For four weeks this spring, current Bluefield College students used their communication skills to reach out to former BC students to raise thousands of dollars through the school’s annual Phonathon for the BC Fund for Scholarships.
With 100 percent of Bluefield College students qualifying for some sort of financial aid, the BC Fund for Scholarships is an extremely important resource in helping these students afford their college education, and the annual spring Phonathon is an important process for growing the BC Fund as current students telephone former students to request donations.
This year, under the leadership of Josh Grubb, director of alumni relations, 17 students participated in Phonathon, including Dagoberto Acevedo of Fairfax, Virginia; Jack Casey of Epsom, England; Kendal Cloninger of Dallas, North Carolina; Eli Hairfield of Willis, Virginia; Lee Harris-Brown of Perth, Australia; Allie Higgins of Roanoke, Virginia; Yaroslav Hnatusko of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine; Tyra Jackson of Bluefield, West Virginia; Gema Mendoza of Manta, Ecuador; Cade Mullins of Richlands, Virginia; Courtney Oxford of Tazewell, Virginia; MyKenzie Roach of Bluefield, Virginia; Tanaka Rushwaya of Mutare, Zimbabwe; Paloma Sanchez of Valencia, Spain; Heather Sharp of Bluefield, Virginia; Kevin Stoffle of Vienna, Austria; and Brady Womble of Henrico, Virginia.
Reaching out to a high volume of alumni every weekday for four weeks in March and April, the students telephoned approximately 3,500 former BC students soliciting gifts for the BC Fund for Scholarships, and as a result of their efforts more than 300 alumni gave in excess of $35,000 to the school’s 2017 Phonathon.
“It was truly amazing being able to interact with alumni from Bluefield College,” said Jackson. “I have participated in the BC Fund Phonathon for two years now, and each year I am more aware of how important it is that we build strong relationships with our alumni so that they are able to give.”
Jackson added that she appreciates knowing that she is a part of an organization whose alumni care enough about the education they received to give back to their alma mater. Hairfield said the part he enjoyed most about Phonathon was hearing the alumni stories.
“Not only do you learn about their experience at Bluefield,” said Hairfield, “but you also learn the history of Bluefield along the way.”
This year, interestingly enough, there were seven international students who made calls to alumni, one of them being Stoffle, a first-year BC student from Austria.
“As an international student, it helped me a lot with the English language and to better understand the college itself and its history,” said Stoffle about his Phonathon experience. “I also enjoyed speaking to people and getting to know them.”
In the end, the students said they were grateful for the opportunity to use their skills to help support their fellow students with scholarships and to become better, more informed and appreciative students, themselves, in the process.
If you missed the opportunity to give to this year’s Phonathon, you can still contribute to help the college not only grow the BC Fund for Scholarships, but also increase its alumni giving rate from a year ago. To give, visit bluefield.edu/giving.