The spring Bluefield College Phonathon is a part of the college’s Annual Fund, which is the largest donor growth initiative for the school. For nearly 20 years, students have volunteered to personally call alumni and friends of the college. The students give alumni updates on events at BC and encourage them to make a financial gift to the BC Fund for Scholarships, which directly supports the scholarship programs offered by the school.
“I cannot say enough good things about the 2015 Ram callers,” said Beth Kinser, who has directed the school’s Phonathon for the past three years. “They were an amazing group of talented young men and women. I have never seen such impressive teamwork between students. This teamwork is why the Phonathon was so successful.”
The need for scholarships and other financial aid continues to grow each year at Bluefield College. In fact, last year 100 percent of BC’s incoming class qualified for some form of financial assistance, including academic and need-based scholarships. The college seeks to help students bear the brunt of that cost with help from generous donations from loyal alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, and parents.
“I have had numerous conversations with alumni who greatly enjoyed the conversations they had with our student callers,” said Mark Hipes, director of alumni relations and the Annual Fund. “One story after another about how impressed they are with our students. Between our student callers and our Phonathon director, Beth Kinser, we couldn’t ask for any better.”
The 15 student callers included: Courtney Oxford of North Tazewell, Virginia; Megan Moore of Cedar Bluff, Virginia; Oscar Hernandez of Los Angeles, California; Matthew Carragher of Offaly, Ireland; Katie Wilkins of Woodbridge, Virginia; Haley Thompson of Bluefield, Virginia; Wully Rojas of Annandale, Virginia; Harley McBride of Covel, West Virginia; Victoria Doyle-Senior of Roanoke, Virginia; Thomas “Eli” Hairfield of Willis, Virginia; Heather Allison of Tazewell, Virginia; Alexis Thompson of Bluefield, Virginia; Adam Anthony of Mooresville, North Carolina; Benjy Slator of North Yorkshire, United Kingdom; and Lee Harris-Brown of Perth, Australia. Alumnus Morgan Lloyd and BC staffers Jennifer Gilbert and Debbie Price served as mentors for the student callers.
The academically diverse group of 15 students called 2,700 alumni and friends of the college, soliciting a 50 percent increase in giving over last year’s Phonathon total. The students quickly learned that while participating in the Phonathon could be fun, it was also a lesson in perseverance.
“At first calling was difficult, but I learned how to handle calls, and then I enjoyed each night,” said Thompson, a Ram 2015 caller and senior education major. “I loved talking to alumni and hearing how their lives have changed since leaving BC. It was a great way to give back to my school, which has given so much to me.”
Oxford, a sophomore who majors in exercise and sport science, said, “I wanted to interact with BC alumni and hear their great stories. It was not easy calling people and getting rejected, but I learned to persevere and not take it to heart.”
Being a Ram caller provided students with the opportunity to practice communication and organization skills, while also building character and showing the importance of supporting Bluefield College. Kinser said she hopes each student took away something important from connecting with alumni.
“Bluefield College alumni have wonderful stories to tell about their time here and truly care about the current BC students,” said Kinser. “They have been very generous to the BC Fund.”
CURRENT STUDENT ALEXIS THOMPSON OF BLUEFIELD, VIRGINIA, CALLS BC ALUMNI TO SOLICIT SUPPORT FOR STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS.
BLUEFIELD COLLEGE 2015 STUDENT PHONATHON CALLERS.