Getting the list of classmates from BHS
Regardless of whether you are organizing your reunion with your committee or are hiring a reunion organizer, you will want to get the names of your classmates from Berkeley High. The registrar can provide these names, but only to the reunion committee.
Contact the Registrar at Berkeley High, Barbara Mellion, at 510-644-6829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will need a letter from the committee stating the name of the person representing the class. Ms. Mellion is a great supporter of reunions, and can help you get your complete list.
Online social networking sites
Facebook, MySpace, and other “social networking” sites have made it much easier to find classmates. Search each site for “Berkeley High School” to find if your class already has a group (careful, there are a few other Berkeley High School in other states); if not, start one so others can join.
Searching for current contact information
Start with your committee members and their friends: Go through the list and find out who you already have current contact information for.
Next, try phone calls to the contact information provided by the BHS registrar. Depending on how long it has been since you graduated, many of the contacts may still have parents living there. Most parents are happy to give updated contact information to reunion committe members.
Finally, try some online people search databases. This is where the more information you have on your classmates, the more likely you will be successful: Birthdates, middle initials, current state of residence, etc. One good search engine is ZabaSearch.com. Their advance search page (http://www.zabasearch.com/advanced.php) has will allow you to enter birth year and other details. Birth year can be approximate–you will get birthdates focused on your classmates birth years.
Remember, not everyone is in these online databases, and many people may have changed their last names. Try as many search options as you can (e.g. enter the last name at graduation as the middle name).
Phone calls and emails
Phone calls are often better than emails, due to email spam filters. Have a telephone party with your reunion committee: Many folks have cell phones with unlimited weekend minutes, or home phones with good long distance plans. Be sure to identify that you are calling for the BHS Class of ____ Reunion Committee; otherwise people may think you’re just another phone solicitor. Even more helpful is to say that you are a member of the class, which shows that you are a volunteer and not someone being paid. The more “real” you are, the more likely you are to have parents, housemates, ex’s, etc. to provide you with current contact information.
Keep a database of your contacts
There are several ways to keep records of the contact information you find, but make sure that everyone is clear on how to get the information they find into the database (this may be on online site or just getting it to your committee member who is keeping the database).