CONTACT: KRIS MEYER
Annual Giving Programs
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305
Release: Nov. 29, 1999
UI Foundation student callers reach milestone
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- With a $100 pledge received earlier
this month, University of Iowa student callers working for the UI Foundation's
Telefund program have raised more than $1 million in gifts and pledges for
the UI during 1999, the first time the program has ever exceeded the million-dollar
mark in a calendar year.
The record-breaking call was placed by UI business
major Kevin Ferguson from Palos Hills, Ill. Ferguson, a junior, has been working
in the Telefund program for about six weeks. "I feel extremely honored to
be the person to put us over one million dollars," Ferguson said. "But without
all the hard work of the other callers, I would have never had this opportunity.
This is an excellent achievement for not only the university but for all the
employees involved in Telefund."
On the other end of the million-dollar phone call
was UI graduate James Race, Jr. of Houston, Texas. Race earned his Ph.D. in
zoology from the UI in 1960 and made his last gift to the university in 1966.
Ferguson's call persuaded Race to make a pledge to the Iowa Opportunity Fund,
which is used to support high-priority projects throughout the UI.
"I had reactivated my University of Iowa Alumni Association
membership recently and wanted to get back into the habit of giving," Race
explained. "I work in higher education, and I always give to my undergraduate
college, but I guess I needed a little prodding to resume my support for the
UI. That's just what the Telefund call did for me, and Kevin was very pleasant."
UI President Mary Sue Coleman recently visited the
foundation's Telefund Center (located in the Levitt Center for University
Advancement) and was quick to congratulate the callers on their achievement.
"These students are terrific ambassadors for the university," she said. "By
example, they demonstrate why this is such an excellent institution, and why
it is worthy of high levels of private support. Alumni and contributors actually
look forward to calls from the foundation's Telefund program -- the students
are that personable and that persuasive. I know this million-dollar mark is
a record that the callers will strive to top again next year."
The UI Foundation's Telefund program employs approximately
40 UI students each semester as callers, clerks, and program assistants. The
student callers -- known as Telefund Specialists -- reach UI alumni and friends
throughout the country, seeking contributions in support of the UI's colleges
and programs such as the UI Libraries, Hancher Auditorium, UI athletics, and
the Museum of Natural History.
Under the direction of the foundation's Director of
Annual Giving Programs Kris Meyer, the Telefund program is overseen by Telefund
supervisors Anthony Arrington and Mike Dankert, with technical assistance
by Operations Specialist Howard Heevner. The program has 24 caller stations
equipped with an automated dialing system; so far, the callers have reached
more than 42,000 alumni and friends of the University in 1999. To commemorate
their record-breaking year, Telefund staff were given T-shirts reading "I
made my first million in college."
The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred
channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University
of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide resources
for professorships, scholarships, building renovations, equipment, technology,
and other forms of support for the UI.