As the upper floors of the Research Pavilion empty out at the end of the workday, The UCF Fund call center on the ground floor comes to life.
Student fundraisers filter into the brightly decorated room, which is part workspace and part classroom. Achievement awards line the walls, along with motivational tips and pictures of students who have reached fundraising milestones.
“We have fun here, but we never lose sight of our goal – which is advancing UCF,” says Marcus Anderson, assistant director of development, UCF Foundation. He has been supervising the call center since 2007 — UCF’s Knight Line — and is very proud of the impact that the student fundraisers have made on UCF.
Student fundraisers contact alumni, parents and friends of the university to update information, maintain positive alumni relations and raise funds for academic programs at UCF. “On average, our students raise $350,000 each year,” said Anderson.
The call center employs more than 40 Knights each semester, all of whom are full-time students. “Many of the students apply to be a fundraiser for Knight Line because it’s a part-time job that fits in with their school schedule, but it turns into much more than that,” says Anderson. He has seen many students tap into unrealized potential and grow into leaders during their time in the call center.
Marlon Gutierrez ’11 (pictured, top row, second left) took the three years of experience he gained on Knight Line and became a fundraiser for the Have It Your Way Foundation, Burger King’s charitable foundation, upon graduation.
“UCF Knight Line gave me more than a paycheck. It served as a platform to extend my education beyond the classroom as I grew alongside a great group of my peers, all of whom were united by a passion for UCF,” he said. “I developed diverse proficiencies that I continue to use every day.”
The student fundraisers not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk. Besides raising funds for The UCF Fund, the students donate them, too – the call center had 100% participation in this month’s I Believe Faculty & Staff Campaign in support of programs and scholarships at UCF.