December 8, 2006      
Did You Get The Call?

For five weeks this fall 20 student callers tore themselves away from their studies so they could talk on the phone. Not with their friends but with you, our alumni. The students dialed over 6000 alumni to follow up on the early October mailing for the Bishop’s University Annual Campaign.

Calling for the Annual Campaign is arguably one of the most challenging student jobs on campus. Calling takes place from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm from Sunday to Thursday, when we hope that people are home. With the advent of caller ID, cell phones, and busy families, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach people by telephone. “If I get to actually talk to a live person 20% of the time, it’s considered a good night,” says Christine Schleifer, a three year veteran of calling. The callers keep dialing and stay positive, knowing that the next call could be a great one. “Some nights are really difficult,” says Christine, “but I know that I am playing an important role for my University.”

But when they do get through to someone, it is normally a great experience for the callers. “I love hearing Bishop’s stories from our graduates,” says Liz Mazurek, an Arts Administration student from Calgary. “Grads were also really interested in learning about my program and what I do at Bishop’s. Most did not know we have an Arts Administration program so they asked a lot of questions. Some even decided to direct their gift to my academic program because they liked what they heard!”

The Annual Campaign calling remains an integral part of the Alumni & Development operations at Bishop’s University. “I often remind our callers that they will likely speak to as many graduates during the calling as our office staff does all year,” says Dave McBride '93, who oversees the fall calling program. “These calls are a great chance to update graduates on Bishop’s news, but also to get your impressions or feedback – which we really value.”

What were some of the observations this year’s calling? A larger number of graduates were fearful that the call was some type of “scam”, and were reluctant to give their credit card (preferred method of giving) over the phone. There was also an increase in the wrong numbers or individuals who did not get the mailings. Please remember to update Bishop’s if any of your contact information should change. This may be done online. Lastly, it appeared to be more difficult to reach people at home…suggesting that Bishop’s grads are extremely busy leading fulfilling lives! Many thanks to those of you who have taken the time to make your gift to the 2006-07 Annual Campaign – Bishop’s truly appreciates your support.

To alumni who have not yet made their annual gift, please act today!
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