by Letty Fregoso
Fundraising through the annual Phone-a-Thon is soliciting alumni and friends over the phone. The annual event started on Oct. 8 and will continue thru Nov. 12.
“It’s been going on for 15 years, probably longer, and I’ve been in charge for the past five years,” said Mark Bagley, development director.
The Phone-a-Thon is conducted by Ceder Rapids Ruffo Cody Inc., a telemarketing firm that contacts a large number of alumni. During the contact they ask if alumni would like to donate money to the University.
“This year, over 7,000 people were contacted. Unfortunately, some where wrong numbers, but we got a hold of 4,000. And 1,150 people pledged and the number will continue to rise,” said Bagley.
Bagley said that about eight years ago, he was training faculty and students to make the calls to the alumni, but not enough alumni were called, so he switched to a telemarketing company.
He said that the money made from the Phone-a-Thon will go toward scholarships and financial aid.
“People who pledge can designate the money,” he said. In other words, alumni who pledge can decide where they want their money to go. For example, they may want to designate it to a scholarship fund that they once had when they were attending school.
“Last year, the fund was $500,036. We always want to do more than the year before,” said Bagley regarding this year’s goal.
Members of the Alumni Association have made thank you calls to those who pledged support for the school.
Another event taking place at ULV is the selling of bricks. Donna Redman, alumni relations director, has sent letters to alumni and students for an opportunity to contribute $100 for an engraved brick to be placed in front of the new Landis Academic Center.
“Alumni and students have an opportunity to get an engraved brick which will be placed in the front of the Wilson Library,” said Redman. “It is a way to show support.”
The brick engraving started in March of this year when Redman took over the alumni relations position. She said that some people who contributed had their names engraved, and others had the names of their spouses or their children on the brick.
“We’ve sold 753 bricks to date and they are still trickling in,” said Redman. “Our goal was to sell 500.”
Redman said that there will be a few weeks left for those who are interested in buying a brick. She said that by the middle or the end of December, the bricks will be set in front of the library.
“Students are welcome to buy a brick. There is a limited number of characters that will be engraved. It is also 100 percent tax deductible,” she said.
All the bricks were donated by Harris Bricks and the engraving will be paid for with money earned from the selling of the bricks.
The remainder of the money will go to the library fund and to the School of Business Project.
Redman said that, so far, they have raised $70,000 for the library fund. “Anyone is free to stop by and ask for Mark or me. The cut off date will be in mid-November,” said Redman.