MSU Greenline: The Voice of the MSU Annual Fund
Growing up in Livonia, sophomore communications student Chris Ruemenapp was so green his friends dubbed him “Sparty.” Today, he is sometimes called “a walking billboard for MSU” as he proudly represents the university in MSU Greenline, the new name for the MSU Annual Fund’s contact program where Chris is employed.
The new name was, in fact, Chris’s idea. He submitted it in a contest that was part of a branding initiative to better showcase the success of the Annual Fund in connecting with MSU alumni and friends who, in turn, provide essential advocacy and support for Michigan State.
“I have such a passion for Michigan State,” Chris said. “Coming to work makes me feel unbelievably good and I am so glad I am already leaving a legacy for students who will come after me.”
Along with the new name, a revamped Web site displays Web cams of the calling room so that alumni and friends can see the students and their energy first-hand as well as leave encouragement and feedback via social media links. Go to: www.givingto.msu.edu/greenline.
“The alumni and friends we contact are the heart beat of the university,” according to student Ian Rogers, MSU Greenline’s web design and public relations manager, who dedicated his summer to this initiative. “We are making it easy for everyone to connect with Michigan State.”
The numbers alone are staggering. The Greenline’s calling program is the largest in the Big Ten, with over 200 students employed each semester working in 83 calling stations in which 10,000-15,000 phone calls are attempted each shift. The result is personal conversations with thousands of Spartans each year, many of whom would otherwise have no direct contact with MSU. From these alumni and friends, the students have secured more than $4 million from over 50,000 donors this year alone.
New this year, the Greenline piloted a student envoy program in which students like Chris go on the road to conduct face-to-face meetings with alumni. The students connect with them as members of the Spartan family and learn more about their accomplishments since graduation.
It is no secret that MSU Greenline is a great place to work on campus. At any given time, nearly 500 applications await consideration. The select few who are chosen have affection for their university that is second-to-none.
“I am a talker by nature so working for MSU Greenline is a perfect fit for me,” said Erica Weiss, a student supervisor in the program. “Every day I get to interact with a variety of alumni, parents of students, friends of MSU, and faculty. I love being able to connect these individuals back to the university! I have had some of the best life conversations with these individuals. We talk about everything from how great MSU is, to my career goals, to their pet Spanky and the like. I can honestly say that from these alumni I have learned how to successfully communicate with others, something that is clearly important to a communication major."
The student callers work Monday through Friday evenings and on Sundays, throughout the year. Each fall, MSU Greenline is charged with reaching out to alumni on behalf of the College Campaign in order to meet the goals of each of MSU’s colleges and units. Come spring, they call on behalf of the Essential Edge Campaign to help secure unrestricted funds for the university.
So when you hear MSU Greenline is on the phone, take the opportunity to talk with one of these students because they certainly look forward to speaking with you!