Who’s Calling You?

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Phonathon caller Paul Francis gets asked the tough questions


Paul Francis, a 22-year-old Spanish and International Business major at UNL, has traveled to many places in the world. He dreams of seeing every continent before he hits 25.

If he visits Antarctica in the next three years, his goal will be met.

He grew up in Wilber, Neb.

You might talk to him on the phone some evening, if you’re on our phonathon list. He’s one of our student callers – the students from all the University of Nebraska campuses who call you and ask you questions about your mailing address, if we have a correct e-mail address and if you would like to give a gift to support your college.

We thought it’d be fun to turn the tables and ask our own student callers some questions. So we’re starting a feature this month – “Who’s Calling You?” – about Paul and our other student callers.

We think they’re pretty great. We think you will, too.

If you could only eat the same thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chilaquiles, it’s a Mexican breakfast dish that consists of tortilla chips, salsa, eggs and meat. It’s delicious!

Would you rather go skydiving or bungee jumping?

I would go skydiving only because I have already tried bungee jumping.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would they title it?

“Here and There: A Lifetime of Journeys.”

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Waking up in one city and going to bed in another. I absolutely love traveling.

What is one event that has had the biggest impact on you and your life?

It is impossible to list a single event that has made an impact on my life. It’s a mixture of multiple events and people that have made an impact on my life.

If you could have any super power what would it be?

The ability to fly because I travel all around the world and it would save me a lot of money.

Could you live without your computer and cell phone?

I have gone weeks without my computer and cell phone, so I am pretty sure I could do it. It would be rough for a while though.

If you could go back and change something about your high school days what would it be?

Nothing. I loved high school and I was involved in every organization that my high school offered.

If you were on a deserted island with one person, who would you want it to be?

My best friend, Ryan. We actually met each other in China while on a UNL summer study abroad trip.

What would you do first if you won the lottery?

Pay off my student loans and invest the money.

What was the name of your first childhood pet?

Chip the dog.

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

“Hey Arnold!”

What is one thing that annoys/disgusts you?

People walking slowly. I am always on a mission and in a hurry.

If you thought no one was looking what would be the one thing that you would do?

I’m not sure. I am comfortable with doing anything so I am not worried about people looking.

Any fun stories from talking to donors in your job at the foundation?

During my first semester of calling, in the fall of 2007, I called a man and ending up talking to him for more than 45 minutes.

After our conversation I wrote him a thank you card for the lovely chat we had. For some reason I signed my full name and sent it off to him. A few weeks later I received a long letter from him saying how he had never had a university touch him on such a personal level like we had done by sending him a handwritten letter signed by a student.

Apparently his best friend at UNL was named Paul Francis too and receiving a letter from me brought back many memories. He gave me his e-mail address and for many months and years we wrote to each other, updating one another on our travels and studies.

Will you become a donor someday? If so, what will you donate to?

I will be a donor. I will donate to the College of Business Administration. As a scholarship recipient here at the University of Nebraska, I feel it’s very important for donors to donate to the college so we have that scholarship money for people to study abroad – like I received many scholarships to study abroad. And without donors who are gracious enough to give their money for scholarships, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity.

It was a wonderful phone call.

If you’d like to support your college, please consider giving online at nufoundation.org or call 800-432-3216.

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