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Alumni and Friends Find New Ways to Connect and Give

two older men sitting at table holding manhattan college mugsWith the dedication and creativity that lead so many Jaspers to success, alumni and friends refused to allow the COVID-19 pandemic to stop them from connecting with Manhattan College — and each other. Instead, they employed novel ways to celebrate their ties to the College while supporting today’s hardworking students.

For the second year, health and safety protocols prevented on-campus gatherings like the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend in June. So Jaspers took to cyberspace instead, logging in to their computers for a virtual Road to Reunion Celebration on June 4, 2021. The online festivities included pizza making and beer tasting, using materials that the 115 alumni participants received in advance.

“The team and I were determined that the online reunion we were hosting would be even more fun than usual,” said Louis (Lou) Calvelli, Manhattan’s director of alumni relations. “So we employed all the best of a truly interactive experience — with great food and drink.” The events literally brought a taste of the Bronx to alumni. Louie Porco, owner of the legendary Broadway Joe’s Pizza down the hill from the campus, provided pizza-making kits for each participant. In addition, Kieran Farrell ’96, of the Gunn Hill Brewing Company, supplied libations.

Pizza-1.jpg“Great memories and even better re-connections,” said Tom Ferrari ’81, winner of the “best pizza” competition. “I can’t wait for the next reunion. Manhattan really hit a grand slam!” According to Mark Codd ’71, Esq., “It totally exceeded my expectations. My wife and I had a smile on our faces from start to finish.”

Alumni also joined for a Jasper-inspired, online trivia show. Producing the “program,” which simulated a television news format, was something of an international effort. Moore PA Hire Inc., virtual-event specialists, orchestrated the site: Cathal Moore joined host Lou Calvelli at the New York City studio while Jack Gillat ran cameras and graphics from France. “The running joke,” Lou said, “is that we were hosting from an undisclosed location somewhere in Queens.” Tim and James Tubridy and Tim Henning of D.J.’s at Work served as co-hosts.

In addition to connecting with old friends and classmates, alumni continued to celebrate their anniversaries with special gifts to their alma mater. Together, the 50th, 40th and 25th anniversary classes alone raised close to $700,000 for much-needed student resources including financial aid.

Alumni and friends also gathered off campus once again for Manhattan’s 33rd Annual Jasper Open. The May 6 outing brought together 85 participants at the event’s new location, the Fenway Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. Together, they raised close to $100,000 for the College.

“When it comes to supporting alma mater, Jaspers accept no obstacles,” observed Thomas Mauriello, vice president for college advancement. “The ties that bind Manhattan alumni and friends proved stronger than the difficulties of the past year. Our entire campus community is grateful for their generosity, loyalty and perseverance.”

Class of 1971

Mark Codd, co-chair
Tom Delaney, co-chair
Tom Donahue
Steve Gandley
Ralph Navarrette
Bill Owens

Class of 1981

Katy (Mary) Foxen Favire, co-chair
Ralph Caputo, co-chair
Janine Grau Lamatina
John Leclercq

Class of 1996
Charles Ntamere, chair
Sheryl Chung
Brian Snodgrass
Maureen Nelan Yurcisin
Karla Cordero Ward