Finding your classmates is one of the most important parts of reunion planning. After all, if a classmate remains unaware of the reunion, there is no way for them to attend. While there are many great ways to “find your tribe” these days. We have highlighted some of the best practices we’ve found in order for your to reach the most classmates.
The BRHS Foundation has a running database of alumni files. If you are starting to plan your reunion, contact Stephanie Webb at the Foundation office to get a list of the alumni from your class year. Our lists include names, last known address, and possibly the last known phone number and email address as well. Our database depends greatly on whether or not alumni update us with their information and/or if reunion groups pass on updated information to us. By passing on any updated contact information you have found AFTER your reunion—you help us keep a better database for the next time you’ll need it. You can also encourage your classmates to update their contact information via our website.
Facebook is a great way to connect with classmates. By starting a class Facebook group you can keep up with your classmates even when it’s not time for a reunion. We’ve posted our best social media practices here before, and you can check that out by clicking HERE.
The most important thing to remember is that not everyone has Facebook or any other social media platform for that matter. It’s another good place to start, but should not be your only form of outreach. Your Class Facebook group should be able to help you find any “missing” classmates. Ask around on the group—have others in the group invite those who haven’t joined yet. Ask the group to spread the word to those not on Facebook and ask them to send you contact information so you can keep those classmates updated as new information arises.
Another great way is good old fashioned word of mouth. Sometimes you run into old friends while shopping at the mall, or picking up groceries. If your reunion is upcoming, always make sure to mention it in these instances and encourage other classmates to do the same. You never know, those classmates might just need a little bit of encouraging to go—or maybe they haven’t connected to the group yet.
To help find missing classmates there are several website resources that might can help you. Some of these sites are intelius.com, classmates.com, and whitepages.com. While some of these require a small subscription fee, the fee is often minimal. The BRHS Foundation does have subscriptions to a few of these sites. If you only have a handful of missing classmates, contact Stephanie Webb in the Foundation office and we might can do a little research for you. However, please note that we are a small office and do not have time to do this for your entire class–if we did our database would be significantly more accurate. We are here to help, but are a small staff and may not be able to get to your request as quickly as you may need it.
Keep a running Excel file with contact information for each Alumni. We have a downloadable Excel document to help with the framework. We recently added a social media column that can help you identify classmates that may need extra work to reach out to if your main line of communication is through social media platforms. Click HERE to download our Class List Template.
Don’t forget that our Reunion Planning Guide is always available on our Alumni page: https://brhsfoundation.net/alumni/