The fall phone-a-thon at Newman University is wrapping up after two weeks of raising money for the Newman Fund.
Newman holds a traditional phone-a-thon each semester, during which students have an opportunity to work and earn money by calling potential supporters and collecting donations that help pay for student scholarships, fees and other student costs throughout the year.
During the phone-a-thon, students contact a wide range of individuals, from first-time donors to alumni who give every semester and inform them what has been going on around campus and explain the Newman Fund.
"I think we've ended up calling 4,000 to 5,000 people — which is a lot of people," Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Coordinator Brielle Dunham noted. "We have 10 callers a night. For each student, we calculate how many calls they make and how much money they've raised, and we give out prizes to people who've made the most calls or made the most money that night."
So far, senior Christopher Luschen has raised the most money and sophomore Christine Lou has made the highest number of calls.
"We have been calling more people than we ever have, even compared to last year," Dunham added.
This year Rusty Eck Ford has generously offered to match what Newman University raises during the phone-a-thon up to $10,000.
Dunham added, "It's a hard job to do because some nights we are answered with a lot of voicemails. You just make call after call. Each student averages about 100 calls per night, if not more, and so it gets to be hard. However, there are some fun times. We had a student call one woman and she was giving her three kids a bath while she's talking to us and you can hear the kids in the background. It's interesting how some people will take the time, even in their busy lives, to talk to us."
Last year's fall semester phone-a-thon raised $10,320, and Dunham said she hopes to see that number grow substantially this time around.