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University partners with ALSAC to open donor call center for St. Jude

The University of Memphis and ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will soon be needing up to 30 U of M student interns to staff its donor call center, which is planned to open in the university’s Billy Mac Jones Building on Normal Street.

U of M student interns will seek contributions by calling St. Jude’s current and potential donors as part of ALSAC’s donor engagement program.

“We are excited about the partnership with the University of Memphis as it presents a great opportunity to engage in meaningful community collaboration with incredible young people,” Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC said. “Ultimately, we hope this arrangement provides valuable professional and philanthropic experience for University students, and they will consider long-term career opportunities for employment at ALSAC or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after graduation and continue to find ways to give back.”

An internship position in the call center may be a great opportunity to gain some professional and philanthropic experience for U of M students, although, some students are already ahead of the curve.

Students who lead Up ‘til Dawn, a collegiate fundraising program, on their college campuses educate the local community about St. Jude while also raising money through a variety of fundraising activities.

At the end of the program, campuses host a finale event and stay up until dawn celebrating their achievements and honoring the patients at St. Jude.

U of M’s chapter of Up ‘til Dawn, set a record this year when students raised more than $280,000, the highest any student organization has raised in ALSAC’s history.

Since the U of M founded Up ‘til Dawn in 1999, the program has spread to more than 250 schools nationwide and now generates nearly $5 million annually for the groundbreaking research and lifesaving care St. Jude provides.

Still, M. David Rudd, U of M president, said its partnership with ALSAC will have a large impact on students’ career goals.

“The donor contact center is a great example of what can happen when the U of M partners with world leaders like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to create new internships for our students that offer opportunities to develop critical skills for future success, and make our world better,” Rudd said in a U of M press release.

News of the U of M’s partnership with ALSAC comes just days after the U of M released a report in which it revealed that it would be spending nearly $2.1 million to strengthen its relationship with the local community, as a result of nine recommendations made by a task force assembled by the U of M in the fall of 2015.

Some of the recommendations included establishing an office of Community Outreach and Engaged Scholarship, adopting a common definition of Community Engagement, cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships between the University and various sectors of the community in key issue areas and enhancing and increasing resources for faculty, students and community partners to build their capacity and expertise in community engagement and engaged scholarship, according to the report.

This partnership with ALSAC, as well as others, will aid in setting the U of M apart from other local and peer colleges and universities and putting it in a position to be truly recognized as a national leader in community engagement and engaged scholarship.

“We couldn’t be more proud than to work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Rudd said.

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