Students: Share your big “Ydeas” for the new Schwarzman Center

Student teams are invited to participate in “The Big Ydea Schwarzman Center Thinkathon,” which will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Schwarzman Center, corner of Prospect and Grove streets.

The event, open to teams of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, is a one-day brainstorming competition in which teams — after watching a short video of current design concepts for the center — will come up with ideas for a specific program, event, performance concept, technology, or use of the space, and then present their idea to the competition judges. The judges are President Peter Salovey, Vice President Kimberly Goff-Crews, and Michael Kaiser, former director of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, who is advising Yale on the project.

There is a maximum of four students for each team, who will compete in the categories of Art & Performance, Ideas and Opinions, Social Events, and Spaces.

A cash grand prize of $2,500 will be given to the team judged to have the best “Ydea,” along with a $1,500 runner-up prize. Three prizes of $1,000 each will be given to winners in the specific categories. Every participating team takes away $100. The university guaranteed that one of the winning teams will have its idea produced when the center opens.

This past May, Yale alumnus Stephen A. Schwarman ’69 made a $150 million gift to Yale to create a world-class, state-of-the-art campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall. The university-wide center will serve as a campus educational, social, and cultural hub, and will enable virtual engagement with global audiences.

Lynn Cooley, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, sent a message to all members of the student community inviting them to participate in “The Big Ydea.”

Student teams will receive further instructions about the competition at the event. Register your team here.

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