easier to make people think you went to University :)
  • by BierGuzzl ( 92635 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:16AM (#243762)
    You'd be darn upset if all of a sudden your name and email address were splattered all over the place if what you really wanted was to be left alone! And what about those psychotic classmates you always wanted to get away from? Hey if you want to "take advantage" of this email service, you've also got to put up them knowing how to get ahold of you. Granted, you can decide to not use the address just like you can decide to not list your phone number in the phone book, but the difference here is that you are denied the use of soemthing that might in some cases make the difference between getting a job or not.
  • buy a domain

    and get all the email addresses you want for life...

    Or until your registrar hoses their database and sells your domain to a sex site hoster because they think you're overdue. Remember Webtechs.

  • Talk about your sysadminning nightmares... not only do you have to provide support for faculty, staff, and students, but also alumni? Not to mention the unsightly cholesterol that would clog the servers. Ten thousand new accounts per year, over a period of ten years... and of course no one would VOLUNTARILY clean out their in-boxen, trash, or sent-items, but the alums from 1980 would be the first to bitch when mailbox size limits were imposed.

    No, thank you. I'll stick with Hotmail. I'm screwing M$ out of server resources that way.

    Zaphod B
  • your sig is in direct violation of my copyright. --bilbo baggins

  • by niekze ( 96793 )
    if you read the article, it states that they don't give you an e-mail account. they just forward the address to another e-mail account that you designate. also most of them use something like which can be sort of a tiny resume (if you went to a well-known school).

  • there is a spam filter thats 100% efficient, just forward all incoming mail to dev/null. It certainly takes care fo that spam problem.

  • so you get a hotmail or yahoo account until you get something more stable... no problem at all. in fact, that's exactly what i did when i graduated a year ago and got one of these free forwarding accounts.
  • Ball State did this a couple of years ago.... Retroactively yet. I got a letter in the mail saying I could use my Ball State acount again. I don't but its nice to have the opprotunity.
  • by Arctic Fox ( 105204 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:01AM (#243770) Homepage Journal
    After paying upwards of 50 or 60K for an education that's all you get? A lousy friggin email address?
    Least they could do was give you a shell account or dialup....
  • by Mateorabi ( 108522 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:24AM (#243771) Homepage
    You're a college grad out on there own. You probably don't have an ISP: you don't even have a house/apartment yet and you've been an ethernet junkie for 4 years. Work? Soon, but not just yet. And who the hell uses an internet email address if you get your mail from campus servers quick and easy.

    I personaly would trust my school with my mail much more than the other three any way

  • Is it me, or does that article sound like a frickin' infomercial? This is not journalism....


  • It is still the case that "alumni" is the masculine plural and "alumnae" is the feminine plural.

    Just because it is accepted that the masculine gender takes precedence over the feminine in a mixed group doesn't make it right--see the numorous essays in which "she" is arbitrarily being substituted for "he" where a non-gender-specific pronoun is needed.

    And fuck you, that was not a troll.

  • At Brown, you no longer even get a dial-up WHILE YOU'RE THERE! If you live off campus, you must provide your own internet connection.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
  • I apologize in advance about the offtopicness.

    For about a year, I replied to most spam that I got, complaining and asking to be removed...Perhaps spammers remove your email address after a certain amount of time, figuring that there is no way anyone would ever keep their email address more than five years...

    Never, never, never reply to a spammer. Replying to a spammer is the best way a spammer has to verify that your address is fresh, and there's a live body on the end of the email address. Frankly, I'm surprised you don't receive much more spam.

    Once spammers have proven your address to be live, your email address is much more valuable, and you can expect spam for years to come. My old email address from 10+ years ago (which was unactivated for 7 years) still recieves weekly spam.

    The only way I've been able to make a dent in the amount of spam that I recieve, is through SpamCop []. Some may disagree with its tactics or methods, but it does much of the drudgework of parsing forged headers and complaining to the proper authorities for me quickly and easily. Plus there are free and for-pay versions. Worth a look-see.

  • They didn't mention how Carnegie-Mellon [] will let all graduates keep their emails forever. (Oh, but they mention MIT... MIT always gets mentioned. Grr. </bitter>:)

    God does not play dice with the universe. Albert Einstein

  • What I use my school email account is for unix-based [almost] reliable mail. So that I can get a high-bandwidth, telnettable-into, procmail-filterable, PINE-readable mail. (and topped off with usenet access).

