Levins among alumni honored for service to Yale

Six individuals have been selected by the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) to receive the Yale Medal in 2013. This year’s recipients are Nina Relin Adams ’69 M.S., ’77 M.S.N., G. Leonard Baker Jr. ’64, Guido Calabresi ’53, ’58 LL.B., William Folberth ’66, Jane A. Levin ’75 Ph.D., and Richard C. Levin ’74 Ph.D.

Inaugurated in 1952, the Yale Medal is the highest award presented by the AYA and is conferred solely to recognize and honor outstanding individual service to the university. Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 293 individuals, all of whom not only showed extraordinary devotion to the ideals of the university, but also were conspicuous in demonstrating their support of Yale through extensive, exemplary service on behalf of Yale as a whole or one of its many schools, institutes, or programs.

Descriptions of the honorees follow:

Nina Relin Adams ’69 M.S., ’77 M.S.N. has served Yale in many volunteer roles before, during, and since she retired after 20-plus years as an adult nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services and as a Yale School of Nursing (YSN) faculty member. She has served as co-chair of YSN Class Agents, on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Yale Annual Fund (receiving the Chairman’s Award in 2009), and as reader and planner for the annual YSN Creative Writing Awards. As co-chair of Class Agents, she has encouraged recent graduates to stay connected to YSN and to donate to the annual fund, used strictly for student scholarships. As a Yale Alumni Fund board member, she has focused on increasing the involvement of graduate and professional students. Nina retired in order to direct Film Fest New Haven, an international, competitive festival of independent film. She now continues to screen and program films, consults to film festivals, and also immerses herself in theater, serving on the board of the Yale School of Drama Summer Cabaret.

G. Leonard Baker Jr. ’64 has demonstrated, through his numerous contributions, a deep dedication to Yale. He has served as a member of the AYA Board of Governors and he has been a devoted member of the Class of 1964 serving as class secretary, class council member, class agent and reunion gift committee chair. As a member of the Yale Corporation he served on numerous committees including Building and Grounds, Development and Alumni Affairs, Finance, and Investments for the entirety of his term. He also served on the Audit Committee, School of Medicine, was chair of the Finance Committee, and in addition chaired the Trusteeship Committee. He also served as one of the chairs of the Yale Tomorrow Campaign. As a volunteer he has been a contributor to the Yale community of his time and energy. His gift of leadership has benefited Yale in many ways.

Honorable Guido Calabresi ’53, ’58 LL.B. has served Yale and its community with distinction and devotion for almost 60 years. A faculty child, he grew up in New Haven. While at Yale Law School he taught economics in Yale College. He then became law clerk to Hugo Black of the U.S. Supreme Court. Returning to Yale, he was named the youngest-ever full professor at the Law School; his classes became legendary and most sought after. A dominant scholar, he soon received Yale’s highest honor: a Sterling Professorship. He was dean of the Law School from 1985 to 1994, when he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Throughout his judgeship, he has continued to teach at Yale, as Sterling Professor Emeritus and professorial lecturer. Because of his tireless efforts, renowned wisdom, and dedication to his alma mater, he is considered the soul of the Yale Law School.

William Folberth ’66 is an outstanding contributor of time, treasure, and talent to Yale. As chair of the Alumni Fund he spent incalculable hours raising funds for Yale. He has served as an ex-officio member of the AYA Board of Governors and University Council. For his beloved Class of 1966 he is the glue that holds his classmates together. He instituted monthly class lunches, nurtured a “Winterfest” in the Rockies for classmates and spouses, and has organized the Friends of Yale on Nantucket, which holds an annual reception featuring The Alumni Whiffenpoofs. He revitalized Mace & Chain, an underground senior society in his day, but now an aboveground society with a newly purchased tomb. From his days as a freshman “walk on” starter on both the Bull Pup football team and the heavyweight crew to the last whistle of The Game in Cambridge last November, his passion and support for Yale Athletics has never faltered.

Jane A. Levin ’75 Ph.D .Her enduring devotion to Yale is legendary, as the wife of Yale’s 22nd president and director of undergraduate studies for Directed Studies (DS), the selective freshman humanities program in western civilization. She is the first spouse of a university president ever to have been a lecturer, and she has been honored with a teaching prize for best lector or lecturer. She has added four annual sessions at the Yale University Art Gallery, a discussion at the Yale Center for British Art, and a visit to the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library into the DS curriculum. Additionally, she has coordinated 14 years’ worth of colloquia, setting up three speakers a semester to lecture DS students about issues in western civilization. In her role as first lady she has helped Yale flourish by expressing the university’s appreciation to everyone from freshman counselors to faculty members.

Richard C. Levin ’74 Ph.D. His extraordinary service to Yale needs little recounting. As president he has strengthened university relationships locally, nationally, and internationally. He has fostered connections with the City of New Haven, which have led to innovative partnerships advancing economic development and home ownership. He is an advocate and leader in local and global sustainability issues. Under Mr. Levin’s presidency, all Yale College students now have the opportunity to study or participate in internships abroad and need-based financial aid is available for all international students in Yale College as it has been for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. He launched numerous educational partnerships in China and India, and, in 2011, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Yale established Yale-NUS College in Singapore, providing a new model of liberal arts education for Asia. Yale-NUS opened in August 2013.