10:09 AM

Bellevue University Announces Rescheduled Date for Annual Signature Event


BELLEVUE, Nebraska – Bellevue University, one of the nation’s leaders in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, has announced its annual Signature Event will not be held this fall due to the pandemic.

This year’s event, which was to feature Gary Sinise as its speaker, will be held Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at the Holland Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Additional details are expected to be released at a later date.

“Gary is well-known for his work with military charitable causes, so the event will be a wonderful opportunity for Bellevue University to showcase its commitment to educating military service members and their families, and serving military veterans through our nationally-known Military Services Veteran Center,” Russ Rupiper, Chief Executive Officer of Advancement at Bellevue University, said.

About Gary Sinise:

For nearly 40 years, Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate on behalf of America’s service members. It began in the early 80’s, he began supporting local Vietnam veterans’ groups in the Chicago area with the creation of Vets Night, a program offering free dinners and performances to veterans at the Steppenwolf Theatre. His commitment continued into the 90’s working on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans organization which he continues to actively support today. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, his dedication to our nation’s active duty defenders, veterans, first responders and their families has become a tireless crusade of support, service and gratitude for all those who protect our freedom and serve our country.

His portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film Forrest Gump formed an enduring connection with service members throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours, Sinise created the “Lt. Dan Band” in 2003 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad. Over the years, the band has performed hundreds of shows for our troops and continues with an average of 30 shows a year for military bases, charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, veterans and troops around the world.

Sinise served as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and raised funds for the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance in NYC. He serves on the President’s Advisory Group for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Community Council for Hope for the Warriors and as an honorary board member of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). 

In 2011, to expand upon his individual efforts, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation with the mission to honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, Gold Star families and those in need through a variety of programs, including R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), Relief & Resiliency, Community & Education, and First Responders Outreach. All of which feature a number of initiatives to address the everchanging needs of our military and first responders. Most recently, the Foundation established its Emergency COVID 19 Combat Service, which expanded to include frontline healthcare workers and provided needed PPE equipment and meals for those on the frontlines. For more information, please visit GarySiniseFoundation.org.

In 2019, Gary’s autobiography, Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service, was released and immediately became a New York Times Bestseller. It is the inspiring, entertaining, and profound story of how a young “rough around the edges” kid from Chicago eventually, through his very personal and unique journey, found his calling: to ensure that our nations defenders, who serve this country and its freedoms, are never forgotten.

About Bellevue University

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with nearly 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (hlcommision.org).