The BYU–Idaho campus may seem tucked away and well off the beaten path, but as predicted by Jacob Spori, the school’s influence does “run all over the earth.” Nearly 150,000 alumni have settled in every state and over 100 foreign countries. Alumni are a great resource to the Church, the university, and particularly BYU–Idaho students. Many tell the BYU–Idaho story, volunteer their time to serve on alumni councils, extol the virtues of Church Education, and share their means to bless students. Some of our greatest resources are the thirty-plus Regional Alumni Chapters and the nearly 200 volunteers who exemplify the “Spirit of Ricks” by sharing their time and talents. One example of a dynamic chapter is the Washington, Columbia Basin Chapter centered in Moses Lake, Wash., and led by Glenn and Kathy Perrins.
One of the highlights for the Columbia Basin Chapter in 2003 was a visiting performance by the BYU–Idaho Ballroom Dance Team. Alumni and friends were invited to the show, and the council hoped for an adequate crowd. They were pleasantly surprised when over 1,000 people packed the hall to witness an exhilarating show ranging from waltzes, cabaret solos, and energetic Latin pieces to an Elvis Presley medley. For many, the show was worth traveling four hours to Monroe, Wash., for a second performance. Perhaps the best part of the event was when the students mingled with the crowd after the show. The “Spirit of Ricks” was embodied in these great students.
The chapter-sponsored, new student send-off with a backyard picnic and pool party has become an annual tradition. Each summer, new students heading to Rexburg from the Columbia Basin assemble in the Perrin’s backyard for food, games, fun, and most important—the real scoop from alumni and returning students about life in Southeast Idaho. These students develop friendships, make arrangements to carpool to school, and get an introduction to the Alumni Association.
Columbia Basin introduced a new chapter tradition in 2003 with the creation of a chapter scholarship. Two new students were awarded partial-tuition scholarships, thanks to the generous donations of local alumni. Area students were encouraged to apply for the scholarship, with recommendations made from the local chapter and final award decisions made by the Scholarship Office at BYU–Idaho. Chapter scholarships have now been created for all chapters, with priority consideration given to children of alumni.
For more information on Regional Alumni Chapters and how you can become involved, please visit the Alumni Association Web page at www.byui.edu/alumni.
Note: The Alumni Office is pleased to announce the formation of new chapters in Washington, D.C.; Nampa, Idaho; Denver, Colo.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.