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When student caller Michael Lilly reached the impressive milestone of having personally raised $200k, we wanted to learn more about this ambitious young man and his experiences in our calling center.

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Michael Alexander Lilly Jr. I was born on O‘ahu and was raised partly in Honolulu and partly in Kailua. I am currently studying psychology at UH Mānoa. I plan to join the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer once I obtain my degree in order to serve my country in one of the most important theaters of war there is, the sea. The Athenian Admiral Themistocles once said, “He who controls the sea, controls everything.” The navy is a great career, however the option of the reserves and law school is also a consideration.

I spend my free time body boarding, cooking, singing, learning history, playing didgeridoo and throwing boomerang.

Why did you join the UH Foundation student calling center?

I wanted to join the call center because I believed that I could use my interpersonal skills to emphasize the importance of giving to our alumni and donors. The fact that it has convenient hours, a flexible schedule, and is in close proximity to my school is very nice as well. It takes a pride in one's school and a belief in its service to the community to encourage our citizens and peers to support such an institution, and in that regard UH shines above all else.

What have you gained through your student caller experiences?

This position has given me vast skills in diplomacy and negotiation. It has reinforced my support of UH as a great school and my commitment to give once I have graduated. I also have met many great people while working here and made invaluable friendships with those who share my commitment to fundraising for a worthy cause.

How does it feel to have raised $200,000 for UH students and programs?

Having come this far in doing work one is passionate about is very satisfying. I feel quite accomplished in this, and achieving this milestone serves as an example to myself and to others that anything reasonable can be achieved with hard work, commitment, and a worthy cause for inspiration.