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The Annual Merton Telephone Campaign

The annual Merton Telephone Campaign is happening this March 2017!

Every year a team of current students speak to Merton alumni from all over the world, to update them on news and events at the College, to hear about their experiences of Merton and their life since graduating, and to ask for support for the College's current fundraising priorities. Last year the team raised almost £182,000, with 62% of those spoken to deciding to make a gift to the College. You can find out more about this year's calling team below.

We hope to speak to as many Mertonians as possible during the campaign! However, if you would prefer not to be called then please contact Sarah Jones in the Development Office.

Meet the student callers!
Esther Borsi

Esther Borsi

The best thing about Merton is the history

My name is Esther and I am a first year studying French and Spanish. Since arriving at Merton I have been able to discuss subjects I love with professors who are world-class authorities on the literature we study, and become part of the rowing team. I also enjoy attending various societies such as international film society, and, in an effort to make sure I don’t forget my Scottish roots, I have also attended a few ceilidhs. I very much look forward to hearing about how Merton has changed during the campaign and hope to hear a few funny anecdotes from alumni.

Roshan Dodhia

Roshan Dodhia

The best thing about Merton is the friendly atmosphere

I’m Roshan a first-year physicist. Despite only being here for a very short time I’m thoroughly enjoying it! The highlights of my short time here have been the craziness of Time Ceremony and the amazing Merton Winter Ball, both of which contributed to a busy but fun first term. Outside of physics, I play tennis for the Merton team and play trumpet for the Fidelio Orchestra. During the telethon, I’m looking forward to hearing about alumni’s experiences here and how much it’s changed.

Frances Des Forges

Frances Des Forges

The best thing about Merton is the community

Hi! My name is Fran and I am currently studying French and Spanish. In my first year, I’m amazed at how quickly I have settled into life at Merton, and when I’m not at lectures or tutorials, I enjoy taking walks to Port Meadows and cooking with friends in my spare time. I’m still not sure how I manage the early starts, but I am also a member of the women’s rowing team, and will be racing in Torpids at the end of Hilary term! It will be interesting to hear from Merton alumni to learn of their memories at the college and what happens after life at Merton, as I imagine this experience never truly leaves you!

Niamh Kelly

Niamh Kelly

The best thing about Merton is the atmosphere

I’m a second-year Law with French Law student, and I will be moving to Paris for a year in September. I love being a part of the Merton community; I am the JCR’s Gender Equality Representative and was a member of the Ball Committee. Outside of college, I’m a member of the University of Oxford team for the Jessup PIL Moot and an access ambassador for the Law Faculty.  I’m really looking forward to hearing about the experiences of alumni at Merton, and finding out more about the wider College community. 

Thomas Murphy

Thomas Murphy

The best thing about Merton is the welcoming College community

After two terms as a first year historian, I think I've just about found my feet, and Merton has so far exceeded even my wildest of expectations. As well as getting involved with the college rowing scene, I've been very interested in politics and debating. I applied for the telethon because I saw this not only as an opportunity to give something back to a college that has already helped me tremendously, but also because I can't wait to explore the experiences and stories of those Mertonians who came before me. 

Natalie Nguyen

Natalie Nguyen

The best thing about Merton is it feels like home

I’m Natalie, a second-year reading Ancient and Modern History and JCR President this year. When I’m not absorbed in the antics of the ancients (or in a committee meeting!), I enjoy socialising with friends, going swimming, and being involved in wider college and university life, from the Bodley Club to helping out with admissions to Oxford Raise and Give. I feel privileged to be at Merton, a place so enchanted by history and a sense of community, and I am very much looking forward to hearing about the experiences of Merton alumni around the world. 

Joshua Parikh

Josh Parikh

The best thing about Merton is... it's all terrific!

Hi, I'm Josh, doing Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Merton. I'm particularly interested in philosophy, from metaphysics to philosophy of religion; and politics, from Social Policy to Political Theory, having done a couple of internships in policy last summer. In free time, I've enjoyed the weekly bar quizzes, JCR meetings,  talks and debates at the Oxford Union, and social justice work from helping the homeless to campaigning against human trafficking, being a Christian myself.

Heidi Phelan

Heidi Phelan

The best thing about Merton is the inspiring surroundings

I'm a first year French and German student and before getting to Oxford I had no idea just how fulfilling studying something in this much depth could be. Oxford life has presented me with so many opportunities, whether getting to know and spending time with friends, always with something interesting to say, or just experiencing this sometimes bizarre, but always wonderful Merton life. I can't wait to hear from alumni with similar stories to tell, or perhaps even to let me in on what I may have to come. 

Anna Pyregov, student caller

Anna Pyregov

The best thing about Merton is the conversations

I am in my final year of a Modern Languages degree, studying French and Italian. I am most interested in history, literature and language, and I will be pursuing those interests next year by doing a Master's in European Studies. I am also a member of the Merton-Mansfield football team and of the Magdalen Film Society. I am very much looking forward to this Telethon campaign both because I would like to hear about memories of Merton and because I believe that reconnecting with alumni and asking for their support is a way of fostering a sense of community and helping future students have the interesting and rewarding experience that I have been able to have here. 

Andi Schaefer

Andi Schaefer

The best thing about Merton is Tolkien

My name is Andi and I'm a first year student reading French and Spanish. I'm really enjoying my time at Merton so far, and I'm finding my degree fascinating. Outside of work, I love reading, and am part of a writing society which I'm really enjoying. I help out with a homeless charity here in Oxford, and enjoy taking long walks to explore the city and the surrounding countryside. I'm looking forward to finding out more about the alumni and their time here at Merton, and about where they are now.

Jacob White

Jacob White

The best thing about Merton is the challenge

Hello! I’m Jacob, a third year physicist studying for my Masters. Merton is a fantastic and vibrant place to live and study. I’m heavily involved with the rowing team, having got stuck in when I arrived and have never looked back! The telethon is a great opportunity to give something back to the College, which provides so much for its students. I’m very much looking forward to chatting with the alumni and hearing their stories about their own experiences at Merton.

Yuchen Zhang

Yuchen Zhang

The best thing about Merton is the nuturing environment

Hi! I’m Yuchen, a first year PPEist from Beijing, China. In my spare time I learn Spanish at the university language center, and practice Taekwondo and yoga. I’ve started to learn the guitar since Hilary term, too. One thing about Merton and Oxford that particularly excites me is that there are so many opportunities open to me: the intriguing talks given by prominent figures in all walks of life is my endless source of inspiration. I look forward to talking to Merton alumni worldwide, and can’t wait for the ideas that are going to sparkle from the conversations!