    ALL [ save for class mailing lists ] of my mail gets forwarded to that school account via Yahoo forwarding or, lately, via my own domain.

    Therefore, the only thing i'd want from my grad school is to let me keep that UNIX account, but they would most assuredly fail to do so - CS department will cancel the account when I leave.

    Now, the upsides of having them forward to <myname>@alum.<myschool& would be:

    • Stable address: easily achieved by either yahoo forwarding for the cheap people or buying your own domain and getting EVERY_ADDRESS@your_domain as a bundled deal - something most registars do, I believe.
    • Being listed in a directory there: as was pointed out in this thread already, it's a liability (SPAM magnet) with little benefit. OK, so i'm not one of those people for whom schmoozing with folks you went to college with has any attraction - save for VERY few close friends who have my email,phone,URL,pager,second pager,second phone,another email and parents' phone.<g>
    • Prestige/showing off. Yes, for MIT grads that would be the major draw and the only possible reason i'd consider that. Not being an MIT grad (i went to a decent - one of the best, but not IVY - grad schools), this has no attraction for me.
    • School loyalty. Perhaps such thing would be attractive to those schmucks who wear school rings and school-logoed t-shirts long after graduation. I didn't bother even while IN school.


    • SPAM collector
    • Consulting company headhunters heaven. I already get 3-7 calls a week at both home and work phones, plus e-mail from them. Not really SPAM but still annoying to death.
    • One downside not mentioned before - a privacy problem. A MAJOR one if you ask me. I don't want people/organizations/companies knowing what I attended who have no business knowing this.
    • Donations requests. As one of the other posters, I worked for my undergrad college's Development Office. If this idea was not invented by Development folks, i'm Elvis.
    • Your "permanence" becomes dependent on the U. Now, i'm not sure about those mentioned in the article, but my U. - a pretty big and good one - has had Internet outages in the last 2 years, lastng from couple of hours and to couple of days, from e-mail closures thanks to worms to bad routers on ISP side. Obviously, they were less responsive (especially on weekends) when fixing those compared to commercial 24x7 outfit.

    All in all, unless you're in MIT or a fanatic of your institution for life, I see no reason to bother with one.

    If they, on the other hand, offered a long-term (not even permanent) UNIX-based mail account, i'd even agree to pay some monthly/yearly fee for it. Probably on a separate server if enough people sign up, so it doesn't take CPU/memory resources from real students.
    <Dennis Miller>But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.</Dennis Miller>


  • at least, with my friends. because, they move around a fair amount, and regardless, they still can use the same hotmail address. it's not because hotmail is that great.

    a good many of them have gotten accounts on my server and are using some webmail scripts that i'm using instead of hotmail however. kinda a cool feeling, to be replacing hotmail :)

    so hey, all us geeks with our own mail servers, should offer our friends and family mail accounts that they can use for life.


  • I have had an email account at my University ( of Waterloo [], Ontario) for about 18 months. They do not require any contribution in order to sign up. But this is not truly an email account as it is an 'email forwarding for life' account.

    I have had only one case of the university using it for any purpose. They let me know that I would be receiving a snail mail application for an affiliated credit card. Its much better than changing your email address with scores of contacts every time you need to switch ISPs.

  • I didn't see your birthday speech in the list of things being patented.
  • by efuseekay ( 138418 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:19AM (#243781)
    And save tons of dollars on postage :P
  • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @11:19AM (#243782)
    A lifetime e-mail address (or forwarding address) is simply a bad idea. Think about how many marketing databases you get listed in over just a couple years, and how much spam that translates into. Now think how much spam you'll be getting 50 years from now using the same address. Well, ok, /.ers guardedly use their addresses, but the average person uses their address with reckless abandon.

    Oh, that's right, science will save us with the development of a magic spam filter that is 100% efficient.

  • I use my account when job hunting b/c it's one of those so-called "elite" name brand schools, and I'm always looking for that extra edge when trying to score a job... you never know when it's going to catch someone's eye.

    Another advantage is that it makes it easy to remember how to reach some of my friends.

    Also, in four years i've had no spam on the account, school-related or otherwise, that I'm not directly responsible for. Kind of surprising, really, when you consider how aggresive the school is at exploiting other methods of begging for cash.

