HUNTINGTON - Heading to Drinko Library after hours to study, Marshall University linebacker Chase Hancock realized he had forgotten his wallet, which contained his university ID that would have unlocked the library doors.
"Why can't we have our IDs on our phones?" Hancock later asked President Jerome Gilbert. "I always have my phone on me."
Gilbert took the idea to the information technology department and was pleased to find out the department was way ahead of him.
On Tuesday in the Drinko Library, the university unveiled new mobile ID technology, which will allow students, faculty and staff with Apple devices to use their phone's wallet feature wherever IDs are required on campus - from the dorms to the dining halls to the bursar's office.
Marshall is the first school in West Virginia and one of the first 10 schools in the U.S. to offer this technology, including Duke University and the University of Alabama.
"I am so proud of Marshall University as it continues to be a leader in the state and also in the entire country in offering our students technology and convenience on campus," Gilbert said. "We are a forward-looking university, a university on the rise, and I am excited that we keep finding ways to lead the pack here at home and nationally."
Bob Dorado, Marshall Mobile ID project lead, said Mobile IDs was something he has been working toward for about 10 years now and it took partnerships with Apple, Blackboard Inc., the different university departments, including Sodexo, and the West Virginia State Treasurer's Office.
"There are a lot of benefits - campuswide and statewide - of doing it this way," Dorado said. "It's very secure. You can freeze your phone, freeze your iCloud account. I think it's more secure than a physical card that you could drop and not know it."
Josh Stowers, assistant state treasurer, said partnering with Marshall to get Apple Pay in place was an eye-opening experience.
"The world of banking is embedded in technology," Stowers said. "We want West Virginia to lead the way. The professional staff at Apple take the business of financial transactions seriously. We believe this new option will benefit students, staff, alumni, sports fans and the entire community. This is our first experience of bringing Apple Pay to state government, but it will not be our last. We hope to expand our Marshall success and extend this to other agencies around the state of West Virginia."
Stowers, a Marshall graduate, said he had a flashback to being late for class because he didn't have cash on him to make copies of his paper.
"This technology would have been great for me - though I don't know if I had a cellphone then," he said.
Dan Gretz, with Blackboard, said the student reaction at other schools where it's been unveiled has blown his company away.
Gage Childers, a Marshall senior and student assistant in the IT department, said he believes the convenience will be a big hit with his peers.
"I've heard a lot of people losing their wallets or leaving them in their dorms or apartment. All they have is their phone to call someone to let them in somewhere," he said. "Everybody has their phones on them 24/7. This will be a big step, I think."
Should the cellphone die, Dorado said the wallet feature can still be detected for up to four or five hours after the phone has died.
Marshall Mobile ID in Apple Wallet works with iPhone 6s and later and Apple Watch Series 1 and later. For more information on setting up Marshall Mobile ID, visit www.marshall.edu/it/mobile-id.
Dorado said Android is working on developing similar technology, but the security measures are not yet stringent enough for Blackboard's comfort.
Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.