Cal student-athletes and Cal spirit members took to the phones in droves on Tuesday reaching out to Cal Athletics donors with one simple message: “Thank you.”
Rotating through in hour-long shifts, more than 150 student-athletes from 15 programs volunteered their time making approximately 2,200 phone calls in a show of gratitude for the opportunities provided by those who make Cal Athletics a part of their philanthropy.
“It means a lot to me,” said Tiaan De Nysschen, a senior Political Economy major on the rugby team. “You don’t usually have a chance to see these people in person so just to have the opportunity to speak to them and honestly thank them for allowing us to have chance to compete feels good. We’re happy to do it.”
Some donors were compelled to make gifts on the spot, while others pledged their continued support.
“I had a person say to me, ‘I haven’t donated yet this year, but I’m going to.’ It’s always great to hear that people want to continue to give support,” De Nysschen said.
The overwhelming response from the donors, student-athletes and staff involved has already generated plans for another similar day-long event in the fall.
"It's really important for the guys on our team to understand that the foundation of our program comes from the support we receive from our alumni and donors,” said head men's tennis coach Peter Wright. “It’s great when one of our donors gets a call from a member of our team and the message is, ‘Thank you.’ Our student-athletes have the opportunity to compete at and attend one of the best universities in the world, and it wouldn't be possible without the Bear Backers who were on the other end of those calls."