AYA Board of Governors striving to grow community, connect alumni
The Association of Yale Alumni Board of Governors convened over the weekend in New Haven for its April gathering, wrapping up the academic year with meetings focusing on board initiatives to connect and engage alumni.
The AYA board meets four times per year, generally over two days. One day is reserved for committee updates, with the other providing time for the full board to meet in plenary session. The topics for Friday’s committee meetings included mentoring, engaging graduate and professional school alumni, and volunteer leadership.
“These meetings are crucial to engaging alumni across the country and around the world,” said Weili Cheng ’77, executive director of the AYA. “The dedicated volunteers who make up the Board of Governors are active in their communities, and as board members help develop strategies to strengthen alumni connections to each other and the university in ways that promote lifelong learning, career and professional development, and social networks.”
The headlining events of the Friday session were the Lamar Awards Luncheon – where faculty members Jay Gitlin ’71, ’74 Mus.M., ’02 Ph.D. and Meg Urry were honored for their contributions to the alumni family – and an update from President Peter Salovey. The day concluded with a dinner at the newly renovated refectory at the Divinity School, where those members who are completing their service on the board were recognized by Rahul Prasad ’84 M.S., ’87 Ph.D., board chair.
On Saturday, the full board and AYA staff discussed subjects ranging from an analysis of 2017’s all-alumni survey results to the AYA’s international initiatives. The two-day session wrapped up with a Day of Service project at the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden, Conn., with board members and staff building educational kits for underserved school children.
“I was thrilled with the participation at this April’s Board of Governors meeting, and I am continually amazed and impressed with the ideas and enthusiasm of our board members,” Prasad said. “Capping the weekend off with a Day of Service event was the perfect end to a productive, inspiring weekend.”
The AYA Board of Governors advises on the alumni association’s direction and goals and provides leadership for initiatives such as Careers, Life, and Yale. The board is also responsible for the nomination of candidates for election as alumni fellow to the Yale Corporation and for the selection of recipients of the Yale Medal, the aforementioned Lamar Award, and the AYA Board of Governors Excellence Awards.
The board is composed of 18 members elected by AYA Assembly delegates (representing alumni constituencies such as regional clubs, Yale College classes, interest groups, and graduate and professional associations), six members appointed by the board from the full alumni body, five officers (chair, vice chair, and three executive officers), and six ex-officio members.