Yale University’s 316th Commencement will take place on Monday, May 22 at 10 a.m., and the 2017 Yale Class Day exercises will be held on Sunday, May 21 at 2 p.m. Theo Epstein ‘95, president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball and former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, will be the featured speaker at the 2017 Yale Class Day program.
General Michael V. Hayden, a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former director of the National Security Agency, principal deputy director of National Intelligence, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will deliver remarks at the 2017 Joint Military Commissioning ceremony for Yale’s ROTC students on Monday, May 22 at Battell Chapel at 4:30 p.m.
RSVP: All members of the media must display Yale press credentials during Class Day and Commencement. Credentials are required for access to the media platform on Old Campus. Requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reserved credentials can be picked up 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 16-19 at the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC), 2 Whitney Grove Square, Suite 330 (corner of Grove and Whitney Streets). Contact phone number is: 203-432-1345.
All media photographers, reporters, and television camera crews must cover Class Day and Commencement from the news media platform, where audio feeds will be available. Access to the platform requires a Yale media credential. There will be a mult-box for radio/television crews.
Sunday, May 21 Yale College Baccalaureate, 11 a.m.
Members of the media are welcome to attend the Baccalaureate service for Yale College seniors and their families at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 21. The ceremony, which features addresses by President Peter Salovey and Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway, will take place in Woolsey Hall, northwest corner of Grove and College streets. Electronic media that plan to cover this event need to reserve space in advance. Camera crews must be positioned before the service begins and are asked to remain in place until the end of the event, which lasts about 90 minutes.
Sunday, May 21 Class Day, 2 p.m., Old Campus
Media Entrance: High Street gate, closest to Elm Street between Chapel and Elm.
Class Day, featuring Epstein’s talk, will include traditions, such as planting the Class Ivy, reciting the Ivy Ode, awarding academic prizes to students, and singing Yale's alma mater, "Bright College Years," while waving a white handkerchief.
Monday, May 22, Commencement, 10:30 a.m., Old Campus
Media Entrance:High Street gate, closest to Elm Street between Chapel and Elm.
Monday, May 22, 2017 Joint Military Commissioning ceremony at Battell Chapel, 400 College St.
Watch Class Day and Commencement live on the Yale YouTube channel.
Yale’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds will have images and stories about the weekend’s activities. Albums of Class Day and Commencement photos will be available to download from Yale’s Flickr account.
Biography of Theo Epstein
A graduate of Yale College (Class of 1995), Epstein is a former sports reporter and sports editor at the Yale Daily News. Epstein won wide acclaim for his leadership abilities, first at the Boston Red Sox, when he became the youngest general manager in Major League Baseball, and he helped lead them in 2004 to their first World Series Championship in 86 years — making him, at age 30, the youngest general manager to win a World Series. Following that, as the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, he helped lead them in 2016 to their first World Series Championship in 108 years.
According to the Class Day chairs Joana Andoh '17 of Silliman College and Larry Milstein '17 of Jonathan Edwards College: “Epstein's remarkable story is not only a story about baseball. It is a story of what is possible when you dream, have passion and talent, access every opportunity, and work incredibly hard. No one could have said that what he did could be done, not once, but twice. His story is one of turning dreams into reality. For this reason, we believe he is a perfect fit to speak to the Class of 2017 at our graduation.”
“We look forward to welcoming Theo Epstein, along with your families and friends, to Class Day,” said the chairs to the seniors.
Epstein helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 while he was general manager. He is in his sixth season with the Cubs, and is signed through 2021 following a five-year extension this off-season. He is in his 26th season in Major League Baseball.
The 2016 World Series title was the culmination of a five-year rebuild of the Cubs’ baseball operation, restructuring the scouting and player development departments and front office, and acquiring a young core of talent through trades, drafts, and international free agency.
The Cubs have increased their win total every year under Epstein, from 61 to 66 during his first year to 73 to 97 to 103 in 2016. Chicago has won five post-season series in the last two years after winning just one in 105 years from 1909 to 2014. The Cubs have made more than 45 trades during Epstein’s tenure.
Epstein is just the second individual since World War II to win at least two World Series titles in his first five seasons as a Major League general manager, joining the Yankees’ Brian Cashman (1998-2000). He was the first Red Sox GM to preside over more than three playoff teams (2003-2005, 2007-2009).
In 2009, Epstein was named Executive of the Decade for baseball by The Sporting Newsand was third onSports Illustrated’slist of Top-10 GMs/Executives of the Decade in all sports. He was named the 2008 Baseball AmericaExecutive of the Year. He was also honored in 2003 and 2004 as the Major League Executive of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Prior to his time as general manager with the Red Sox, Epstein was the organization’s assistant general manager beginning in March of 2002. Prior to that, he spent five seasons with the San Diego Padres baseball operations department beginning in 1996, serving as director of baseball operations and as a member of the Padres Communications department in 1995-1996. Epstein began his baseball career as a summer intern for the Baltimore Orioles 1992-1994.
Epstein is a 2000 graduate of University of San Diego Law School. In 2005, He and his twin brother, Paul, launched The Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL), which has raised $7.3 million for non-profit agencies serving disadvantaged youth in both the Boston and Chicago areas. Epstein and his wife, Marie, have two sons, Jack and Drew.