Marshall community once again employed for Phonathon outreach


Erin Persun

Phonathon employees Marshall senior Marleigh Harbour and graduates Mary Bunten, Josh Moore and Tori Burdette at work.


After seven years of outsourcing, The Marshall University Foundation brought the Phonathon outreach back to students in 2018.

Previously a student job, the outreach calls to Marshall alumni were being outsourced to Ruffalo Noel Levitz. The company used non-Marshall college students to make calls to alumni, seeking donations for scholarships and campus activities.

“Our goal is to bring it back and have students know more about it,” Erin Persun, annual fund coordinator for the outreach, said. “We’ve been doing pretty well. We do hear from our donors they prefer the Marshall students.”

The Phonathon runs three times a year. There are calls during fall and spring semesters and The Annual Fund calls from late April to mid-June. 

Marleigh Harbour, a senior at Marshall, is returning to her fourth calling session this fall. 

“I like making the calls. I get to talk to alumni and hear neat stories about their experiences here,” Harbour said. “I would encourage other students to get involved because every pledge I get for a donation makes me feel like I’m personally helping somebody achieve their goals of going to Marshall.”

The call center currently has 14 booths with four booths running and conversations to add a fifth booth soon are in progress. 

Each Phonathon employs six students to allow more flexible scheduling with Fridays and Saturdays off. 

The fall Phonathon is slated to start in a couple of weeks after more students are hired. 

Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected]