WPI E-Cards Send Humor, Nostalgia and Scenic Beauty via the Internet

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - You've got e-mail! That's no big news for computer geeks. But there's a new twist, according to the Web wizards at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It's called a WPI E-card, and while it comes via electronic mail, it looks like an old-fashioned post card. WPI is one of the few universities offering E-cards, which allow students, alumni and others to log on to the WPI Web site and send these unique electronic postcards with personal messages.

Just go to http://www.wpi.edu/About/Ecards/, and you'll find a picture of a postal mailbox. "Welcome to WPI E-Cards, a free electronic greeting service, showcasing WPI's attractive New England campus and rich traditions," reads the accompanying message. "From here you can send WPI-themed postcards to your friends, or pick up a postcard that someone has sent you. Share your WPI pride - send a WPI E-Card today!"

Senders then can choose among a wealth of images to attach to a personal message.

"We have about 100 individual cards, featuring photos of the WPI campus, both recent and some taken from postcards from the turn of the century," said WPI Web Coordinator Amy L. Marr. "There are cards for our fraternity and sorority members to send to one another and to friends at other chapters, and cards featuring WPI's Goat's Head, subject of the fierce Goat's Head Rivalry between the freshman and sophomore classes."

The Goat's Head is a tradition - and a relic - of WPI's original mascot. WPI E-cards have fun with the Goat's Head, posing it in the shower, in a cooking pot and even sporting Groucho glasses.

If your taste runs more to WPI's scenic New England campus, there's plenty of beautiful pictures to choose among, including an artist's drawing of WPI's soon-to-be constructed campus center. Or combine nostalgia and science by sending a card featuring WPI alumnus Robert Goddard, father of modern rocketry.

WPI E-Cards also come with your choice of four "postage stamps," all WPI symbols, including its seal and its two famous towers. However, unlike real postcards, WPI E-cards are free. When sent, the cards offer electronic links to more information on everything from the Goat's Head to Goddard.

So far about 250 people have sent a WPI E-card. The university is breaking new ground in this venture, designed especially to attract the interest of alumni and admission prospects.

"While anyone can send a card to anyone else, we're seeing that this site is becoming increasingly popular with our young alumni," Marr said. "The admissions office will use the cards to send messages to prospective students, and E-cards are also a fun way for students to send each other e-mail."

The idea is catching on around the globe. Other schools offering their own electronic or virtual cards, as they are called, include Virginia Tech, Chaminade University in Honolulu, Georgetown University, Mississippi State, Pace University, Radford University, Sweet Briar College, University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, and Sweden's Uppsala University.

For more information, contact Marr by e-mail at trek@wpi.edu or call 508-831-5963.