  • Here at Bowdoin [], we get to keep our real address after we graduate. for example, if my username was msmiles while I was enrolled, my email for like is We dont even tack on a Plus, because we are small, we often allow people that get married to add a new alias for their new name. One of the advatages of a small scool. Of course this policy leads to people having addressing like asmith14...but..... .matt
  • The University of Leeds has been doing this for a while it seems... mod date on this [] is September 2000

    In my experience University email systems aren't the most reliable in the world though ;o)
  • We've looked at this for the college where I work in the datacenter, but there seems to be a cultural difference this side of the pond (Ireland).

    Most students don't seem to feel drawn to keeping in touch with their alma mater. Many do, of course, but it still appears that the majority get out, get a job, get a life, and don't look back -- and as we had a history of high levels of state funding until recently, there was no tradition of post-graduation donation to act as a spur. We'd like to offer it, but we need to do some cultural re-education first.


  • I wish my capus IT department did that. Then again, I even heard a rumor that my University sold their email list to some spammers. The sad thing is that I really wouldn't put it past the money hungry sob's to do something like that.


  • How does grad school play into this? Despite the prestige and eventual relevance of my current situation, I'm definitely more loyal to my undergrad institution. Keeping an email address from one and not the other would be like choosing a favorite child! Two addresses would just confuse people.
  • I went to school at(and worked in the computer center of for four years)Creighton University. We allow students/alumni to keep their e-mail accounts and shell accounts, and have for as long as we've had campus-wide e-mail. I'd expect nothing less for what I've spent :)
  • "My son went all the way to Cambridge and all he got was this lousy email address []!"

  • I remember this was suggested a couple of years ago. It would make a lot of sense - for once there would be a centralized email directory, not unlike the phone book. If only this had been done before the introduction of Internet to the masses.

  • perhaps even pitches for financial gifts.

    Perhaps? PERHAPS? What would you like to bet that this is the principle reason? My old school pesters me half to death and they flunked me out. If they had my email address, they'd probably be twice as obnoxious.

  • Either you keep giving out your address to porn sites, or one of your friends is playing you a joke by giving out your address to spammers...

    C'mon, flame me!

  • It may not be as bad as you think. I know people who have used the same princeton email address for years as a personal acount. youd think they would be submerged in about 100 pieces of spam a day, but remarkably enough, only about one or two gets through the email filters the university uses. I think that since the university has more of an intrest in protecting its users from such email so they dont have to rotate logins every 10 years for the profs theyre more likely to take a proactive stance towards spammers.
  • Considering most state schools get free postage, isn't this the same thing anyway?
  • "Alumni" is the correct form of the mixed gender plural. "Alumnae" would only be used at all-female schools.
  • Who wants another email account anywase? I've got my ISP account, work account, hotmail (spam) account, and website address. What do I need with another email account from my former school? Seems as if it's another means to recieve spam :)

    I suppose it makes it easier for them to contact you ever 10 years though, so make sure you run that account to be checked every minute (like I do at work...)
  • I regularly change email accounts, because spammers get ahold of my email address, and spam it over and over again. After a few months, even if i attempt to block people out, i get more spam than email.

    After a couple years, this email addie would be so laden with spam, that people would quit checking it, and move on.

  • Retard. Go look up rogue in the dictionary. Kevin Mitnick was nowhere near rogue. He was meticulous.. a rogue is someone who acts wildly and randomly, fueled by strong emotions (fear, love, whatever).

    Just ask the grammar nazi.
  • I was gonna mention this, but thanks Dan :)

    Also, I can't recall a single e-mail I've gotten from the University for fund-raising, etc on this account. That could be because it's run by the alumni association and not by the University proper. I am curious, though. I don't see a single post (in my admittedly hasting browsing) that says anyone has actually received a U-spam from their institution... just bitterly cynical people who assume it will happen. Has anyone actually *had* a problem with this?
  • it's poor security. I worked for a company that auto-forwarded email after I left. Even though I'd been removed from the company's internal mailing lists, for years I still occasionally got pieces of internal email (bug reports about the product I'd worked on, etc). In principle this was confidential company information that I could have misused if I'd been a bad guy. In practice the company eventually went bust on its own, and that's how the mail stopped.
  • Cornell has been giving lifetime addresses for awhile -- your netID there is your initials, then a number, which is the number of people with your initials who've come before you plus one. Each time they issue an ID, it gets retired, and the address stays alive after you graduate (on a forwarding basis) provided you receive at least one message every once in awhile -- which, of course, you do

    They don't appear to be giving it out to anyone (after about 5 years), but darned if every spammer on the planet doesn't have it anyway.

