For a month this spring, current Bluefield College students telephoned former BC students to raise thousands of dollars during the school’s annual Phonathon for the Bluefield College Fund.
With nearly all of BC’s students qualifying for some sort of financial aid, the Bluefield College Fund 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 fund. In fact, during the month-long event this year, 17 current students called approximately 4,000 alumni and solicited approximately $30,000 in gifts and pledges to go toward the Bluefield College Fund.
“I really enjoyed getting to talk to alumni that went to school here years ago,” said senior Phonathon caller Jacquelyn Chick, who spoke about the importance of alumni giving that provides scholarship funding for current students. “I got to learn about their lives after college, lifelong friendships they formed here, and what they really enjoyed about Bluefield College. It was amazing to hear how many people hold Bluefield in high esteem and how much they loved their time here.”
Junior MyKenzie Roach agreed, saying she participated in Phonathon because she enjoys getting to know the alumni of the college and all the ways the school has grown over the years.
“I learned many things from working with Phonathon,” she said, “and one of the main things is learning how to talk to people over the phone and get them to open up to you. Being able to have a total stranger tell you their experiences is very hard sometimes.”
In addition to soliciting about $30,000 in gifts and pledges, the students secured 49 gifts from first-time donors, compared to just 14 first-time gifts a year ago.
“This is the highest number of first-time donors that I’ve seen in my few years doing Phonation,” said Josh Grubb, BC’s director of alumni relations and the Bluefield College Fund. “If you look at total dollars raised, this year’s results were right in line with other years. While not the best year for total dollars raised, I believe it will go down in the history books for most first-time donors.”
Joining Chick and Roach as callers in this year’s Phonathon: Dagoberto Acevedo, Nathalia De Lima Argos, Madeline Atkins, Nicole Benedito, Megan Brandl, Channel Flores, Michael Gutu, Yaroslav Hnatusko, Tyra Jackson, Gema Mendoza, Arianna Orozco, Sarah Pauley, Tanaka Rushwaya, Kevin Stoffle, and Paloma Sanches Vives.
“We were blessed this year with a great group of callers,” said Grubb. “Phonathon calling is tough, but they came in each night with smiles on their faces. They worked so hard, and I’m glad that they were able to see the results of their hard work when they had impactful conversations with BC alum.”
Grubb added that he’s thankful for the alumni who chose to support the Bluefield College Fund during Phonathon this year. Their participation, he said, does more than just provide scholarships for current students.
“For the student callers, it is great for them to talk to alumni who are giving back to make it possible for them to attend BC,” said Grubb, “but it does more than just support the BC Fund. It also inspires the callers, who will soon be alumni, to give back when they graduate. I continue to be encouraged by the love and support that alumni give to Bluefield College. BC has been transforming lives for a long time, and alumni are taking advantage of the opportunity they have to change future lives by supporting the BC Fund.”
For six weeks in February and March, 18 current Bluefield College students called roughly 4,000 former BC students to solicit gifts for the Bluefield College Fund. Photos by Nathalia Lima.