Alexander Lauded for Helping To Lead the City’s Transformation

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce recently honored Bruce D. Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs and campus development, with its Community Leadership Award.

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce recently honored Bruce D. Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs and campus development, with its Community Leadership Award.

“For the past 11 years, on behalf of Yale, Bruce has devoted himself to building effective partnerships in the interests of the city’s long-term success and he has continually shown us his extraordinary vision in doing so. Honestly, it’s like he has special ‘future goggles’ that allow him to see things that the rest of us mere mortals cannot imagine,” said Anne Worcester, the head of Market New Haven, who introduced Alexander at the award ceremony.

At the Chamber of Commerce luncheon in his honor, Vice President Bruce Alexander said he believed that public school reform should be a priority as New Haven continues to grow and progress. In this photo from a Sept. 18 ceremony, he and Bob Proto of Unite Here (right) hold a check for $25,000 that the University and the union jointly donated to New Haven’s James Hillhouse High School to purchase new computers and technology.

“Bruce has led the effort to transform many blocks of downtown into retail and dining destinations,” she added. “He has always had a vision for New Haven that equals or exceeds the sophistication of many larger metro areas.”

Worcester also credited Alexander for devoting his talents to citywide progress on a number of issues.

“He has always seen a community where economic opportunity extends beyond downtown and into New Haven’s neighborhoods,” she said. “Through many partnerships that Bruce initiated or expanded, especially with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and the City of New Haven, Yale’s connection to New Haven and its residents has grown and prospered over the years. From supporting growth of jobs and the tax base through economic development, youth outreach programs, neighborhood partnerships and generous support for arts and culture - including his strong commitment to the Festival of Arts & Ideas and its board - we are all living in a better place due to Bruce’s vision of what we can all achieve together.”

In accepting the award, Alexander said the work he does would not be possible without resources and support from President Richard C. Levin and the Yale Corporation.

“Our city has made great progress in recent years and an essential ingredient that has allowed that to happen is a collaboration among the institutional, governmental and business leadership of our community,” Alexander said. “As the largest employer and one of the few remaining large employers left in New Haven, my university has made great efforts in the past decade and a half to reconcile any differences we have had with the community.”

To continue progress in New Haven, Alexander said public school reform should be a priority and he credited DeStefano and schools superintendent Reginald Mayo for their efforts on the issue.

Alexander also said that government could support economic development in the New Haven region by establishing faster rail service to New York City, greater utilization of Tweed Airport and streamlined permitting.

He said Yale and other other higher education institutions in the region were an economic advantage, citing Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, founded by chemist and Yale Nobel Prize-winner Thomas Steitz, as an example of the area’s potential for biotech industry.

“We have creative and effective individuals in our community, and we have proven over the past decade that we can work together for the good of our city,” said Alexander, a 1965 graduate of Yale College who became vice president in 1998. “Building on that record of accomplishment, let us find ways that we can do even more to create a prosperous economy and bright future for New Haven.”

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