Today: Feb 29, 2024

New eCards allow Southern community to share scenery

photo courtesy southernct.eduCHRISTIAN CARRION  — Staff Writer

Taking a tour of Southern’s campus during the various seasons would reveal many scenes of beauty. Whether natural, historical or architectural. Now  students, staff and faculty can send a little bit of Southern spirit with their email, thanks to the Department of Public Affairs’ new eCards program.

The eCards, available for free at, display a range of seasonal campus scenes that can be sent with a message to the user’s desired recipient. This new program is a result of attempts to display the scenery around campus by the Public Affairs department.

“We had been talking about doing something like this for a long time,” said Patrick Dilger, director of public affairs at Southern. “Originally, we had designed six postcards that we sold at the bookstore—I believe they’re still on sale there now, as a matter of fact.

“But we realized that everybody sends e-mail these days, so that’s sort of where the idea for the e-cards came from.”

There are currently 15 different e-cards available on the new web page, with another 35 cards to be added depending on the seasons. Dilger says the lineup of cards will rotate on a regular basis.

“We have a database,” said Dilger, “of approximately 3,000 stock images that we use for various publications around campus—the class catalog cover, promotional pamphlets, the campus view book. Our photographer is always out there, always shooting and looking for new scenes to photograph.”

That photographer is Isabel Chenoweth, who is also an employee of the Department of Public Affairs. Chenoweth is a photographer by trade who studied at the International Center for Photography in New York and Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven before coming to Southern four years ago.

“When I first got to Southern,” said Chenoweth, “I tried to put together campus scenes with the purpose of showing our beautiful campus and displaying important historical or architectural features. With that in mind, I started a collection of images.”

Chenoweth, who studied law after college and was a lawyer for 13 years, said that her first love has always been photography. Her largest exhibit, a five-year project for the Connecticut Bar Foundation, involved her individually photographing each of the state’s 76 federal and state judges. The portraits now hang in the reading room of the Connecticut Law School.

“Our goal (at Southern) is to keep selecting images that are beautiful and represent the campus,” Chenoweth said.

Ben McNamee, 22, a history major and New Student Orientation ambassador, says he has sent more Southern e-cards than he could count.

“I sent one to my fiancée, one to my best friend, my mom, one to SGA’s Board of Finance thanking them for reviewing a proposal I sent in, and one to my Orientation partner this summer,” McNamee said. “Everyone that I saw that received a card liked having a nice surprise in their e-mail. Some of them even sent one back to me.”

McNamee says he believes that the e-card program helps the university partly because they are a nice way to say “thank you” to people that one may not usually get the chance to thank.

“Attached to this ‘thank you’ is a beautiful picture of our university,” McNamee said. “In the midst of midterms and an endless amount of papers and projects, it’s nice to see something non-work-related

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