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TTU News

thumb StevenBrockman2Steven Brockman spends a lot of time talking on the phone.

The senior marketing major works at the phonathon at Tennessee Tech University, where he asks alumni and other recent donors for money to support TTU programs and scholarships.

The TTU phonathon works throughout the academic year to raise money for the university, collecting pledges to help support academic programs and scholarships, as well as athletic teams and the unrestricted fund.

“We’re here solely to generate support for all the programs that need help, which is all of them,” Kristie Phillips, director of annual and special programs, said. “Every dollar that we raise goes to whichever program the donor wants to give to.”

This year, students started making calls looking for pledges on Sept. 12. The group hopes to raise $1.2 million over the course of the academic year.

Though the program has grown over the years, it is still challenging for Brockman and the 20 other student workers to meet their goal of 30 conversations with potential donors a night in three hours of calling.

“You’d be surprised how hard it is to make that 30-conversation goal,” the Hermitage native said. “I usually try not to keep track of how many times I get hung up on. Getting hung up on, it’s not the biggest confidence booster, but I love getting to know alumni.”

The average phonathon gift at TTU is $126, Phillips said. The largest pledge Brockman has ever received was $250.

“It somewhat offsets the cuts that everyone has had,” Phillips said. “When you take budget cuts year after year, it helps to have these funds to fill some of the holes created by those cuts.”

Not only do the donations help offset cuts faced by the university, they also help support scholarships for students. Private donors fund more than 430 scholarships, which support more than 1,200 students.

“I like talking to people,” Brockman said. “It’s always a sensitive subject when it comes to asking people for money, but I love Tech.”