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Aggie Pride Call Center students learn valuable skills, create lifetime giving opportunities

Sometimes a phone call from New Mexico State University might be just what alumni need to feel connected to their alma mater. With goals to build that connection, update demographic information and raise funds for NMSU, Aggie Pride Call Center student callers spend their time reaching hundreds of Aggies each week.


Students pose with NMSU President Garrey Carruthers
To honor the Aggie Pride Call Center’s top student callers, New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers joined them for lunch on Nov. 13 at the Third Floor Bistro. From right to left are Adrian Bautista, assistant director of annual giving; Crystal Hernandez, Deontae Ragas and Krysta Klimaj, student callers; Carruthers; Loren Maybrier, call center manager; and Anais Chavez, Sheila Quintana, Marisa Rodriguez and Jonathan Gordon, student callers. (NMSU photo)

Currently, 17 student callers reach out to alumni and friends from Sunday through Thursday during the academic year. So far in 2015, student callers have raised $114,212 – but money isn’t the only thing student callers focus on.

“One of the most exciting things about talking to NMSU alumni is the stories they tell me,” said Sheila Quintana, a senior who will be graduating in December. “I hear about what their experience was when they were at NMSU and what they’ve been doing since graduation. I learn so much about our Aggies during these phone calls.”

Quintana’s time on the phone has been beneficial for NMSU. To date, she has raised nearly $80,000 for the university, and is the top caller. Deontae Ragas, who will also be graduating in December, has raised $20,159.

“Using a student as a caller is particularly attractive to our alumni and donors,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. To honor the top callers, Carruthers joined them for lunch at the Third Floor Bistro on Nov. 13. “I appreciate all the hard work they do for NMSU.”

Aggie Pride Call Center student callers use their time on the phones as an opportunity to share stories with potential donors. During this exchange, former students discuss their time on campus and how their NMSU experience impacted their lives.

“It’s important to build a rapport with them,” said student caller Anais Chavez. “They always like to hear about the advances we are making at NMSU. I love to tell them about the great things happening at the university that I am a part of.”

Working at the call center teaches students the importance of teamwork, strong communication skills and a goal-oriented attitude. It also helps establish awareness about where funding for university programs and individual scholarships comes from.

Because the group of student callers is such an impressive bunch, NMSU has the highest credit card collection goals and is number two in credit card giving rates among Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a company that partners with colleges and nonprofit organizations to help them engage their donors.

“This is really an opportunity to build lifetime giving, and it is a great opportunity for our students,” Carruthers said.