Image courtesy of John Flynn First-year student John Flynn works diligently with the phones, as he talks with an alumnus.
Image courtesy of John Flynn
First-year student John Flynn works diligently with the phones, as he talks with an alumnus.

We get bombarded with telemarketer callers practically every day. They ask for services and try to be generous to us. We have our fair share of excuses to say no, such as lack of trust toward the caller or lack of interest toward one of their products. That is understandable, but what happens when King’s College students are the telemarketers?

This year marks 41 years of the annual King’s College philanthropic Phonathon, when the college takes time to talk to alumni about how much King’s has grown because of their generosity. At the same time, the callers encourage them to reflect on how much their predecessors contributed to their well being as a King’s student in a world where college tuition costs keep increasing.

The six-week-long event brings current and past King’s students together to consider the challenges and successes they’ve experienced through the institution. The Phonathon offers students the chance to call past alumni and ask for donations to the Annual Fund. In turn, the Fund allows the school to award special scholarships and keeps the tuition in check.

Students working on the Phonathon campaign have a chance to develop stronger communication skills by overcoming their fears of calling as telemarketers. Most of the workers are juniors and seniors who are eager to learn about the people that placed them where they are in charge.

Senior Leah Zumchak got her first-hand experience working the phones this year, and she learned a valuable communications lesson.

“It has taught me how gracious some people can people can be if you treat them kindly,” Zumchak said.

She also recognized the ranks she will join once she receives her accounting degree on May 22.

“King’s has some pretty great alumni that are willing to donate their hard earned money to their alma mater,” Zumchak said.

Senior Sasha Lopez said King’s alumni are just eager to see their alma mater grow to the institution they’ve seen it today.

“The Phonathon is a great communication tool between King’s College and the alumni,” Lopez said. “It’s a chance to keep the alumni up-to-date about what is going on at King’s while keeping in touch with what the alumni are doing with life after King’s.”

Lopez said the Phonathan is an important event that impacts all King’s students.

“It’s a great asset to the Annual Fund because it brings in funds that are able to directly help all the students here today.”

A highlight of the Phonathon was the Give $5 day, a day-long campaign for which a generous alumnus gave the school a challenge to persuade 400 past alumni to donate $5 on April 5. The alumnus pledged a $5,000 donation if the challenge was met, and the day was a success. Well over 500 alumni kindly supported their alma mater that day.