(Cross posted on the Official Google Blog)

It was four years ago this month that Google Apps for Education first touched down, right before a pivotal football game between ASU and USC—fatefully enough, two schools that were among the first to move to Google Apps and pave the way for other schools to adopt this “alien technology.”

This week at EDUCAUSE we’re celebrating with these schools and the thousands of others that make up more than 10 million students, staff, faculty and alumni that are actively using Apps for Education on campus. We figured that nothing was more fitting than a tailgate celebration to toast the colleges and universities that have “gone Google.” And of course, it’s not really a party without inviting the marching band.

In the last four years we’ve seen a lot of changes, both to our tools and the general landscape of cloud computing in higher education. According to the 2010 Campus Computing project, nearly 85% of four-year colleges and universities are already using or considering moving to the cloud by offering hosted email to their students. Of those schools that have already made the move, more than 56% of them have gone Google.

As part of this sustained momentum, we’ve seen the number of active Google Apps for Education users double since last fall, with more than two million new users coming on board since May alone; not to mention the emerging growth we’re now seeing in the K-12 space.

Hundreds of schools have made the move to Google Apps just this year, including Gonzaga University, Barnard, Brown University, William and Mary, Villanova University, Georgetown School of Business, Case Western Reserve University, Hawai’i Pacific University, Brandeis University, more than half of the 23 campuses in the California State University system, Morehouse College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M Alumni, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 13 of the SUNY schools, Pace University and Wilfrid Laurier—to name just a few.

The USC Trojan Marching Band helped us give a spirited cheer to the schools who have gone Google and the progress we’ve seen in the last four years. But like any good commencement address will tell you, this is only the beginning.