According to alumni director Josh Grubb, the BC Fund is an endowment that helps underwrite the cost of institutional scholarships at Bluefield College. It supports scholarship funding that makes higher education a possibility for most students at Bluefield. This fund, he added, is supported by annual gifts made to the college by alumni, faculty, staff and friends.
“I was overjoyed to hear the stories of our alumni, their love for the college, and their generosity to the BC Fund,” said Grubb about the success of the 2016 Phonathon. “Our alumni know the importance and value of a Bluefield College experience and continue to amaze us as they pour out love, prayer, and financial support for the BC Fund. They have been and will continue to be an instrumental part of the current and future success of Bluefield College.”
To encourage gifts to the BC Fund, every spring the college hosts its month-long Phonathon. This year, 22 current students participated in contacting more than 3,000 alumni and friends by phone or letter. To date, alumni and friends have given or pledged more than $43,000 to the 2016 Phonathon.
“This year’s Phonathon was a very successful philanthropy effort,” said Grubb. “This is largely due to hard work and dedication from BC students and the consistent leadership presence of staff members, like Beth Kinser, who has been a part of Phonathon for several years.”
The students who participated include Jean-Emmanuel Ahouman, Lee Harris-Brown, Victoria Doyle, Daniel Griffin, Eli Hairfield, Allie Higgins, Tyra Jackson, Cobie Marotske, Patrik Martin, Cade Mullins, Scott Murray, Courtney Oxford, Janan Perkins, MyKenzie Roach, Garrett Schilling, Darius Scott, Benjy Slator, Alexis Thompson, Haley Thompson, Olivia Thompson, Mark Winstone, and Brady Womble.
“I’m extremely proud of the students who helped during Phonathon 2016,” said Grubb. “I believe their participation in Phonathon helps show them part of what being an alum is about and also encourages them when they see the love and support that our alumni have for Bluefield College and students like them.”
Grubb said the students worked “tirelessly,” and that their efforts are still paying off as the school continues to receive gifts and pledges in the mail. Many of the students, like Haley Thompson, enjoyed engaging in conversation with BC grads.
“I enjoyed getting to hear the different stories that each alumni had to share,” said Haley Thompson. “I especially liked hearing the stories where some of the alumni would talk about how they met their spouses while attending Bluefield College.”
Thompson said the experience also improved her communication skills. “I learned how to begin, end and maintain conversations with others on the phone,” she said. “I feel like having this skill is very important in today’s world, since we so often stick to texting and emailing as our main source of communication.”
Griffin, who served as a student manager for Phonathon, agreed that the experience was invaluable as he learned “how the college deals with alumni and the feedback from them.” And while the Phonathon students benefited from the experience, they and their BC classmates will profit even more through scholarships provided by alumni. Last year, alumni gave more than $54,000 to Phonathon, and with gifts still coming in this year, the hope is the 2016 number will exceed last year’s, thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends.