Jespersen builds strong recreational department

By Meghan McSloy
December 3, 2009

Living in Germany and Spain and moving to the east coast all the way from Washington state, Orlin Jespersen, assistant director of recreation, started at Cabrini in October of 2004 and has done a great deal to improve several facets of sports recreation on campus since being hired.

“When I was in school, outdoor recreation programs were a big part of our campus so I was glad I was able to bring a program like that to Cabrini,” Jespersen said.

Prior to Jespersen being hired, there was no intramural program in place at Cabrini.

Jespersen is originally from the west coast, and has lived around the world due to the fact that his father was a member of the government.

While living overseas, Jespersen played on various soccer teams.

“Through sports, I got involved in the local community. I played on both American teams through the base and also on local German teams for soccer. That was a good way to get me engrained into the local community at first,” Jespersen said.

While Jespersen was not able to fully appreciate living in another country because he was so young at the time, he reflects positively on his experiences.

“Looking back, it was a great experience. I wish there was some way I could do that for my kids,” Jespersen said.

Jespersen and his family spent time living in Spain and Germany, in addition to Washington, where he attended Western Washington University for college.

Having had the experience of growing up halfway across the world, Jespersen appreciates the concept of having a close-knit community both with his family and also with the people around him.

“I think our core family was really tight because we didn’t have our extended family around for holidays. It was the four of us. The memories that I have now were that there was a good, strong sense of community,” Jespersen said.

Jespersen enjoys working at Cabrini because it is small and he is able to work with a wide variety of students who are involved in many things.

“I get the chance to work with different students. It is different than coaching because in coaching, you get to know one core group of students really well as opposed to this job where you get to meet a wide variety of students,” Jespersen said.

Upon being hired, Jespersen saw the opportunity to start some new programs and really get the intramural program going as well.

“I was looking for positions in sports clubs and recreation. Cabrini is a nice campus and has a small feeling. I saw some good opportunities to start new programs,” Jespersen said.

Prior to taking the job at Cabrini, Jespersen worked for the University of Pennsylvania where he was a coach. While he does not currently coach at Cabrini, Jespersen enjoys the many of the perks of coaching such as getting to know a group of students.

“In coaching, you get to know a small group well and they are like family. As a college coach, you are recruiting these kids from the time they are 15 and you see them grow to be a 22-year-old and you grow together and become a family unit,” Jespersen said.

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Meghan McSloy

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