by Kandace Kohr
Every year for the last two decades, Dickinson’s Office of College Advancement invites current students from varying class years, academic programs and student groups to help with the Phonathon. This semester, 42 students recently kicked off the spring Phonathon effort to engage more than 1,500 alumni, parents and friends of the college to raise money for the Dickinson Fund.
“Without the Phonathon, a lot of money wouldn’t have been raised for the Dickinson Fund,” says Marcus Witherspoon ’20 (international business & management), who’s been with the Phonathon since his first year at the college. “That directly affects us in terms of scholarships, going abroad, the Quantitative Reasoning Center, the Writing Center. … There are so many things we take for granted because we don’t see how it comes to fruition. But it’s because of the Dickinson Fund and the efforts of those on behalf of the Phonathon.”
A student calls a donor to help support the Dickinson experience. Photo by Zoe Kiefreider '20.
The Dickinson Fund supports scholarships and financial aid, academic programming, faculty development, facilities enhancement, student life, sustainability, global studies and more. However, donors can designate which area their gift will support, whether it’s the Clarke Forum, the McAndrews Fund for Athletics, the Trout Gallery or one of many more college resources and priorities.
In 2017, Phonathon efforts raised nearly $400,000 for the Dickinson Fund. During a Phonathon call, students offer donors gratitude and reconnect them to their alma mater by providing updates on the state of the college and what it's like to be a student today.
“We can ensure that certain callers who have those certain affinity groups—sororities, athletics, and/or study abroad—are making connections with those prospects,” says Carl Archut Jr., assistant director for the Dickinson Fund. “It really helps with the rapport when you’re first starting the conversation.”
For Phonathon manager Sierra Climaco ’20 (sociology), connecting to alumni “makes you feel better about why you’re here at Dickinson. You’re relieved to see that other people made it, and they really do trust the Dickinson experience.”
Published February 9, 2018