2006: Rush-Henrietta Alumni Council Established

  • Fifteen years ago, some notable alumni brainstormed ways for our graduates to reconnect and stay in touch with one another. That led to the creation of the Rush-Henrietta Alumni Council. For many years, the late Joe Bellanca, Class of 1965, spearheaded this effort. Between his passing and pandemic-related challenges, the council’s work slowed, but the district is committed to helping it move forward.

    The Alumni Council was formed in 2006 to foster relationships between the school district and its graduates. During the group’s inaugural meeting, representatives from each decade since the 1940s met to discuss the initiative. Pictured during that event are Terry Mathews-DeSant '55, the late Bob Thompson '58, and Bellanca. At the time, social-media sites such as Facebook were in their infancy, and people often still were discovering one another using fairly basic methods, such as accessing online databases.

    At the time it was formed, the Rush-Henrietta Alumni Council served five primary purposes:
    1. Assist the district in establishing and maintaining an up-to-date alumni directory.
    2. Help the district in communicating with R-H alumni.
    3. Guide and supporting class reunions.
    4. Coordinate the Alumni Hall of Fame recognition program.
    5. Inform and advise superintendent and Board of Education of matters of interest to alumni.

    Since then, social media has made communication between graduates much easier. The online database once maintained by the district is rarely used now and is no longer updated.

    The Alumni Council Hall of Fame, which took a pandemic hiatus, is poised to resume. The Council seeks nominees whose personal and professional lives are exemplary, and whose successes will inspire our students. Nominees may have succeeded at the local, regional, national or international levels in any appropriate area of endeavor, including academia and education, arts, business, media, public service, philanthropy, medicine, military, science or sports.

    Anyone may nominate an alumnus or alumna, and nominations can be made posthumously; nominators need not have attended Rush-Henrietta schools to submit a nomination. Nominees must have graduated from Rush-Henrietta at least 10 years prior to their nomination. Self-nominations are not allowed. Incomplete nominations will not be considered; nominators must provide details about those aspects that make the nominee worthy of induction. Nominees will be contacted and asked to provide additional biographical information.

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