The 2014 Telethon ended at 8pm on Sunday 3 October, with the most successful level of giving that any Somerville Telethon has yet achieved.

Our generous alumni have provided the College with close to £300,000 to contribute to Somerville as it supports students, maintains buildings and provides affordable accommodation. In some cases, donors targeted one or other of these areas specifically.

Credit must also go to this year’s callers, who relished the chance to connect with alumni and hear stories of the College from past decades. Callers received an early boost when they reached the £100,000 mark just a week into the campaign.

“I think this is the only job where you can get thanked for persuading someone to get involved and contribute to an Annual Fund – “thank you for being so charming” was one of the best moments for me,” said Ian Buchanan (2011, Physics).

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Between calls

55% of alumni contacted chose to make a donation and letters sent out to those who could not be reached by phone may yet elicit further gifts that would count towards the 2014 tally. This year for the first time, parents of Somerville students also donated generously.

Student callers phoned 432 people who had not given regularly to the College before. Among them were a number of younger alumni, reflecting how the College benefits from alumni loyalty across the generations.

“There have been several instances where younger alumni have given at a high level, which has been fantastic,” said Heather Weightman, who begins as Annual Fund and Alumni Relations Officer this year. “It shows how the commitment and support of our alumni has passed down through the generations.”

Thanks go to all Somervillians who help to keep their College doing all it can to provide the best learning environment and life opportunities for its students. This year’s callers also deserve special praise for excellent use of their powers of persuasion!

The College would like to thank Antoinette Finnegan, outgoing Annual Fund and Telethon Officer, for building the Telethon so successfully in recent years. Fortunately, she remains at the College, and will be working for the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust. She finishes her current role on a very high note.

“It has been an outstanding Telethon,” said Sara Kalim, Director of Development. “We’re so grateful for alumni taking the time to speak to undergraduates, for sharing their personal histories and even offering career advice, as well as making generous donations. Yet again Somervillians have shown how strong we are as a community.

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Final celebrations

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