Monday, December 17, 2012

An Inside Scoop of Phonathon

By Zach Willits '14

It’s a strange thing to call someone who you have never met and, in a matter of minutes, build a relationship where you are comfortable enough to ask them if they would like to make a gift to Pacific University. However, while as strange as it is, Phonathon is probably one of the best networking events I have ever been apart of.  The conversations I got to participate in are ones I am not likely to forget anytime soon.

Being a phonathon caller, I got to hear stories about how the school, I go to now, used to be and how peoples’ experiences here at Pacific varied according to what they were involved in. Being a football player myself, I was able to relate to the football alumni who we called on a more personal level. These conversations were some of favorite conversations. 

When I got to Pacific, there hadn’t been a football team in 20 years. I did not know what Pacific was like and, more specifically, what football was like before I got here. It really made me appreciate what we have now and where are going as a football program.

The best advice or story I received was from an alumnus who played football here about ten years before the disbandment of the program in the early 1990’s. He told me that wins and losses do not matter, rather it is the relationships with the people and the life lessons you learn that make all the difference. He told me that the memories are the things that will ultimately stick with you for the rest of your life. He advised that people do not necessarily care what material things you accomplished in your experience at Pacific, they will remember you for who you are and what you did for others. In my opinion, these kinds of conversations are valued just as highly as a monetary gift to Pacific.  

The Pacific University phonathon program had great success this semester thanks to all of the alumni, parents and friends that took the time to talk to callers like me. My experience with Phonathon was one that I am not soon to forget and I will remember it fondly once I graduate from Pacific University in May 2014. 

Zach is from Medford, Ore. and graduated from North Medford High School. He is majoring in biology and plans on attending either medical school or apply for a school of optometry after graduation. He enjoys wakeboarding and any outdoor activity. 

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