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Calling all donors

The WCSU Phonathon has come a long way since its humble beginnings. This year’s Phonathon generated 1622 pledges from more than 6,000 calls made by students, and to date the pledges have totaled more than $30,000.

But the fundraiser’s success didn’t happen overnight. Started in its present form under the direction of Tim Doran ’06 in Warner Hall, the Phonathon has continued to grow successfully with the help of many in the WCSU community. After the first semester, Eileen Coladarci ’89 tweaked the script and revised the student manual. David Halek, WCSU director of advancement services, then made more changes including statistical information and suggested using volunteers as well as paid callers. The following year student club volunteers were added and they were offered incentives for their fundraising efforts. Tammy Hammershoy, director of alumni relations, has supervised the program for the last three years and continued to make it more student-operated. As callers began to refer more friends to the program, the number of callers increased considerably.

In Fall 2010, University Assistant Katrina Barlowski ’10 reshaped the program, located in University Hall, to make it more caller-friendly and to encourage callers to use this program as a way to gain experience for their resumes. Barlowski became a caller in 2006 and then moved up to student manager in 2007 before taking over the program in 2010.

“This year, there were eight students employed with the Phonathon program,” Barlowski said. “On average, there are five to 15 student callers working each semester. The students enjoy it because they build relationships with alumni, as well as other students. I particularly enjoy working on the Phonathon because I was able to meet alumni who helped me find my career path in social work.”

There are many factors taken into account when reaching goals each night, including the number of callers and who is being called —alumni, parents, first-time donors. Considering these dynamics, an average evening can generate $1,000.

To make a donation to support WCSU, consider giving up a few minutes to speak with one of the university’s Phonathon crew members when they call, or make a donation online at


Contact us

Office of Institutional Advancement
181 White Street, Danbury, Conn.
(203) 837-8298