Students raise $30,000 at annual phone drive

By Lin Lofley

A team of UT Southwestern Medical School students recently helped bring in more than $30,000 to fund scholarships and student activities through an annual Phonathon event that reached out to alumni for support.

“I don’t think you can overstate the importance of what these young people do annually,” said Mary Gulledge, Director of Annual Giving in the Office of the Vice President for Development. “This fund drive has, over the years, proved to be an important component of our Alumni Annual Fund campaign, as well as a remarkable opportunity to enhance connections with alumni.” 

Medical students (from left) Julia Mattson, Justin Jones, Stephanie Anderson, Danielle Meals, and Rosy Hao take part in the annual Phonathon event.

The students worked from prepared lists of alumni – some of them longtime contributors to the Phonathon – to make more than 2,000 phone calls over five shifts in late January.  

“Every time we conduct this event we talk to people who have just been waiting for our call,” said Ms. Gulledge, who supervised the effort for the fourth straight year. “There are alumni who have wanted to contribute, but haven’t yet done so, and there are people who hear that caller’s voice on the other end of the line and realize that it’s an opportunity to give something back.”

And UT Southwestern alumni have given back a lot. Alumni contributions now fund 151 student scholarships. Over the years, alumni have donated $1.4 million.

Students usually get back just as much in return, Ms. Gulledge said, with alumni often offering career advice and great perspective on their experiences as former UTSW medical students.