Behind the Scenes: Alumni Relations Office

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An alumni event at Washington D.C. Credit: Ms. Kalinski

The connections made throughout highschool can last a lifetime, which is why the Alumni Relations Office travels all over the globe to reconnect alumni to the Bolles community. Julia Kalinski, Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, tells about what the Alumni Relations Office is and what they do for the Bolles community.

“The Alumni Relations Office strives to connect our alumni back to the school,” Kalinski said. When students graduate and become alumni, Advancement Team members like Kalinski would reach out to certain areas in order to “reconnect” them to the Bolles community. “So that’s the point of traveling; to really create pockets of the Bolles community across the nation and internationally. To make sure that we’re really creating that long term experience for grads,” Kalinski said.

Team members like Kalinski enjoy getting to know alumni to continue the Bolles legacy through them. “I can get coffee with them and tell them who the best dentist is in town, or something like that, and just welcome them and really create that community,” Kalinski said.

The Alumni Relations Office holds two annual events to reconnect alumni. One of them is widely known among the students as Homecoming. “Homecoming… [is] an exciting time to bring alumni back to campus,” Kalinski said. She and her team believe that by having an annual Homecoming game, the alumni feel more comfortable at Bolles, creating a sense of home. “We hosted an alumni tailgate so that people and families can come back and enjoy that sports environment,” Kalinski said.

“The idea is to connect your class together, but then also connect you to the broader Bolles community.” — Ms. Kalinski

The second annual event the Alumni Relations Office holds is a class reunion. Every few decades, a graduating class will have a reunion to reconnect those alumni. “So, the idea is to connect your class together, but then also connect you to the broader Bolles community,” Kalinski said. This helps to better strengthen relationships between high school friends, allowing the Bolles legacy to live on through them.

Another project of the Alumni Relations Office is to help raise money for the programs around campus. To do this, the Alumni Relations Office holds many parties and events in order to raise funds. “Our biggest event that we just held was the Pinnacle Celebration. That was kicking off our fundraising campaign to finish several amazing projects that you see happening around campus,” Kalinski said.

An alumni event at New York.
Credit: Ms. Kalinski

One of the projects the school is working on is the Innovation Center. It is the largest construction on campus since 1925, when the original hotel opened at the San Jose Campus. The Innovation Center is to house 12 specialty labs, along with the unique Bolles Anatomage table. None of this would be possible without the donations given by the alumni and other donors.

Because of everything the Alumni Relation Office does for The Bolles School, the percentage of alumni donor participation has doubled from the 2020-2021 school year to the 2021-2022 year; a huge milestone for the Bolles community.

The Alumni Relations Office is an essential part of the Bolles Legacy because of its reconnection with alumni, and because of the funds they raise for the school. This helps support major projects around campus, allowing students to better explore the different opportunities Bolles holds.