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Phonathon Gets Great Reception

One of the biggest volunteer turnouts to date at a School of Pharmacy Phonathon was held to raise funds for critical student programs and scholarships. The 2003 Phonathon, which was held on February 11th and 12th , brought together great teamwork on the part of our students, staff and alumni. Phonathon pledges given by phone continue to arrive into the office. Most of this year’s pledges are designated for the Dean’s Fund for Excellence.

More than 50 volunteers displayed a heartfelt commitment to the School of Pharmacy by devoting their time and energy to contacting alumni and securing much needed funds for the School. With the severe state budget crisis, and the twin challenges of dwindling state funds and rising tuition costs, Phonathon volunteers were charged with an ambitious task: to tap into the generosity of alumni to help ensure the financial viability of our scholarships and already strained academic programs.

Despite the recession plagued economy and a plummeting stock market, our alumni committed more than $11,000 to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence and other School funds. The focus for this year’s Phonathon was the Dean’s Fund for Excellence because it offers the greatest discretion in subsidizing student scholarships, emergency funds for students, student travel, and other School expenses not funded by the state budget.

The cornerstone of a successful Phonathon – the hard efforts of our volunteers, some of whom worked two shifts – paid off. Among the outstanding work done by our dedicated volunteers were those who secured top dollar pledges: Susan Bridwell, ’05, Derek Kuniyoshi, ’06, Tran Le, ’06, Alissa O’Connell, ’06, and those who secured the most pledges: Tina Choe, ’04, and, Cynthia Gierwatowski, ’03. Similarly, Georgia Gianacos, Pharm.D.’00 and Dana Hurley, ’97, received top commitments from their fellow alumni.

We owe a great deal of appreciation to Dana Hurley, alumnus and past president of the Pharmacy Alumni Association (PAA) who served as the Phonathon’s chair. Dana ensured both nights went smoothly and offered valuable insights into bringing greater efficiency to this fundraiser in the future.

“It was exciting to see the student callers actively competing with one-another to get pledges,” Dana said. “The student callers were thrilled when they had the opportunity to talk at length with the alumni they reached.”

We also owe thanks to Liz Fisher, a friend of the School of Pharmacy and wife of alumnus Bill Fisher. Liz served as lead of the earlier shifts both days. Liz offered guidance and effectively spelled out the Phonathon goals to the teams. Thank you Dana and Liz.

Many of our accomplished volunteers received door prizes such as Palm Pilots, large fruit baskets, and gift certificates to pizzerias, restaurants and drug stores. All of these gifts were donated by our generous area businesses.

Congratulations to all of our Phonathon volunteers for playing a vital role in ensuring the future viability and relevance of our School of Pharmacy.


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