Annual alumni association assembly focuses on service

Hundreds of Yale alumni leaders will gather in New Haven Nov. 8–10 for the Association of Yale Alumni Assembly LXXII.

Delegates gather in Commons at a previous AYA Assembly. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

“The University is delighted to be welcoming back over 400 dedicated volunteers and assembly guests,” says Vice President Linda K. Lorimer ’77 J.D. “These individuals do so much to contribute to Yale and to the vibrancy of programs and initiatives by and for our graduates.”

The assembly is the main annual gathering of the alumni association. Delegates represent Yale College classes, the graduate and professional schools, alumni shared-interest groups, and the local alumni clubs in many American cities, regions, and states, as well as countries overseas.

Beyond focusing on organizational business, each assembly highlights an important facet of the University and alumni life. This year, the theme is “Answering the call to service: alumni volunteers in the global community.” The program will feature speakers who discuss why alumni community service is important to Yale and who will showcase the service-enabling programs now supported by the AYA, most of which did not exist five years ago.

The call to community service by alumni, in their home communities and globally, has been a priority for the AYA, and its first-ever strategic plan, titled “Ambassadors for Yale,” was adopted in 2007 after listening sessions with alumni across the world.

“Alumni are increasingly coming together for service to their home communities,” said Mark Dollhopf ’77, executive director of the AYA. “They are being called upon to not only give dollars to their alma mater, but to give of themselves in volunteer service.”

During the assembly, six alumni will also be honored for their service to Yale with the awarding of the Yale Medal, the highest award presented by the AYA, which is conferred solely to recognize and honor outstanding individual service to the University. Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 287 individuals. This year’s recipients are Edward J. Greenberg ‘59, Richard J. Franke ‘53, Ellen Gibson McGinnis ‘82, Nancy A. Stratford ‘77, Robert E. Steele ‘71 M.P.H., ‘75 Ph.D., and David Swensen ‘80 Ph.D. Readers can learn more about the honorees in this YaleNews story.

The inaugural Yale-Jefferson Award for Public Service will also be presented during the assembly. The first recipient of the to J.B. Schramm ’86, founder of College Summit, a program that identifies college-capable students in low-income areas and prepares them for the college admissions process. See the related YaleNews story.

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