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Photo of George Blumenthal with students

Acting Chancellor Blumenthal visited the student callers in the Telephone Outreach Program.
Photo: Louise Donahue

December 4, 2006

Blumenthal praises student fundraisers

By Louise Donahue

Night after night, the 14 student callers in the Telephone Outreach Program call alumni and parents of students, urging them to contribute to UCSC.

Last Tuesday, though, they put down their phones to talk about the campus with someone face-to-face: Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal.

Blumenthal dropped by to get a look at the operation and meet the students, who raised nearly $1 million in 2005-06. The fundraising program is designed so donors may direct their contributions to specific campus needs.

”I am extremely impressed with how articulate, knowledgeable, and dedicated these students are,” said Blumenthal. “Their fundraising achievements are a key contributor to the success of many programs on campus that benefit students and our academic enterprise.”

Accustomed to answering other people’s questions, the students had several of their own for Blumenthal about campus priorities, the Chancellor’s Fund, the campus Long-Range Development Plan, and what he considers UCSC’s biggest selling points.

Blumenthal said his top priorities for campus fundraising include scholarships, enhancing financial aid, increasing research support, and enhancing graduate education. In addition, he is committed to adding to the number of campus endowed chairs--there are now 13--to reach the level typical of UC campuses.

Blumenthal was also asked how he plans to spend the money contributed to the Chancellor’s Fund--one of the funds that donors to the Telephone Outreach Program may specify. The wide-ranging fund covers such areas as graduate fellowships, graduate studies support, the Arboretum, current campus projects, and funding for preserving wildlife habitats surrounding UCSC, including Big Creek Reserve. Spending in the fund is at the chancellor’s discretion, and Blumenthal said he will focus on academic efforts, student activities, and scholarships.

Because the student callers frequently field questions about the LRDP, Blumenthal provided an overview of the LRDP process on campus, including some of the environmental issues involved.

Blumenthal also noted points he considers persuasive for potential alumni and parent donors, including the innovative college system and innovative research and teaching programs such as bioinformatics.

The Telephone Outreach Program is sponsored by the Annual Fund Office and is affiliated with the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. Each year, student callers contact more than 18,000 alumni, parents, and friends of the university. Calling for 2006-07 began in late September with alumni. In October, the students began calling parents of current students.


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