by TAYLOR BRETHAUER, Senior Writer
It’s no surprise that the alumni network of Jaspers around the world is a strong one. But where is the best place for any and all alums to find up-to-date knowledge on old friends? That would be jasperjottings-daily.com.
The blog was started by Ferdinand J. Reinke, a graduate of the class of 1968, “back before I can remember” in his words. He now runs it with help from Mike McEneney ‘53 and Philip J. Colon ‘62.
The purpose of the blog came out of inspiration from a co-worker of Reinke’s. He explains, “I was energized by a co-worker from Duke where there was an extremely active networking effort. I felt we should have one too. Unfortunately, that never seemed to take root.”
He wasn’t seeing a response for a stronger network, where every former student of Manhattan College could see what the others were up to all compiled in one place. Thus, he took it upon himself and the Jasper Jottings was born.
Anyone visiting the site for the first time will see many blog entries ranging from letters written in to Reinke and his team inquiring about fellow classmates or press releases and articles written about Jaspers and their accomplishments. Each person named is formatted as such: “Last Name, First Name [MC####].” The pound signs are the year they graduated.
Specific posts are also labeled as such: for e-mails from alums, JEMAIL. For obituaries or death notices, JOBIT. For news about a specific person, JFOUND. There are many other headers, but these are the most common.
But how does this information seemingly fall into Reinke’s lap? That’s the power of the Internet.
“Each day, I have about ten Internet searches I run and collect anything interesting. On Saturday I compile it into a e-mail blast. It takes about an hour per day average. My fellow alum [McEneney], looks up all the missing class years he can find for me. [Colon] runs a prayer group that picks up my feed and often supplies prayer requests that he gets,” said Reinke.
He’s become a kind of celebrity in the Jasper world. He tells a story of when he was introduced as the “Jasper Jottings” guy at a friend’s party.
“There were several young alums and he introduced me as ‘Jasper Jottings’ and their response was fantastic. Made it all worthwhile. Several said they read every issue and especially enjoyed reading about folks’ careers in the obits. It gave them ideas what to pursue. [I] felt like a rock star,” said Reinke.
Don’t think that Reinke is doing this for the fame or recognition, though. He genuinely wants to give back to the community.
Plus, he definitely attains this goal. He says that about once a year, he’s able to put old friends back in touch through his posts.
Most of all, he is highlighting the amazing work Jaspers have been doing since leaving their alma mater. On the site’s “about” page, it says, “Jasper Jottings is an unofficial irreverent free-wheeling chronology of what the Manhattan College community is seen doing on the web. It’s a hobby. But over the years, they have impressive accomplishments. So [to] some extent, this is their applause.”
His next goal with the site is to invite any and all undergraduates to subscribe to his site. To do so, visit jasperjottings-daily.com, where you can enter your e-mail address on the right-hand column. Reinke sends out e-mail blasts every week.
If you’re looking for an efficient journal of all Jasper accomplishments, look no further than Jasper Jottings.
Or take it from Reinke, a prime example of a dedicated Jasper, who says, “I feel that I got more than I deserved from my education. And, I am just trying to pay it back in a small way.”