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June 7, 1999

Student callers raise record $1 million for UCSC

By Francine Tyler

Night after night during the academic year, a dedicated corps of UCSC students takes to the telephones, dialing alumni and parents of current students to ask them to support the campus and its programs. This year, these students passed a major milestone: For the first time since the inception of a UCSC telephone fund-raising program in 1984, the students have raised more than $1 million in funding for the campus.

Student callers in the Telephone Outreach Program have raised $1 million for the campus this year.

"These students have done a remarkable job for UCSC this year," said Chancellor Greenwood. "The gifts are a wonderful indication of the value our alumni place upon their UCSC education and what our students are telling their parents about their campus experience."

The majority (60 percent) of the donations were pledged by alumni, with the remainder from parents of current and former students. Nearly half (45 percent) of the more than 18,000 people contacted by the Telephone Outreach Program this year pledged money as a result of the contact.

Donations received through the fund-raising program provide crucial operating support for such campus staples as financial aid, academic units, the University Library, student activities, and college programs.

As its name suggests, the Telephone Outreach Program is committed to being more than just a vehicle for financial support, said Dennis Karlinsky, assistant director of annual and special gifts.

"Our callers are ambassadors for the campus. While not all contacts result in a pledge, all calls succeed in making a positive connection with a member of the UCSC community."

Alumni often want to know about new buildings being constructed on campus or whether old landmarks such as the Porter College sculpture still exist (it does), Karlinsky said. Parents might be looking for a perspective on the campus that is different from their son's or daughter's.

In addition to answering questions and discussing their own experiences, the student callers update parents and alumni about current campus events. When those called make suggestions about some aspect of campus life, the students forward those comments on to the appropriate offices.

Reaching the million-dollar mark is exciting news for the students, who have been on the phones throughout the year. "It has been great to be part of a program that, in four years, has doubled its results and in doing so has created visible change on campus," said Jennifer Donatelli, a UCSC senior who has worked for the Telephone Outreach Program since her freshman year.

When Donatelli started calling in 1995-96, the students had attained just over $500,000 the previous year. During her first year and the next, donations grew to more than $800,000 annually.

The outreach program is part of ongoing efforts by the UC Santa Cruz Foundation to help raise awareness of the campus's needs and to maintain a link between the campus and its constituents.

Go to the University Advancement Web site for more information on the Telephone Outreach Program (TOP)

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