Phonathon Paves the Way for Future Eagles

The annual spring Phonathon gets underway on March 26 through April 12 and will utilize 100 volunteers - students, faculty, staff, graduates and parents - to make calls to the thousands of supporters who remember Chaminade Julienne each year through a gift to the Annual Fund.

This bi-annual event is an integral piece of the Annual Fund which supplements tuition and benefits every student at CJ as well as our graduates who reconnect and experience CJ in a new way for the Hall of Fame Golf Outing, Hall of Fame Event, Fish Fry, Distinguished Alumni Event, Reunion Weekend, Lucas Pfander Memorial Alumni Race and the Last Five Luncheon.  

“Along with the ability to connect and thank our individual contributors, time spent volunteering at Phonathon can build some valuable skills,” said Elaine Bonner, Annual Giving Coordinator.  

A recent graduate from the Class of 2016 shared how her Phonathon experience at CJ benefited her in college.  

“I was able to work on the Rose-Hulman Phonathon and having previous experience was a bonus,” reported Colleen Wagoner ‘16. “This is one of the highest paying jobs on campus. I really enjoy engaging the alumni in conversation and have received great advice about internships, career choices, and on the academics at Rose.”  

In turn, these skills led Colleen to achieving one of the highest percentages of credit card gifts on her team.

These valuable leadership skills begin with CJ’s Student Development chairs, comprised of 18 dedicated juniors and seniors who promote, organize and volunteer several nights to make Phonathon a success.  

Claire Evans ‘17 summarized her Phonathon experience saying, “I have really enjoyed being able to speak with members of the community who are excited to give back to CJ. It is inspiring to know just how many people realize the importance of our  CJ education.”  

Additionally, student volunteers gain meaningful insight into the past when they volunteer at Phonathon.  

“To many, speaking on the phone with strangers for a few hours may seem dreadful, but not for CJ students,” said Yasmin Espino ‘17. “Not only does Phonathon provide CJ students with the opportunity to give back to our school, but it also allows us to learn more about our school and its rich history. I've had many lovely conversations with alums about school life, college, and various funny stories about their time at Chaminade, Julienne, St. Joe’s or CJ. These conversations with alums is what makes Phonathon completely worthwhile. It gives us access to a history that simply cannot be taught in classrooms.”

A key success is the involvement of alumni who call their classmates and parents who reach out to current parents and parents of alumni.  For those reunion year alumni, it is also an opportunity to extend a personal reminder to attend CJ Reunion Weekend (June 23 and 24).  Some graduates have previously gathered a group of classmates and made calls from the CJ cafeteria or from their homes.  

Ryan Sullivan ‘96 said, “I first got involved with the CJ Phonathon because I couldn't say no to Ann Szabo! Like most, I was reluctant at first because it had been so long since I talked with many of my CJ friends, but it was time to start giving back. I have three boys who are future Eagles and I want CJ to be strong for the long-term. I recruited some classmates and we were able to reconnect with so many people - not only by phone, but though social media, emails, and text. It has been a great experience and everyone who helped had a great time.”

If you receive a call from a student volunteer, know that you are adding to their confidence and skill sets.  When you volunteer to make calls, you are providing a incredible service in the ongoing efforts to keep our CJ community connected.  

Contact Elaine Bonner at or (937) 461-3740 x201 if you are interested in volunteering with the Spring Phonathon.

Posted March 22, 2017