  • Most schools sell lists of their student's contact information. Remember how everyone at the school would get a credit card offer in the mail on the same day? I didn't get mad until I found out our info was being sold to telemarketers.

    It really wouldn't surprise me if schools have extended this practice to alumni. Especially given the fact alumni tend to have more money that college students, are and therefore more valuable to the marketers.
  • I work at an University and suggested this. They were really enthousiastic so... they didn't do it, because... Because! They probably think it is to complecated, even though the marketeers over here are working hard to change that view and convince them it's worth it.
  • I remember the old days when it was un-heard-of to put an email address on a business card. That was back when the most pretentious thing you could do was wear an ivy league college tie. Needing a more arogant thing to do, I guess now ivy league grads can put their ivy league email address on their business card. Just wait. Some resourceful student at havard, MIT or Princeton will setup their own host '' or whatever similar hostname isn't already in use, and sell addresses to those of us who wish we had attended institution X.

    Never mind the obvious, that it'd be illegal to sell university bandwidth, as a stdent there, you could pay your way through school selling addresses.

    But in all seriousness, it's nise to see that there's yet another opportunity for pretentiousness and college snobbery made possible through the wonders if the internet


  • And how much money will this long list of valid email addresses be worth? This is kind of scary if you think about it...a lot of those college grads have an instant spam list now...just 'reply to all'. Hahahaha
  • I like this idea.

    But then again I would like them to throw in the Alpha Sorority.

    Are you on the Sfglj [] (SF-Goth EMail Junkies List) ?
  • Sorry if my * address offends...
  • ...can be sort of a tiny resume (if you went to a well-known school).

    The "well-known" part is key, if the school is not well-known then there's probably not much value, and if it is your email address could backfire. For example, a Harvard alum email address would be well-known, but could come across as arrogant. On the other hand, if I gave out a email address, would someone think "Guess he couldn't get into MIT" or "Purdue didn't admit me, I hate this guy"? This is why I prefer affiliating with a professional organization, and use my IEEE [] email address.

  • I've gone the same way and got a domain for my email (and online portfolio). EVERY time I submit an email address I use (eg.[me].com,[me].com,[me].com, etc.)

    The really interesting thing is that these addresses NEVER get used in spam. I wouldn't expect Amazon or any other big company to do it (since there'd be a huge backlash from /.ers et al), but even the shadier sites haven't used the addresses I gave them either.

    The spam I do get is usually caught by my spam filter (doesn't contain or or mylastname in the to: or cc: headers). This spam generally references (in the addressing headers but not in the to: or cc:) my .edu account or the generic catchall address at my domain (I used to use it for usenet postings). The address in the whois db under which I registered my domain gets a ton of spam. It is a hotmail account, but it didn't get spammed for about 2 years after I created it; all of a sudden I get 10-15 per day. Disheartening, but I never used the account for anything other than .com registration, so I have no idea why they started spamming of late.

  • St. Olaf college ( deletes all accounts of graduating seniors three months after they graduate. I personally can't conceive of why any institution would throw such a cheap and effective way of maintaining community among its graduates. Pennies a year per account must be too much for their stingy computing department.

    "E-mail accounts are for CURRENT paying customers. As a graduate, you are a FORMER paying customer. Goodbye."

    The poor hardworking people doing fundraising at Phonathon can't even use e-mail accounts as an answer the question in potential givers' minds:
    "Before I pay out my hard-earned cash, what has St. Olaf done for me _lately_? I can at least get a lousy e-mail account, right?"

    Apparently not..
  • Its proof that you actually went to that school and graduated! You hear all the time of people having false degrees, etc...this kind of practice will put a stop to it.
  • That would make FINLAND the heaven for spammers wouldn't it?
  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Sunday May 06, 2001 @01:35AM (#243815)
    I think it's better to get your lifetime email address from somewhere like,,, or your preferred professional society.

    I would recommend against using those E-mail addresses: they are tied to continued membership in those organizations, and you may at some point decide to leave them. After all, membership is expensive, benefits are minimal, and the organizations may take political positions that you disagree with.

    The IEEE was particularly bad: when I renewed late one year, they immediately reassigned my E-mail address to someone else and didn't give it back. Any well-run organization should at least have a non-trivial exclusionary period during which an address can't be reassigned; anything else is a security problem. I also found IEEE customer support in general pretty slow and unsatisfactory, and the E-mail forwarding was unreliable anyway when I first got it (maybe they have fixed it by now).

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982