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UNK students begin campaign for Nebraska
Ashley Leever
Antelope Staff
Photo by Ashley Leever
Sarah Ludwick, a sophomore elementary education major from Elkhorn, updates alumni information for UNKs annual Phonathon. This year the Phonathon hopes to raise $100,000 for UNK.

Thousands of students have walked UNK’s campus, eager to begin the next chapter of their lives. In order to achieve their dreams, a quality education is often necessary and expensive.  UNK alumni understand the dreams an education can provide and are eager to assist.

The University of Nebraska Foundation has begun their Campaign for Nebraska in an attempt to raise $1.2 billion by 2014 for the University of Nebraska campuses. UNK students are doing their part by participating in UNK’s annual Phonathon, contacting alumni for donations for the college of their choice.

“The purpose of the Phonathon is to raise money for each of UNK’s individual colleges to offset the needs that they have. It helps with student scholarships and recruiting. It is a fund the deans can use as they see needed. Most of the time it is used for scholarships and travel,” said Jennifer Reike, University of Nebraska Foundation’s director of annual campaigns.

Kristin Howard, University of Nebraska Foundation’s director of development said, “The deans use the money to travel to conferences, for research and just a whole variety of things. The money is used at the deans’ discretion and gives them a lot of flexibility. These funds are very important to the individual colleges.”

This year the Phonathon hopes to reach a combined goal of $100,000 for UNK. Each year the Phonathon sets a goal of how much money they hope to raise for the university. “Every year we reevaluate our goals based off of what we received in the previous year. We raised a few of our goals this year but kept most of them the same. With the economy the way it is, we don’t want to ask for astronomical amounts of money,” Reike said.

The Phonathon both raises money for UNK students and provides many students with a part-time job. Students are rewarded for their achievements with tuition reimbursement once they raise $5,000. “I like the fact that the money I raise goes back to UNK students. It’s really fun calling and connecting with alumni. It’s my last year, so I hope to earn tuition reimbursement one last time,” said Kellie Stopak, a senior marketing major from Omaha.

After working out the quirks of a new computer program last year, Phonathon employees have set their goals high for 2010. “We have our new program working correctly, and it’s been a learning process. My focus is to call previous donors for the first few weeks, so when we begin to call non-donors we have a smaller amount of money to make up. It’s a fun place to work, and I enjoy seeing the friendships that are made amongst the students that wouldn’t have been made otherwise,” Reike said.


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