Colgate Releases Mobile Apps for Students and Alumni

Kendall Murtha

Colgate is expanding its foray into the mobile app service. Having already established apps for prospective students and supporters of Colgate Athletics, the administration is reaching two new audiences with the release of two new apps: the Colgate Mobile app and the Colgate Alumni Directory. 

“We all know how important mobile is,” Director of Web Content Tim O’Keeffe said. “Our traffic is growing more and more each day.”

On October 14, Colgate launched an application designed exclusively for Colgate alumni, which has since received more than 1,000 downloads in less than a month.

“People have always enjoyed the directory,” Director of Alumni Relations Tim Mansfield said. “We have 32,000 alums, and I think that alums want to contact each other. This app provides a point of engagement with the university, and that’s a good thing. Though you could say I played the role of the champion for alumni, I’ve always credited this to a student’s interest in this platform.”

Enrique (Rico) Rosa ’13 initially approached Mansfield with the idea to collaborate with Evertrue, a startup company founded in 2010 whose mission is to “connect people through shared experiences.” As a soon-to-be-graduate, he envisioned a way to network with alums of the university. The company built a mobile app that connects to institutions’ alumni databases, as well as integrating individuals’ Facebook and Linkedin profiles.

 “The app maps where Colgate alumni currently work or reside,” Web Developer Joe Alfonso said. “We envision this as a great way to expedite networking and mentorship opportunities among alumni.”

“The university is sensitive to alumni’s privacy,” Mansfield said. “Alumni can always opt out of the service and hide or suppress certain information. The app itself provides alumni the opportunity to volunteer work and home addresses, email and phone contacts.”

Colgate soon hopes to launch a new mobile app that targets current students, faculty and staff. Students are already familiar with the mobile site m.colgate.edu, which allows all users access to cruiser schedules, athletic events, dining menus and CU news. This new app includes many of the same features, as well as Moodle access, access to portal content and operating hours for the libraries and recreational facilities on campus. Another key feature is the customizable interface. Users can keep all the icons on their home screen, or just a few. It’s up to the users how they want it to display.

“We sent out a survey to the students and faculty last April, and received close to 500 responses, mostly from students,” O’Keeffe said. “The big question was, of course, would you use a mobile app? 91 percent of respondents indicated they would.”

“The beta version was shared with a group of about 65 people, including student interns in both the IT and communications departments,” O’Keeffe said. “The feedback has been really positive. We also tested the app with a first-year focus group. They were pumped about it.”

Freshmen had suggestions for the further development of the app in the future.

“Student responses will of course shape some of the directions we go in,” Web Developer David Terrazas said.

The Colgate mobile app is a collaborative effort between members of the Office of Communications and Information Technology Services, and the two departments will continue phase in regular improvements in the coming months.

“This really represents the tip of the iceberg,” Alfonso said. “We’re just putting our toes in the water. Ideally, we’d add features every year. Our goal is to keep a good feedback with current students.”

Contact Kendall Murtha at [email protected]