Members of the football team take part in the 2014 Thank-A-Thon
April 15, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Over the past two weeks, Mizzou student-athletes joined the Tiger Scholarship Fund (TSF) at Mizzou Arena to call and thank the individuals who have helped make their careers at the University of Missouri a success.
Beginning on March 31 and ending on April 11, Tigers student-athletes made their way to the media room at Mizzou Arena. In a total of eight evening sessions, student-athletes took their turn making calls as part of the 2014 TSF Thank-A-Thon.
Members of all 20 Mizzou varsity athletics programs made their presence felt the past two weeks, as they thanked TSF donors one-by-one. For those student-athletes in attendance, their respective program was also rewarded with prestigious Tiger Cup Points, a program sponsored by the Total Person Program encouraging student-athlete involvement in all areas of the Mizzou collegiate experience.
Nearly 8,600 unique members make up the impressive TSF donor list. With the help of their members' donations, TSF is able to provide scholarship support for Mizzou student-athletes. All contributions given to the TSF annual fund are used to cover scholarship expenses such as tuition, room, board, academic counseling, tutors and life skills programs for Tigers student-athletes.
Throughout the eight Thank-A-Thon sessions, student-athletes called and personally spoke to the very individuals who have made their tenure at Mizzou a success. While some TSF donors were unable to speak over the phone, the group of student-athletes were sure to still thank them via a personalized post card.
Two of the endless number of Mizzou student-athletes that participated in the event included Mitch Morse of the football team and Mackenzie McGill of the gymnastics program. For both seniors, this year marked the fourth and final time that they had participated in the event.
For Morse, the ability to personally connect with the supporters of Mizzou Athletics is an unforgettable opportunity.
"It is such a good thing to come out here and thank the people who support us every year," said Morse. "You get to really connect with these individuals on a one-on-one basis over the phone. They are very generous with what they give, and it is great to hear their positive reactions from our calls."
While he may be a savvy veteran of the Thank-A-Thon process now, Morse recalled the jitters of speaking with strangers over the phone as a freshman. However, at the end of the day, he knew these same individuals are the ones who helped make his college dream come true.
"I remember `feeling the waters out' at first and you felt a little intimidated, but you soon realized that they are your friends," said Morse. "In the end, these are the people who are supporting your goals both athletically and academically."
Similar to her fellow Mizzou student-athlete, McGill has always been eager to reach out to the individuals who provide support to TSF.
"We don't always have the opportunity to meet the people who have led to our success in the classroom and on the competition floor, so it is exciting to be able to thank them and let them know that we really do appreciate their support," said McGill.
The senior gymnast also noted the joy of speaking with those TSF members that showed true interest in her career as a student-athlete at the University of Missouri.
"Sometimes you call that person who just lights up when they hear that you are a Mizzou student-athlete," said McGill. "They love to hear our success stories, and what we are planning on doing with our degree after we graduate."
At the conclusion of the event, each and every one of the nearly 8,600 TSF members were contacted by various student-athletes. Tim Stedman, Associate Athletic Director for Advancement and leader of all internal TSF efforts at Mizzou, was blown away with the magnitude of this year's Thank-A-Thon.
"It was gratifying to witness our student-athletes achieve one of our departmental core values, social responsibility, through the stewardship of those very individuals who have invested to help make their academic and athletic experience a reality," said Stedman.
"I would like to acknowledge the many individuals from the TSF team who assisted in the coordination, and especially a big thank you to our 520 student-athletes for their outstanding contribution and commitment."
Fans interested in contributing to the Tiger Scholarship Fund can call (573) 882-0704 or by visiting them online at www.TSF-Mizzou.com