'Inspired by Yale' video showcases alumni groups and engagement

The Yale alumni association has released a new video, first screened to delegates at the recent annual alumni assembly and embedded above, that shows some of the highlights of alumni relations in last academic year through to this fall. The script for the video’s narration is printed below, along with hyperlinks to alumni association groups and programs, so readers can explore and learn more.

Some think Yale and its alumni relations are frozen artifacts from the past.

In fact, the only thing frozen about Yale and its alumni are the lyrics of award-winning songs or the ice on which the hockey team skates to victory in front of alumni fans.

There’s a new dawn in alumni relations as more graduates join together — in New Haven, online, and around the world.

Today’s alumni sustain a dynamic tradition of service and engagement that is innovative and inclusive.

A quick look at a few highlights of the last year or so shows how today’s alumni relations are inspired by Yale.

More alumni returning to campus

Over 200 years of alumni activity — the longest of any American university — began in 1792 with the election of the class officers and evolved into tour five-year system of class reunions.

Reunions today are more vibrant than ever, setting new records in 2015 for overall attendance. More than 7,000 graduates, family, and friends returned for Yale College reunions in the spring of 2015.

Young alumni now participate as much or more than older generations. More than 55% of the Yale College Class of 2010 came to their first five-year reunion.

In the spirit of a more unified Yale, nursing school alumni took part in faculty talks and campus tours organized for the 2015 Yale College reunions.

Reunions of the various professional schools are livelier than ever, too. From SOM reunions in the new Evans Hall to medicine, nursing, law, divinity, public health, and forestry and environmental studies, schools across campus welcome their alumni home each year.

Alumni are always innovating. The Yale College classes of 1971, ‘72, and ‘73, the first with women, were pioneers again in October 2015 by holding Yale’s first cluster reunion.

Alumni return for much more than reunions. In one of the newest alumni ventures, Yale graduates are coming back to campus to share their wisdom and talents with current students through Careers, Life, & Yale. Thinking about “where do I go from Yale,” students across campus have learned with alumni about careers focused on areas such as sustainability and the environment, health and medicine, public service and social entrepreneurship, and the humanities.

More alumni connecting at home

Beyond campus, the dynamic tradition of hometown Yale alumni groups is thriving. The Cincinnati Yale Club’s sesquicentennial in 2014 celebrated Yale’s legacy of the nation’s longest-running regional alumni associations.

More than 160 Yale alumni groups now serve graduates in communities across the United States and nearly 40 other countries.

They welcome new alumni moving into their communities, support students from their areas coming to Yale, and gather to network, celebrate, and socialize.

Local alumni relations remain strong in major cities and in communities of all sizes. New York alumni created Foodtober, a month-long festival of culinary celebration and education, while alumni in Oregon recently held a symposium on healthcare beyond Obamacare. These are just two examples of new local programming engaging graduates.

More alumni joining shared identity and interest groups (SIGs)

Complementing the strength of classes and clubs, there has been a tremendous growth in shared identity and interest groups fueling the alumni relations renaissance.

Alumni have made Yale’s tradition of innovation their own, with 75 total SIGs connecting graduates around identity, vocation, student affinity, or athletics, including 30 groups formed in the last five years.

From the Yale Black Alumni Association’s celebration of the Afro-American Cultural Center’s 45th anniversary to the inaugural Yale Veterans Summit, the Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit, and scores of other events, alumni are engaged in new ways.

YaleWomen have joined with the Women’s Faculty Forum to examine gender rules; gay and lesbian alumni celebrated marriage equality; Arab alumni held a leadership summit in Dubai; and YaleTech alumni have connected in San Francisco, New York, London, and Shanghai.

More alumni learning for life

The passion for learning and ideas is contagious at Yale, and it continues with graduates and with the alumni association’s support for lifelong learning.

Yale Educational Travel welcomed its most participants in a decade during the 2015 academic year, with immersive education across the globe.

The new Yale Alumni College program continues to grow, with 17 seminars held in 2015 across six different sites, and back on campus, the Yale for Life residential seminars each June allow alumni to become students again.

More alumni uniting in service

Yale was America’s first institution of higher education to explicitly inscribe service to society in its charter. Yale alumni volunteers and the alumni association staff carry forth that tradition of innovation for impact.

The most recent Yale Day of Service saw more than 4,000 alumni, family, and friends connect in service at 240 sites in 38 U.S. states and 18 other countries.

The Yale Alumni Service Corps returned to Kakaleo, India in 2015, the 17th trip in a program that has engaged communities in the United States and seven other countries.

Partnering with the admissions office, alumni association volunteers led the first-ever Yale Alumni Schools Committee Ambassadors delegation, inspiring high school student in Macedonia, Albania, and Bosnia about the power of a liberal arts education.

The Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange sent its 10th delegation to share insights on alumni leadership with international universities.

More alumni moving forward

In New Haven, online, and around the world, more alumni are connecting with Yale and with each other than ever before.

Alumni volunteer leaders and the alumni association staff have renewed Yale’s dynamic tradition of class reunions, local clubs, shared interest and identity groups, lifelong learning, and service to the world.

Whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever their interests, more and more alumni are engaged in the alumni association’s inclusive and innovative programs, inspired by Yale.