Senator Blumenthal honored at Yale Graduate School diversity conference

The ninth annual Bouchet Leadership Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education took place at Yale March 30-31. The focus of this year’s conference was “Determining the Future of Diversity Discussions.” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal ’73 J.D. (D-CT), who received this year’s Bouchet Leadership Award, at the conference, delivered the keynote address.

Blumenthal and group
Pictured at the Bouchet Conference (from left) Orlando Taylor, president, Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C.; Michelle Nearon, assistant dean, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Senator Richard Blumenthal; Curtis Patton, professor emeritus, Yale School of Public Health; Chontrese Doswell Hayes, assistant dean, Howard University Graduate School; and Orlando Yarborough III, postdoctoral associate, Yale School of Medicine.

Blumenthal is in his first term as a U.S. senator from the State of Connecticut. He previously served as Connecticut’s attorney general for five terms. From 1977 to 1981, Blumenthal was a U.S. attorney for Connecticut, prosecuting drug trafficking, organized and white-collar crime, civil rights violations, consumer fraud, and environmental pollution. He served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987, and was a member of the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1990.  

At Yale Law School, Blumenthal was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. From 1970 to 1976 he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

The Bouchet Conference is sponsored by Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Each year scholars, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students convene at the event to engage in camaraderie and intellectual dialogue.

The Bouchet Conference is named in honor of Yale University alumnus Edward Alexander Bouchet who earned a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1876, becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in any discipline from an American university and the sixth person ever to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the western hemisphere. Bouchet also was the first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree from Yale, in 1874.

Information on the Bouchet Conference is available at

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