Phonathon anticipates exceeding fundraising goal


Trinity University’s connection with alumni has always been strong, thanks to programs such as Phonathon. Trinity Phonathon hires students to contact alumni and learn of their successes after graduating from the university, as well as their experiences while attending Trinity. Employees contact several alumni everyday and ask them what fields they studied, what organizations they were involved in on campus and how Trinity has helped them succeed today. Phonathon allows employees to connect with those who were in their exact place several decades or mere years ago, and  raise money for the school.

Many of the Phonathon employees enjoy speaking to alumni from very different backgrounds.

“[My favorite part of phonathon is ] talking to alumni from way back and hearing about how things used to be at Trinity,” said Constantine Kouldukis, a sophomore Phonathon employee.

For example, Kouldukis recently talked to a 1948 Trinity grad who noted all kinds of differences in how Trinity is now compared to nearly seventy years ago. Kouldukis is a member of fraternity Iota Chi Rho and often speaks to alumni that were involved in Greek life, discussing the differences and similarities between Trinity’s fraternities and sororities then and now.

“We want to connect with our alumni post-Trinity because our alumni base at Trinity is very abundant, so we want to keep them informed about Trinity,” said Edwin Pleitez, a senior who is currently enjoying his third semester at Phonathon.

Employees explain how the alumni can help students who are currently in positions that they have experienced at some point in the past.

“[The phonathon supervisor] has been with the program for years, so he likes to promote the ideal of connecting with alumni and getting to know their life after Trinity,” Pleitez said.

Phonathon’s goal for the 2015-2016 school year was to raise $250,000, and the organization has already raised $175,000, with a small 30% left to achieve for the remainder of the semester. When alumni donate, they can choose specific areas, such as particular majors or centers on campus.

However, most of the money is sent to the Trinity fund, which covers scholarships and financial aid for current students. Phonathon is expected to raise more than the intended goal this year, as alumni and students alike are eager to help Trinity thrive.

Phonathon hires at the beginning of every semester. Students fill out an application and are then requested to interview. If they are offered a position, students will go through training and can then begin to connect with alumni. Students often make strong connections with alumni and are sometimes offered internships and networking opportunities. The pay for Phonathon is initially $8.25 an hour, including the training hours, and there are chances for raises every semester.

Students choose their hours, and do not work on Fridays or Saturdays. Phonathon is extremely flexible for students and supplies all kind of opportunities for employees.