Student Caller Reception at Wayne State University

Usually I'm a bit ambiguous about my work places. Anyone with the ability to read could figure it out. In today's post, however, there is no ambiguity necessary. I am happy to say that Wayne State University is one of the absolute greatest places in the world. Allow me to share.

Last week, I had the honor of sitting in a room with some of the coolest and hardest working kids at Wayne State - the student callers for our annual giving program. Now, quick explanation - I'm in philanthropy and these young men and women are the FRONT LINE fundraisers. They are the people that call you, asking you for money on behalf of your alma mater. Some of us, the alumni, are super rad and give a fatty gift. Others are cool and don't mind that we called them twice in the same week because of not-so-great data. Heck, they give twice! Some of us require negotiation and extra convincing. And then some of us are total assholes.

But these students will give ALL of us a call and I loved getting to know them. I sat with them and I heard their stories. In my mind's eye it felt like the sun was rising on Detroit's future. I saw all these young people developing relationships, sharing experiences, delivering presentations (to the Board of Governors no less), enjoying intellectual banter, supporting each other, cheering for each other, laughing with each other. I joked to my colleague, "Why don't we have this much fun?" Which, of course, we do, but we all had a laugh.

I looked around the room and saw such potential, solidarity, diversity, enthusiasm and straight up smarts. These kids were sharp. All of them are obviously going to change the world in some way. I hope they chose to do it through philanthropy. A colleague told me how she runs into former student callers at professional conferences all the time. I'm not surprised. Shoot, I'd like to get a couple of those kids into Beecher House ASAP. It's time Wayne State University keeps some of that talent where it's needed most: home, Detroit, Michigan.

My experience gave me more clarity about why I love higher education: the students. They were all enthusiastic, high performers. My buddy and I sat at the ballers table. I seriously considered whether we were cool enough to be there. I felt like the freshman at the cool kids' table, but they made us feel welcome. Our table was a loud and fun bunch, but the whole room felt like a group of buddies. It was great. These students are what make Wayne State University the best place in the world, for learning, for friends, for life.

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