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Telephone Outreach Center Boasts Successful Inaugural Year

Ferris State University

(From left to right) Paul Squires, Director of Annual Giving Jennifer Yontz, Whitney Okafor, Marquavis Johnson, Justin Austin, Alex Melito, Ovo Evwierhoma, Jackie Jones, Paul Dumas, Zenerra James, Kristina Flynn, Kelsey Barr, Erin Laukhuf, Dalton Bryant, Josh Jordal, Christian Okonye and Steven Nicolet, assistant director of Annual Giving. 

Students who work in Ferris State University’s new Telephone Outreach Center are making important connections with alumni and already have raised more than $132,600 for their alma mater.

About 2,100 alumni pledged support to the university since the program began in October. Pledges averaged $5,300 per week over the course of 25 weeks.

“Our Ferris student callers have been the key to the success of the Telephone Outreach Center,” said Jennifer Yontz, director of Annual Giving. “The students are genuinely interested in connecting with Ferris alumni and enjoy sharing their student stories. In return, alumni have been very receptive and enjoy this connection with Ferris.”

Funds are used for student scholarships and programs designated by the donor.

The Telephone Outreach Center employs about 20 student callers who staff 10 calling stations during each weekday and weekend shift. Students develop professional work experience while making a difference in the lives of their fellow students. Some student callers are scholarship recipients themselves.

The schedule corresponds with the university’s fall and spring academic calendar, and will begin again in September.

“Calls are not just made to encourage alumni to give,” Yontz said. “We also make calls throughout the year to thank donors who have given to Ferris.”

The university’s Annual Giving program raises support each year for Ferris' colleges and academic programs.