Seven thousand conversations in six weeks

20 September 2018

Dedicated student callers phoned University of Auckland alumni across the globe, to check in, gain words of wisdom, and to see if they would like to support students with their studies.

Over a six-week period, 34 student callers caught up with more than 7,000 alumni, as part of our Phone Appeal. Some of those were care calls, to check in with recent graduates, while the majority of the phone calls were to find out whether our alumni were interested in gifting a donation to the University.

A total of $26,836 was gifted or pledged, which will go towards scholarships and student support funds. 238 new donors came on board to support the appeal.

Student caller Kate Paterson-Smith (pictured above) says chatting to alumni was a fantastic experience.

“The Phone Appeal was the best part of my time at university so far. It was such a good experience, with amazing people, and I left my shifts feeling so good about what I’d done for our students.

“The highlights were the other callers that I got to work with, who I now think of as great friends, and the awesome work stories I heard from some of our alumni. Some people have done incredible things since they left university, so that was cool to hear about.”

She says her favourite phone conversation was with an alumna who wanted to do everything in her power to help students experiencing hardship.

“I had an amazing donor from Auckland Council who, after chatting with me and hearing about our student welfare and emergency fund, got in contact with AUSA (Auckland University Students’ Association) to discuss further help, relating to food packages and Auckland Transport HOP cards, and other ways to support that fund.

“It was amazing to hear that all it took was a conversation to encourage her to go out of her way to help.”