55 former Yellow Jackets attend alumni luncheon in Arizona mountains

At an event aimed at establishing connection with the some 515 alumni in the state, Board of Trustees Vice Chair Lee Thomas encouraged alumni to give back to alma mater.

Former BW Yellow Jackets were reunited at an alumni lunch reception held in the mountains of Scottsdale, Ariz. on Feb. 25 to connect and be updated on campus news.  

Around 55 alumni attended the luncheon event, where President Bob Helmer updated the former students about recent changes or major additions to campus to help keep them engaged with the university.  

“It was mostly an opportunity for alumni that didn’t know they all lived in Arizona to connect but also to learn more about what’s happening on campus, the new additions, new majors, new buildings, everything like that,” said Joy Wesoloski, BW’s senior philanthropy advisor.   

According to Wesoloski, there are about 515 alumni currently residing in Arizona. The local connection doesn’t end there: a BW alum working in the athletic department at Arizona State University recently gave BW students a tour of the university facilities while they were visiting for the sports management Super Bowl trip, Wesoloski said.  

“I met a number of alums who live not too far from me who I had no idea were really in this area,” said Agnes P. Dover, BW’s Board of Trustees Chair who helped organize the event. “So establishing that common connection with them and Arizona, our new state, is also very nice to me. It’s very rewarding and fun.”  

According to Dover, maintaining good relations between alumni can help current and former students network for career opportunities. Informing the alumni on the happenings of the new generation of students also gives insight to what the future will look like.  

“We really try to cultivate relationships with all alums so that they feel close to their alma mater,” Dover said.  

Holding these events also helps BW financially, as it encourages the former students to give back to their school, said Board of Trustees Vice Chair Lee Thomas who helped host the event. 

“We rely tremendously on funding from scholarships, with the annual budget, et cetera,” Thomas said. “So, you know, as a trustee and even as an alumnus, we want people to share their time, talents and resources, and some of those resources could be money.”  

Thomas, an alumnus who will become the Board of Trustees Chair in July, said his own interest in helping his alma mater is what led him to joining the board.  

“I graduated from BW, my wife did and [so did] my youngest son, so we have a real passion for BW,” Thomas said.  

In addition to this luncheon, BW holds many other events to engage alumni throughout the year.  

An alumni reception was held at Brother’s Lounge recently, and the former Yellow Jackets were able to see current BW students in the musical “Ghost” at the Beck Center, Wesoloski said.   

“There’s always something going on for alumni to connect with students, to connect with each other and to connect with campus,” Wesoloski said.  


The next event in which alumni can participate “BW Gives” Giving Day on March 22 and 23.