To Celebrate Every Freshman

Tracy Sherbert trains and celebrates student heroes on campus

“I love the U and what it stands for,” says Tracy Sherbert. “I say congratulations to every freshman that I do a phone interview with. I think it’s such an important message to acknowledge the work that it takes to get into this institution of learning.”

Tracy Sherbert Tracy Sherbert, Telemarketing Trainer

University of Minnesota Foundation

Sherbert recruits, hires, and trains the student staff that work in the University of Minnesota Foundation’s annual giving call center. “I am teaching the benefit of philanthropy and giving back to your alma mater,” she says. “Students who work for us just ‘get it.’ They know firsthand that giving matters.”

“I am teaching the benefit of philanthropy and giving back to your alma mater.”

Training for the giving call center is a 12-hour process over three days. “I like to tell students that training is like baking a cake,” Sherbert says. “On the first day we gather the ingredients and learn about the Foundation. The second day we are baking the cake, focusing on the conversation with a donor or an alum. And on the third day we are ready to frost the cake—doing computer training and learning how to use the campus call system.”

She loves working with students every day, sharing in their successes and helping them with their setbacks. “They have an energy that I can draw from and a youthful perspective that keeps me connected,” she says.

Above all, Sherbert values passion. “If someone is passionate about something, I am interested in why,” she says. “I like having something that I can talk with them about at a later time; it builds connections.”

Two student groups that exemplify passion and school spirit for her are the U of M marching band and the students who lead campus tours. “Those students are ambassadors for the U every day,” she says. “They are heroes on campus.”