Spartans called to action

By: Sarah Wilson

USC Upstate hosted its first ever phone-a-thon this semester.

USC Upstate students have been hired by University Advancement to call alumni, parents and friends of the Upstate to ask for donations. Spartan caller Briana Butler says, “It’s an excellent opportunity for current students to reconnect with alumni,” which is exactly what the goal of the call center was.

The donations are being distributed to the Upstate Fund, the Parents Fund, specific departments, and other areas of campus. The Upstate Fund provides scholarships to deserving students and the Parents Fund partners with Upstate Police to provide the campus with the highest quality of safety. Individual departments can use the donations for academic purposes.

The Spartan Connection was started at USC Upstate due to previous complaints that the donation phone calls were coming from students at the main campus in Columbia. The Spartan Connection is managed by University Advancement’s Stephen Frey, who is assisted by Taylor Brown.

The call center began in January of this year with a monetary goal of $50,000, and has already made significant progress.

“Through the Spartan Connection, we have raised several thousand dollars to the benefit of current and future Upstate students in areas such as scholarships and campus safety,” said Brown. “While The Spartan Connection has not exceeded its monetary goal yet, we have observed measurable improvement from previous years.”

While students have been calling a variety of different people, statistically parents are most likely to donate.

“The parents have been very generous towards our efforts to further improve campus safety,” said Brown.

Overall, the Spartan Connection has proven to be successful in more ways than one, and there is talk that the phone-a-thon will be brought back next spring. If you are interested in becoming a Spartan Caller, visit for more information.