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Student Athlete Thank-A-Thon

Student-athletes representing 10 of the University of Cincinnati's 18 athletic programs recently participated in the largest UCATS Donor Thank-a-Thon since the creation of UCATS in 1979...

Student-athletes representing 10 of the University of Cincinnati's 18 athletic programs recently participated in the largest UCATS Donor Thank-a-Thon since the creation of UCATS in 1979.

43 combined representatives from UC's football, men's and women's track & field, men's and women's soccer, women's swimming & diving, women's basketball, women's golf, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball teams made appreciation calls to as many UCATS donors as they could reach between Jan. 16-17.

Former UC running back Adam Fearing - a December Graduate of the Lindner H. College of Business, who now works in the UC Ticket Office - developed the idea after making similar calls to football specific donors earlier in 2012.

"Earlier in the fall I took a sales course and UC athletics had me make phone calls to football specific donors and it went over really well," Fearing said. "A lot of people made positive comments to [Director of Athletics] Whit [Babcock]. Making calls to the [UCATS] general fund donors was something we had talked about doing for a while, so I just got the ball rolling and contacted some athletes from other sports that I knew."

The assistance of several UC coaches - most notably women's basketball assistant Dana Rieger, tennis head coach Angelia Wilson, head volleyball coach Molly Alvey and lacrosse assistant Lauren Gunning - helped Fearing to establish the core of 43 callers.

The student-athletes worked in one-hour shifts of 12 callers from 5 to 8 p.m., utilizing every available phone in the ticket office to show their support to the UCATS donors, who fund the scholarships of UC's 547 student-athletes.

"Our goal was to build a sense of rapport with the donors, because we want to do something to show them where their money is going and show appreciation for what they're doing," Fearing said. "Who else benefits more from the UCATS fund than the actual student athletes it pays for?"

As a former walk on, Fearing has a unique appreciation for the opportunities provided by the generosity of the UCATS donor base.

"When I was on the phone I made sure to show appreciation from a student-athlete perspective, especially mine, because I had to pay for everything from books to class to meals until my last season when I made it onto scholarship," Fearing said. "Having not experienced that until my senior year made me really appreciate that someone else is contributing this money for me."

The Thank-a-Thon ironically kicked off with Fearing making the first call to UCATS donor No. 128570, better known to Bearcats fans as Director of Athletics Whit Babcock.

Fearing plans to make the Thank-a-Thon an annual event.