Central New York

Campus Cursive is Changing Students’ Lives One Letter at a Time

Jonah Karp Copyright 2017 Tanner Spenceley is just one of many students to benefit from Campus Cursive’s kindness initiative.

Listen here to find out how Campus Cursive is spreading the love.


By Jonah Karp SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — In the fast-paced social media-driven world that exists today, it’s easier than ever to check in on friends, family, and just about anyone with who you have ever kept in contact. It is safe to say the generation of snail mail is nearly obsolete, and many would agree the written word has become a lost art.

One group of Syracuse University and ESF students are trying to change that narrative. The 20 club members not only write letters to people just to check in, they write to people they don’t know. But there is one more unique element to this club that makes “Campus Cursive” so amazingly obscure: most letters are signed “anonymous.”

It might sound like a crazy idea—writing a mystery letter to a person you’ve never met and not including your name—but there is almost something inherently beautiful about it, as the club’s Vice President Kim Oswald points out.

“It doesn’t have to be a certain person,” Kim said. “We are almost speaking for the world because everyone does care. When I write the letters I feel more encouraged, knowing you can make a difference.”

One recipient of Campus Cursive’s spreading of joy is Tanner Spenceley, who is currently a sophomore, though it was early freshman year when she began to face hardship.

“It was at a time when I was having a hard time,” she saidMy then-boyfriend now-fiancée as away. He had just gotten out of Marine Corps oot camp, during which we had zero communication for three months.”

Tanner explains that her roommate, Sydney, asked Campus Cursive to begin writing letters to share with her. One day, Sydney delivered a bundle of 15 or 20 letters that Tanner said s emotionally overwhelming.

“You don’t really get that outpouring of support,” Tanner noted “It’s different to get a bunch of people that you don’t know showing that they care so much about you. I was just really thankful and I felt really blessed that people actually took the time to write individual letters to me even though they didn’t know me.”

Tanner’s story is just one of the many success stories since the club began in January 2016, and Kim says there are no signs of the club slowing down.

“I just see it growing with more members and getting lots of nominations,” Kim said. “With that, spreading more letters throughout campus and seeing more positive thoughts being spread.”

Regardless of how long Campus Cursive remains active, the club’s message should be one to last an eternity: any small gesture of kindness can make a big difference in a person’s life.