NEWBERRY — Since Feb. 18, several Newberry College students have been making countless phone calls to alumni and friends to give campus updates, verify alumni information and ask for financial support. It’s all part of the annual Phone-a-Thon campaign.
The campaign is led by Jason Boice, the college’s director of annual giving and scholarships. Ten students have been making calls four nights a week for three hours a night. The students, who range from freshmen to seniors, not only learn job skills, but also learn more about Newberry College.
“Phone-a-Thon is a good way for current students to connect with graduates on an interpersonal level,” says Boice. “They learn about the history of Newberry College from our alumni’s perspective, and it gives them the opportunity to hear stories about the early days of Newberry College, including strict dating rules, mandatory chapel services and bed checks.”
One purpose of Phone-a-Thon is to help raise donations for Newberry College’s Annual Fund. The Annual Fund helps increase investments in innovative academic programs, student scholarships, campus improvements and new technologies. Gifts to the fund count toward Newberry College’s alumni giving percentage, which helps raise the College’s national ranking and recognition.
This year’s campaign not only asks alumni for their financial support, but builds awareness for the 2013 Alumni and Friends Survey.
The survey collects feedback from alumni on their involvement, perceptions and wishes for the future of Newberry College. This survey will give College administrators a better idea of the direction alumni want the college to take. The survey was designed with information gathered during a two day campus-wide summit to discuss the strengths, needs and opportunities at Newberry College. All departments and campus leaders were represented at this summit.
“So far, we have had a great response rate. The data received from this survey will give us insight into the current perceptions and opinions of our alumni and friends and will be invaluable to our strategic planning process,” Boice says.
Students on campus recognize the benefit of Phone-a-Thon.
“If it was not for Phone-a-Thon, I would not even be able to attend Newberry College, so being able to call alumni and ask for their support is huge to me. Not only does it assist in my education, but the education of all Newberry College students,” says freshman Phone-a-Thon caller Michael Newberry.
In the past, Phone-a-Thon donations have made up 25 to 30 percent of money raised during the year for the Annual Fund.
This year’s Phone-a-Thon has already received a number of pledges from Newberry College alumni.