Inspired by the alumni and friends who give to the Annual Phone-a-thon, a group of Call Mean Green students decided to donate to the university themselves. In turn, President Gretchen M. Bataille was inspired to reward the students’ generosity by doubling their donation.
“I wanted to personally acknowledge these students for their generous gift to the university,” Bataille says. “Students often don’t have much money, but this group knows that every dollar counts and they gave what they could. I felt it was important to thank them in kind for both their gift and their ongoing effort to increase the support our university receives.”
Call Mean Green, which is sponsored by UNT’s Division of Advancement, is a year-round phone-a-thon to raise money for UNT programs, scholarships, student research, equipment acquisition and faculty development. A team of 45 UNT students makes calls five nights a week to reach out to alumni and university friends. The students don’t just ask for contributions, but also work to update contact information and offer alumni the chance to talk and reminisce about their time on campus.
Nineteen of this year’s callers are scholarship recipients and many are first-generation college students.
“Last year, the phone-a-thon had a banner year, raising almost twice as much as any previous year,” says Meredith Blair (’08), director of annual giving, adding that in 2008-09 callers raised more than $400,000. “The students’ work and these donations help make higher education more accessible to everyone.”
Senior Farrah Penn, a third-year Emerald Eagle Scholar, says she’s thankful for her own scholarship and is happy to have the opportunity to tell alumni about the importance of helping other students.
“It’s more than work,” she says. “It’s about being proud and feeling school spirit.”