Phonathon Achieves a Decade of Calls

Monday, January 4, 2010

Since its inception in 2000, Phonathon has helped raise funds for scholarships and research at UWG and has attracted students from places as far away as Germany and Africa and as close as Atlanta and Carrollton.

Jessica Chambers, a veteran student caller and education major from Gainesville, said her motivation to raise Annual Fund dollars comes from her awareness that others are finding it difficult to stay on a graduation track.

“I believe I can speak for fellow student callers when I say that it is not always an easy task to call alumni seeking financial support for the Annual Fund,” Chambers said. “However, when we see our friends and fellow students struggling to stay in school because of a parent’s job loss or other financial crisis, we take very seriously our charge to educate West Georgia alumni and friends on why their financial gifts are important, not only to current students, but the ones who will follow us.”

The promise of a college education for some students can go unfulfilled. Annual Fund dollars support scholarships that help lessen the financial burden many West Georgia students and their families experience. However, UWG’s capacity to help these students is limited.

Although approximately 70 percent of West Georgia’s enrolled students qualify for some form of financial aid, the UWG Foundation has the ability to provide some level of scholarship assistance to a fraction of those students eligible, and the majority of those scholarships do not cover a student's total need.

In addition, the University of West Georgia Emergency Loan Fund has experienced a 23 percent decline in the number of students being helped because the loan amounts needed per student exceeded the fund’s growth during that period. Every call makes a difference.

“When we make our calls, we hope the alumni we speak with fondly remember the life and educational experiences they gained while at West Georgia,” Chambers said. “The icing on the cake is when it inspires them to do what they can to help pay it forward.”