Bellevue Alumni Association to receive updates

Emma Gage, Reporter

Bellevue Public Schools has produced at least 25,000 alumni from its 20 different schools, yet only 2,600 are a part of the Bellevue Alumni Association.

Those estimates were provided to the Thunderbeat by the Bellevue Alumni Association coordinators.

Alumni associations invite graduated students to stay involved with their community and former schools by providing donations, helping host school events, awarding scholarships, and providing other forms of financial assistance.

However, the alumni association for BPS has not excelled in any of those things, nor do many people know about it. The Bellevue Alumni Association hopes to change that.

One of the people leading this project is Denny Gilbert, the interim Executive Director of the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation which is directly associated with the Bellevue Alumni Association.

“The mission of the Alumni Association is similar to that of the BPS Foundation,” Gilbert said in an email. “We would like to provide funding to enhance student education that otherwise wouldn’t be funded by the district. The Alumni Association has a long history but it was loosely organized and not well funded. We are working on changing that for the future.”

One of the improvements is updating the alumni database, which currently includes alumni from every state and various countries.

District Partnerships Facilitator Garrett Sims has worked on updating the database with new information.

“The database has many potential uses,” Sims said in an email. “Alumni are asked basic questions about where they live and how to contact them, but we also ask them questions about what they do for a living, what activities they were involved in, what schools they attended, and whether or not they would be interest in helping current students if they were asked.”

This information will be used to contact specific alumni to support activities that they were involved in. Both Sims and Gilbert said that the updated information will make alumni involvement in school events a lot easier.

“The Alumni should not be forgotten,” Gilbert said. “Sometimes we get wrapped up in current news. What we don’t realize is that the Alumni helped build this community and continue to help build the communities they live in today.”

Anyone interested in joining the Bellevue Alumni Association should visit the district’s alumni page. The association also has a Facebook page where profiles of alumni will be posted.