The $75,000 Haircut: Call Center Director Puts His Head on the Line

HaircutBack in September, Jim Livernois, director of annual giving programs, made a bet with the 20 students who staff the university's call center, which telephones alumni during the semester in support of the Cor Fund: raise $75,000 before Thanksgiving and he would shave his head.

"It was more than they had ever raised before, but I knew it was possible if they pushed themselves," Livernois said.

Well, the students did it, and with time to spare. As Advancement staff and the students who run the call center gathered the week before Thanksgiving to witness the long-awaited haircut—performed by junior Emily Gardner—Livernois was upbeat.

"It was totally worth it," he said.

He said he would even consider repeating the wager, although he declined to comment on when.

The student-callers raised a total of $82,188 before closing until February—the largest amount ever raised in a semester and nearly $20,000 over the fall semester average.

Livernois has run the call center since UD moved it in-house four years ago. In that time, he has seen alumni reconnect with the university through conversations with the students in ways that have been more than just financially fruitful.

"The alumni really enjoy having a chance to connect with the current students and compare notes on their times at UD," said Livernois.

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