It was a like any other Thursday night for Anne Barnes (’17), a caller with Gonzaga’s telefund team. She and her fellow student-callers were hard at work, calling alumni, parents and friends of the University, updating information, sharing the latest happenings on campus and talking about gifts in support of GU. She dialed the number of an alumnus named Connor Cahill (’13) thinking it would be like any other call, but Barnes was in for quite a surprise.
“I knew Connor would be a unique call by his excitement and passion about Gonzaga,” said Barnes. “He told me all about his time as the Kennel Club President and how he still goes to the games. I asked him if he had any advice for me in my time as a student, and he told me ‘go to Florence!’ because it was life-changing for him. It was his favorite part about Gonzaga (besides the basketball games). He said he wanted to make a gift to the Florence Scholarship program so that more students will have the chance to study abroad like he did.”
“As I was finishing up the call, Connor told me how much his parents loved Gonzaga, too. He told me to call them up right after I got off the phone with him. He told me to challenge his parents to match his gift, giving me their name and number. Sure enough, I called and spoke to Mr. (Walter) Cahill right after hanging up with Connor and he gave the same amount in support of the Florence Scholarship as well.”
Those two calls made Barnes’ night.
“That was probably my favorite call all year, because not everyone has that much enthusiasm and desire to help future Zags. I told Connor that he truly inspired me. He is the epitome of what a Zag should be – willing to help others, spirited and passionate about making a positive impact on others.”