CAITLIN MCCAULEY | FEATURES COLUMNIST
The St. Norbert College Phonathon has been up and running since Jan. 30, and is entering its last few days, ending March 3. The Phonathon is an annual SNC event aimed at raising more money for the St. Norbert Fund, the school’s financial aid fund that helps students to attend SNC. 97 percent of students that attend St. Norbert receive financial aid, and 65 percent of students receive aid from the St. Norbert Fund specifically, making the Phonathon a crucial fundraiser. The St. Norbert Phonathon employs over 30 students to call school alumni, current and past parents and friends and donors to SNC to raise money for student financial aid.
When asked about her experience at the Phonathon, Stephanie Bulandr ’19 says it has been a very positive experience: “I applied because I hate talking on the phone and I thought it would give me more confidence when I make calls and talk to people. I love the fun work environment because all the students in the call center get along really well!” she said.
One thing that makes this Phonathon unique is that it’s not just about the money.
“I really enjoy hearing the advice and stories all the alums have to offer,” Bulandr ’19 said.
The Phonathon callers are being overseen by Carmen Mittler, who is an employee from Willson-Bennett Technology, Inc. Carmen is one of the managers at Wilson-Bennett who travels across the country to help organize school phonathons. Mittler will be visiting between six and 10 schools this year,
“Typically our program managers visit four to six campuses per semester,” she stated
The Phonathon’s ultimate aim is around $125,000. Statistically, if everyone picked up the phone and gave just $25, the Phonathon would have raised enough money within less than a month.
“I love educating the students on the importance of giving back and seeing them blossom into Phonathon pros in such a short time,” Mittler said.
The Phonathon not only helps to raise money for St. Norbert’s financial aid fund but also helps students connect with alumni and form bonds with them.
According to Bulandr ’19, “You really learn a lot about St. Norbert and its alumni. I hear stories everyday from people that graduated in the 1960’s and some from just 2013. It’s really interesting to hear how life here has changed throughout the years and to form those unique connections with alums.”