On October 8, a brisk Saturday morning, a small crowd gathered outide the gym to witness the rededication of the building to the Courter family as a thank-you for their ongoing contributions to Bellevue College.
The Courter family has been involved in supporting BC for a long time. They have given the college funds, created scholarships, and chosen to sponsor specific programs within the school.
With their current sponsorship of the athletic department, the Courters are hoping to make it possible for students to go to school and play sports in trying economic times when it may not otherwise be a viable option due to complicated finances. The Courters hope that people can come to school and play sports without having to constantly worry about the money.
Speakers came to express their gratitute to the Courters, including Laura Saunders, the Deputy Mayor of Bellevue, BC Foundation President Bill Kent, athletic department director Bill O’Connor, and a student athlete, Alaina Herring.
Laura Saunders opened the ceremony, thanking the Courters for their generosity. Saunders said, “The Courter family name has become practically synonymous with Bulldog success, on and off the field.”
The Deputy Mayor spoke next; “Their [the Courters] support to the college is uncomporable.” He spoke of how the Courters were currently supporting the athletic department by offering scholarships to students who needed them.
After the Deputy Mayor came Kent, giving the crowd a bit of background on Allen Courter’s relationship with BC.
“Al Courter was part of the BC Foundation for something like 16 years,” he said. “He took his dedication to athletics and applied it to fundraising. Al and his wife Linda are strong advocates for everything we do here at the college.”
Bill O’Connor spoke to thank the Courters for what they were doing for his department.
He said that he planned to use these new resources to give the athletes a more rounded college experience not just in athletics, but also in academics, and community service.
The final speaker before Allen Courter himself addressed the crowd was a student athlete who wanted to show her appreciation to the Courter family. Alaina Herring is on the golf team and still maintains a 4.0 GPA.
She talked of her high school experience at St. Louise and Sammamish high schools, both of which were the recipients of donations from the Courters.
“Whenever someone in the academic community needed a helping hand, the Courters were there,” said Herring.
After much applause, Allen Courter spoke to accept the dedication.
“This is really a honor,” he said. He thanked Bill O’Connor for creating an athletic program that he felt enthusiastic about sponsoring.
After Courter made his speech, Saunders returned to the podium to officially dedicate the gym as the Courter Family Athletic Pavilion.
Following this dedication was a reception in the newly renamed building where people could meet the whole Courter family.
Courter has contributed to many academic instututions, including UW, WSU, Shoreline Community College, and his alma mater, University of Portland. His funding started the automotive school in Shoreline in the 70s.