Student-Athletes Say Thanks to Donors

  • By Nick Arthur
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  • April 23, 2014 10:52 AM
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West Virginia student-athletes from various Mountaineer varsity programs thank donors inside the student call center at the WVU Foundation.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Throughout the month of April, West Virginia University student-athletes have had the opportunity to say thanks to those who have helped make so much of their college experience possible.
In conjunction with the Mountaineer Athletic Club (MAC), participants from nearly all of WVU’s varsity sports have sat inside the student call center at the WVU Foundation, picked up the phone and called MAC annual fund donors.
“The student-athlete thank-a-thon is an important component of our annual fundraising efforts,” said Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving Kevin Miller. “Our student-athletes really embrace this initiative and understand that ongoing involvement from our
donors at every annual giving level is imperative to our continued success in each of our varsity sport programs.”
Support of the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics through the MAC provides student-athletes with opportunities in areas such as scholarships, academic support, training, nutrition, facility enhancements, travel assistance, recruiting, equipment upgrades and other budget-relieving expenses.
West Virginia varsity teams are assigned two-hour sessions on three Sundays in the month of April.
The student-athletes are not soliciting or speaking with donors about future donations, but are simply thanking them for their generous support to the athletic department.
“Our deserving student-athletes have the opportunity to earn a degree and compete in a sport that they love thanks to the generous support of Mountaineer Athletic Club donors,” Miller said. “Through these phone calls, our student-athletes get the unique opportunity to personally thank those donors who make a meaningful impact on their lives.”
Many of the student-athletes have fully embraced this annual opportunity. Sophomore Caleah Wells of the WVU volleyball team participated in the event, and significantly enjoyed her time in the call center. She recently joined the WVU Foundation part time in order to continue the interaction over the phone throughout the year.
“Working at the call center has been a great experience. I feel even more involved with the University,” Wells said. “It was a very gratifying experience last year when I did the thank-a-thon. Knowing that we, as athletes, have so many people supporting us behind the scenes is very humbling and makes me even more proud to be a Mountaineer.”
It’s not just the student-athletes who have found this opportunity beneficial, as many Mountaineer head coaches have encouraged the attendance of all their athletes to the event and hope this is a tradition that continues in future years.
"Rowing benefits as much as any team, and probably more than most from the efforts of the MAC, and the generous support of the Mountaineer faithful,” said WVU rowing coach Jimmy King. “The contributions provided by our donors create fantastic opportunities for our students impacting them and our program probably much more than one might imagine. Recognizing how fortunate we are, our students appreciate the opportunity to say 'thank you'."
West Virginia student-athletes will return to the call center one final time this month on Sunday, April 27.
For more information on the Mountaineer Athletic Club or to become a member of the MAC, contact Kevin Miller at 304-293-2118 or via e-mail at Kevin.Miller@mail.wvu.edu.

Follow the Mountaineer Athletic Club on Twitter @WVU_MAC