The Fort Hays State University Foundation’s Tiger Call phonathon pledge drive has raised $468,000 for scholarships, well exceeding its $450,000 goal for this year.
Tiger Call is an annual five-week fundraising event for FHSU scholarships that runs through October and November.
The theme of this year's Tiger Call was "Make Change." Not only was the goal to "make change" by raising money for the scholarship program, but also to make a change in the lives of students, according to Melanie Bailey, director of annual giving for the Foundation.
More than 520 volunteer callers comprised of students and faculty from departments and organizations on campus called 32,000 alumni, former students and friends during the course of the pledge drive. Calling took place for three hours, five evenings a week, and prizes were given to callers who excelled each night.
Bailey said there were two aspects that made this year’s Tiger Call unique.
First, calling was conducted from the AT&T Communications room in the new Robbins Center, a room designed specifically for Tiger Call. Secondly, it was reported during Tiger Call that the consideration of changing the name of the university was hindering the fundraising effort.
"There were a few people who withheld contributions until a decision on the name change was made, but it did not affect Tiger Call in any significant way," said Bailey. "I think the record amount of money we raised and the feelings of our alumni in resistance to the name change both demonstrate the strong allegiance they have with Fort Hays State University. Seeing that passion was a positive thing."
University President Edward H. Hammond announced at a news conference Dec. 12 that the university name would not be changed.
Fort Hays State University awards $1.5 million in scholarships each year, and Tiger Call is the premier source of funding for these dollars.
"We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all those on campus who volunteered their time for an evening calling and to our friends and alumni whose donations made Tiger Call a major success," said Bailey.