The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

​Alumni Association launches mobile app for membership card, alumni communications

Software developed by start-up Essenza Software

The University Alumni Association recently launched a new app to enable easy communication with members and convenient access to membership cards.

The app, known formally as the UVA Alumni Member App, offers several features to make membership more convenient. The membership comes with a number of benefits, including free parking for football games at Alumni Hall, discounts at several Corner restaurants and reduced rates at local historic sites, including Monticello and Montpelier.

“The digital membership card is a key feature because you can pull it up on the app and the membership card is right at your fingertips,” said Patti Daves, senior director of membership and business development. “It is great for student life members.”

With the app, members can access these benefits even if they misplace the physical membership card.

“There is a 10 percent discount at the bookstore and now members don’t have to dig for their card,” Daves said. “There are a list of benefits and a list of notices that can remind members to use their card. It is a great communication tool.”

The Alumni Association partnered with a new company, Essenza Software, to generate the app.

“We had a very economical deal because we were a pioneer with the company,” Daves said.

The University is the third school to sign a contract for an app like this, and the second to actually launch it.

“We built [the app] into our budget so the funds come from the Alumni Association,” Daves said. “We thought is was a great benefit for our members because these days everyone is on their smart phone anyway.”

So far, the app has been downloaded almost 3,000 times. Anyone who is a life member or a student life member and has an email on record with the Alumni Association has access to the app. Currently, the app is available for Androids and iPhones, though the Alumni Association is looking to expand to other cell phone models.

The Alumni Association is reaching out to its members concerning the app through email, student and alumni events, the website, the U.Va. Magazine and word of mouth. The Alumni Association is hoping to generate more member participation and involvement with this app.

“If we promote events [through the app] it just strengthens that connection for alums and students and we hope it will help involvement and participation,” Daves said. “It helps members stay connected to the University as the card is right at their fingertips.”

The app can be downloaded for free through the Alumni Association website or the app store on an iPhone.