Student-Staffed Telethon Raises Funds For Schlesinger Library's Renovation

A fund drive for the $3.4 million renovation and expansion of the Arthur M. Schlesinger Library collects $15,000 to $24,000 a week through a student-staffed telethon, said coordinator Raine Figuero '84.

The library, which houses the nation's largest collection of documents on women's history, plans to move into two additional floors of its building in December when the Bunting Institute moves from that space to a new location on Concord St.

Renovations on the two floors will create needed additional space for users, said Schlesinger Library Director Pat King. She said undergraduates will probably be more likely to use the library in the future now that the Women's Studies Concentration has been approved.

More room will be available for special collections, and the library will establish an audio-visual center to be named for filmmaker Martha Stewart, said Margaret Tauborg, executive assistant to Radcliffe President Matina S. Horner.

The library has already raised $2 million during the past year. The telethon is part of an attempt to raise $900,000 more by June 30, 1987, said Tauborg. The Michigan-based Kresge Foundation has agreed to donate the last $500,000 if Radcliffe reaches its goal on time.

"One is always nervous [that the goal won't be reached], but we have faith in the project," said King.

Radcliffe College conducts an annual telethon to collect gifts from alumnae. Most contributions go to a general fund for the college. This year's callers are also asking for separate contributions to the Schlesinger Library.

The telethon serves the double purpose of fundraising and public relations, said Figuero. She said alumni often ask questions about Radcliffe and share their undergraduate experience with the Radcliffe students paid to conduct the telethon.

"Alumnae love to talk to students and students love to talk to alumni. Putting the two together works," Figuero said.

"Some women love to tell you about their grandchildren and how perfect they would be for you," said Andrea Marcus '87.

The staffers say they have benefitted from learning about the college's history and programs. "I barely knew anything about Radcliffe before I did this," Lisa Cutone '87 said.

Through their conversations, students have found pen-pals and made plans for externships during spring break. The Radcliffe Externships program places students as guests with alumnae whose careers interest them.

The student callers for the telethon raise as much as $1000 apiece in a night. Several said they are surprised at the ease with which they have raised large sums of money. However, they said they are not sure how much alumnae have given to the library, because general contributions and gifts to the Schlesinger Library are counted together.

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