‘Thank you’ rings loud and clear at recent Thank-a-thon

York University alumni and student callers brushed up on their best phone etiquette for the Alumni & Student Thank-a-thon event held at the York University Annual Fund Call Centre on Nov. 3 and 4.

Using automated calling technology, the volunteers took to the phones to thank the University’s donors for their generous support. Among the group were York to the Power of 50 Annual Fund co-chairs, Aidan Flatley (BA ’78) and Terrie-Lynne Devonish (BA ’92, LLB ’95).

Right: From left, York to the Power of 50 Annual Fund co-chairs, Aidan Flatley, president & CEO of Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., and Terrie-Lynne Devonish, chief counsel, Aon Canada

"As a fellow graduate, I share similar experiences with the students about York. I really appreciate how much those experiences helped me get to where I am today," said Devonish. "It’s a great thing to see alumni and students connect and call to say ‘thank you’ to those who make a difference."

For Call Centre staff, this was a change of pace from their usual calls. Reine Gammoh (BA Hons. ’09) has worked in the Call Centre for three years and shared first-hand knowledge on the importance of donors to the University.

"Donations help provide the resources needed for students to succeed," said Gammoh. "Just from being on the phones, I know that alumni feel good about giving back, and it’s wonderful to take the time to thank donors for the positive impact they have on the University."

Above: From left, Call Centre students Omeed Asadi, Abbiegail Tan (BHRM Hons. ’09) and Mohammed Abbas give special thanks to York supporters

James Allan, senior director of the Alumni Office, commented on the positive energy generated by the calls. "In this world, we often don’t get thanked for the good things we do and it’s great to see alumni thanking fellow alumni for their good deeds," said Allan.

The event also fostered networking opportunities and developed key alumni-to-alumni and alumni-to-current student relationships.

"I’m glad to see how the University has advanced with its Call Centre and fundraising resources since my days at York," said Clinton Green (BA ’74), one of several volunteers making the thank-you calls. "I really appreciate the personal connection with other alumni that this event offered – it’s an excellent way to keep in touch with York and develop a personal connection with donors."

Right: York graduate, Clinton Green, one of several volunteer alumni to make calls to donors

Lorna Graham (BA Hons. ’89), another alumni volunteer, was an enthusiastic participant in the Thank-a-thon. She also celebrated a life milestone: "I came back to commemorate the 20th anniversary of getting my degree."

Left: From left, alumni Lorna Graham and Karan Kumar (BA Spec. Hons. ’06) return to York for the Thank-a-thon

More than 8,300 supporters, including a growing group of alumni, have contributed to the York to the Power of 50 Campaign so far in 2009.

York to the Power of 50, York’s 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign has raised over $190 million of its $200-million goal.

The Alumni & Student Thank-a-thon was hosted by the York University Foundation and sponsored by the Perks Program in the Alumni Office. For more information, visit the Alumni Perks Web site.