“New Haven is a great city, and it has come a long way in 376 years — and especially in the last 20 years,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in a keynote address at the 222nd annual meeting of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce on April 9. “Our renaissance is now well rooted. New Haven and Yale are on common ground.” The full address can be read online at the President’s Office website.
A long-time resident of New Haven, Salovey noted, “New Haven is my home. My wife, Marta, and I met here and we have lived here for 30 years. We have a passion for our hometown and our neighbors.” Their experience is shared by New Haven’s new mayor, Toni Harp, he noted: “Mayor Harp and I are both people who moved to New Haven for graduate school, found our spouses, and made our lives and careers in the Elm City.”
New Haven and Yale also share a common goal, Salovey said: to encourage more young people to put down roots, develop careers, and add their talents to the mix of what makes New Haven a great place to work and live. His speech included highlights of what Salovey called “uncommonly abundant assets beyond most cities our size.” He pointed out that “there is no other city our size in America with such an array of visual and performing arts available as New Haven has, often at no or low cost.”
“Entrepreneurial energy is abundant around Yale,” said Salovey, pointing to local firms such as Prometheus Research, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Unite for Sight as examples of how students and faculty have contributed to New Haven’s economic development. Highlighting the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and Yale School of Management as two key assets on campus, he said, “We have a good foundation on which to build and create more employment opportunities in New Haven.” Building on a theme he expressed in his Inaugural Address in October, Salovey said, “I have already begun to meet with groups of students, as well as with alumni, parents, faculty, and potential investors” to expand Yale’s efforts to support entrepreneurship and local economic growth.
Noting that he is “a professor as well as president,” Salovey ended his remarks with “a homework assignment” — due on April 24, the 376th anniversary of New Haven’s settlement in 1638: “[T]ake a moment that day to share with others about how New Haven is the greatest small city in America. Tweet it, post it on Facebook or send an Instagram, e-mail a friend from out of town to join you and visit a museum, see a show, enjoy a dinner in New Haven.”
Salovey concluded with confidence about his — and Yale’s — home city: “As a New Havener and as president of Yale, I am bullish about the future that we will build together.”