Five individuals have been selected by the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) to receive the Yale Medal in 2016. This year’s recipients are Roland W. Betts ’68, Thomas B. Ketchum ’72, Susan E. Lennon ‘85 M.P.P.M., James C. Lu ’77 and Indra K. Nooyi ’80 M.P.P.M.
Inaugurated in 1952, the Yale Medal is the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni and is conferred solely to recognize and honor outstanding individual service to the university. Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 308 individuals, all of whom not only showed deep devotion to the ideals of the university, but also were conspicuous in demonstrating their support of Yale through extensive, exemplary service on behalf of the university as a whole or one of its many schools, institutes, or programs.
Citations for this year’s Yale Medalists follow.
Roland W. Betts ’68 has demonstrated outstanding service to his alma mater, playing a lead role in transformational initiatives while also inspiring others to give back. Roland has served in many capacities, most recently as a trustee of the Yale-NUS Governing Board, chair of the Sterling Fellows, and a member of the Yale School of Management Board of Advisors. Over the years, he has served as co-chair of the Yale Tomorrow Campaign, as a member of several of his class’s Reunion Gift Committees, and as a steadfast supporter of Yale Athletics. He was elected to the Yale Corporation as an alumni fellow in 1999 and was named senior fellow in 2004, serving for eight years, the longest term in Yale’s history. In addition, his long-term vision and generosity facilitated the launch of several important programs at Yale including the two new colleges and Betts House as home to the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Finally, he spearheaded the comprehensive renovation of Ingalls Rink.
Thomas B. Ketchum ’72 has served Yale and its community with exceptional dedication for many years, contributing his energy and expertise to numerous areas of strategic importance to Yale, on both global and domestic fronts. He is a charter member of the President’s Council on International Activities and of the Jackson Institute Board of Advisors. He was also a member of the executive committee of the successful Yale Tomorrow Campaign and the Parents Leadership Council, and now serves on the Yale Development Council. Additionally, he serves as one of Yale’s representatives on the boards of trustees of Yale-New Haven Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital. A tireless supporter of Yale Athletics and the Yale College Class of ’72, Tom is a longstanding board member of the Yale Hockey Association and was a member of Reunion Gift Committees for his 25th, 30th, 35th and 40th reunions. Tom is also president of the boards of The Mory’s Association and Mory’s Preservation, Inc.
Susan E. Lennon ’85 M.P.P.M. has demonstrated exceptional commitment to Yale, serving as an ambassador for volunteer service. Her deep appreciation for Yale is exemplified by her many volunteer leadership roles, beginning at Yale School of Management as a member of the SOM Alumni Association Board and Internship Fund Board, and chair of the SOM Alumni Fund. Her service as an SOMAA assembly delegate deepened her engagement with the broader Yale community and its mission of service. Susan served as co-chair of the 2010 conference “Celebrating Yale Women: 40 Years in Yale College/140 Years at Yale,” which played a critical role in the launch of YaleWomen. In 2011, she served on the committee charged with developing the organization’s strategic plan and formalized the process for thoughtful volunteer leadership onboarding and cultivation at the chapter level of YaleWomen, which has resulted in over 23 chapters worldwide. Susan is currently chair of YaleWomen, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this fall. She also serves on AYA’s Advisory Council and Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.
James C. Lu ’77 has shown extraordinary dedication and commitment to Yale. Over the past 14 years, he has served the Association of Yale Alumni as a delegate, board member, officer, chair and ex-officio member of the University Council. His unwavering devotion to the university after graduation was highlighted by his service as Class Secretary for 25 years and then by his active participation with the Alumni Fund, the Alumni Schools Committee and his Class Council and Reunion Committees. He has been a Yale Alumni Magazine board member, a leader with the Association of Asian American Yale Alumni, and a supporter of the Yale Baseball Association. Jimmy is the consummate global ambassador for Yale when cultivating and strengthening relationships beyond New Haven and hosting programs in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, China, and other far-away destinations. His passion and infectious enthusiasm for all things Yale have inspired loyal alumni from diverse backgrounds to take on meaningful volunteer leadership roles for their beloved alma mater.
Indra K. Nooyi ’80 M.P.P.M. has demonstrated her devotion to Yale through her passion, her steadfast support, and the insights she has given the school in her many leadership roles. Following her graduation from Yale, Indra served on the President’s Council on International Affairs, as a member of the Yale School of Management Board of Advisors, and on the Yale Tomorrow Campaign. She was a featured speaker at Yale’s Tercentennial and the School of Management’s 25th anniversary, and was the opening keynote speaker at the inaugural Yale Asian Alumni Reunion in 2014. In her former capacity as a member of the Yale Corporation, she offered Yale invaluable guidance, drawing upon her experience setting the strategic agenda for major global businesses. Indra’s commitment to the mission of Yale has grown deeper over the years, as demonstrated by her landmark gift to endow the deanship of the School of Management and inaugurate the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund. With this generous gift, she is the first woman to endow a deanship at a top-ranking business school.