Telephone campaign 2021

Hundreds of Wadham alumni show incredible generosity and pledge £242,000 during our September telephone campaign

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Members of our 2021 student caller team in front of the new William Doo Undergraduate Centre and Dr Lee Shau Kee Access Centre

Telephone campaign 2021

Thanks to our incredible alumni - and 15 student callers -  this year's telephone campaign has so far raised £242,000 in pledged gifts, a testament to the incredible generosity of some 300 alumni, and donations continue to come in.

The campaign ran between 14-27 September, with over 500 alumni speaking to our student callers and engaging in many warm conversations about Wadham then and now. Pledges made to students continue to come in, helping us to surpass the totals raised during our 2018 and 2019 telephone campaigns.

Most meaningful of all has been the rapport between so many alumni and our student callers. The conversations have been full of nostalgia, pride about Wadham's values and widening access programme, the new Back Quad buildings, as well as alumni offering career advice to callers.

One alumnus emailed a caller, saying: "What a lovely surprise! I too enjoyed our conversation which seemed to pass very quickly - always the sign of a good chat in my book. It's been a real delight to 'meet' you. With excellent people like you around, the college and the future - despite all our current problems - are in very safe hands. I will watch the Gazette for news of your progress, and here's wishing you many glittering prizes in the future." 

Such sentiments were echoed by our student callers, such as Alexandra Wright.

"The best part of the campaign has been hearing from every single alumnus I've had a conversation with (and that's no exaggeration) that they remember Wadham as being at the forefront of broadening accessibility and welcoming students from different backgrounds. I certainly wasn't expecting to hear this from the alumni who were students 50 or more years ago, and it makes me happy to know that the current ethos of Wadham, which is what first attracted me to the college, is not a recent development but something which so many former students remember as being an integral part of the college's attitude and reputation.

"One alumnus I spoke to, when we were discussing how they were a student before women were accepted at the college, said that they remembered how Wadham never had to be dragged into any changes, but always voluntarily made an effort to welcome new types of students. As this is the very spirit of the Annual Appeal, it's so heart-warming to know that the college truly is and has always been dedicated to making every student feel like they have and deserve a place at Wadham, and that's what makes me #WadhamProud."

The tremendous support from alumni comes at a critical juncture. The pandemic has disproportionately affected those students and their families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Many more students than usual will start this year with a financial disadvantage and Wadham is committed to supporting them – and so are our student callers.

Each year, some financial support is provided through income the College generates from its conference income; however, since March 2019 we have lost several millions of pounds in regular income due to the lockdown. As such we face our greatest need for philanthropic support in recent decades.

Thank you to the hundreds of alumni who participated in this year's telephone campaign. If you missed a call but would like to support the 2021 Annual Appeal, please donate here.


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Members of our 2021 student caller team in the of the new Access Centre, looking out to the Webb Quad

Members of our 2021 student caller team in the of the new Access Centre, looking out to the Webb Quad