McNeese alumni ready for phonathon

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

For five consecutive days the McNeese Alumni Association will reach out to more than 8,000 alumni to raise money and update

information.

The 20th annual phonathon will be run Jan. 27-Feb. 5, with McNeese students making calls, along with help from the association’s

board members.

Donations will go to the annual fund to provide scholarships, university promotions, recruitment opportunities, and alumni

reunions and programs.

“It’s always an exciting time to see our students connect with our graduates, and a lot of times the alumni that answer the

phone will have questions about what’s happening at McNeese,” said Director for Alumni Affairs Joyce Patterson. “These are

monies that go to work immediately on campus to try and address whatever needs there are at the time, especially with the

budget cuts that have happened.”

Assistant Director for Alumni Affairs Stephanie Clark said this is the biggest fundraiser of the year and that many alumni

enjoy being able to talk to students at their alma mater.

“Funds vary from year to year to support the university’s needs; last year we awarded over $170,000 in a year’s time,” Clark

said. “We just try to call as many people as we can to at least update their information; that’s an important part so that

we can keep them updated on what we’re doing because then many want to get involved.”

Patterson said the group strives to

raise about $80,000 each year, but with fundraising events it is equally

important to

simply connect with the alumni. In the past, some students have

been able to network with alumni and work with them through

these fundraisers. She said that over the years, they have made a

point to contact local graduates as well as those who have

moved out of state, which has in turn helped in the ultimate cause

to raise university funds.

“We want to help keep McNeese strong.

It’s been here for 73 years now, and we want to make sure it continues

to meet the needs

of the community and area,” Patterson said. “It’s actually a fun

time where a lot of the students working the event call alumni

from all across the nation. It’s a great way to reach out and try

to connect with graduates over the years that have been

very supportive helping to meet needs where we don’t have the

funding.”

For more information, e-mail alumni@mcneese.edu or call 475-5232.