Bettye J. Poole '02, M'04
President, African American Alumni Association
Majors at UE: Bachelor of Liberal Studies; Master of Science in Public Service Administration
Hometown: Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Current Residence: Evansville, Indiana
Current Occupation: Retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2007; Retired from the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in September 2017. Currently employed as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional ( QIDP) for ResCare Residential Services
My employment at Bristol-Myers awarded me some long-lasting friends and the opportunity to advance my education. Employment at EVSC also awarded long-lasting friends, plus the opportunity to gain more insight into our homeless population as I serviced the immediate needs of homeless students. In addition, I served ten (10) years on the Executive Board and as Conference Chair for NAEHCY ( National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth), retiring from those duties in November 2019. Currently, I proudly serve as President of the University of Evansville African American Alumni Association (UEAAA) and as a Board Member for the Annual Family Day Cultural Celebration, Evansville.
My personal connections with UE are bittersweet. My dearest friend, the late Angela Williams, served as assistant director of parent and alumni relations on campus. Had it not been for her words of wisdom and coaching, I may not have continued my education at UE, nor served in the Alumni Association. My dear friend, H B., who studied with me, cried with me, and laughed at me, as we went through the Masters Program together; I love her to eternity. She was and still is my BFF!
UE Alumni Activities/Why I Give Back
At this time, I serve as president of UEAAA and I work with the young people in my Church. I feel it necessary to give back what has been given to you. Someone helped me along the way, now it’s my time. Maya Angelou said it best. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
Favorite UE Memory
Building a lasting rapport with other nontraditional students in my cohort. Most of us were working parents, with spouses, involved in our community, schools, and churches. Having that much in common, we relied and depended on each other as an extended family. To this day, we still keep in contact, referring to ourselves as BFFs!