Stratford leads new officers, board members for the Association of Yale Alumni
In her time as a Yale volunteer, Nancy Stratford ’77 has co-founded the YaleWomen shared interest group, chaired the Yale Alumni Fund, and served on the 1977 Class Council and as an Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) board member. She is also a past recipient of the Yale Alumni Fund Chairman’s Award and the Yale Medal, the highest honor given to a Yale alumna or alumnus.
On July 1, Stratford began her latest opportunity, as chair of the AYA Board of Governors. She succeeds Rahul Prasad ’84 M.S., ’87 Ph.D., who will remain on the board as the immediate past chair, with Jerry Henry ’80 M.Div. assuming Stratford’s prior role as vice chair.
There will also be three new executive officers on the Board of Governors, which serves as the chief advisory body for the AYA: Xiaoyan Huang ’91, Thomas Opladen ’66, and Pulin Sanghvi ’92. All three previously served as board members.
In addition, a new group of board members began their terms July 1: Paul Bosco ’84 M.S.; Darryl Eugene Crompton ’76 M.P.H.; Wendy Maldonado D’Amico ’93; Thomas Dolan ’05; Ethan Heard ’07, ’13 M.F.A.; Shah Karim ’81, ’87 M.A., ’07 M.Phil.; Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar ’88; and Patricia Melton ’83.
“Attending Yale was one of my life’s great joys, and to be able to give back to the university for so many years has been a tremendous honor,” said Stratford. “I look forward to working with our new group of officers, our entire board, and the AYA staff to continue to develop and implement relevant opportunities for engagement to best serve all alumni in the years to come.”
Said Prasad: “Nancy and I have worked closely over the last few years to grow the AYA and its programs. Through the Careers, Life, and Yale initiative, we have made significant progress in helping students and young alumni navigate their career paths and challenges. And we have endeavored to create a vibrant, diverse board where everyone’s thoughts and opinions are considered equally. To know that we have such a strong leader to continue that work is a tremendous boon to the AYA, and for all alumni.”
Stratford said one of her early goals as chair is to implement programming requested by alumni, based on the all-alumni survey conducted last year. Among those areas of focus are expanding career networking opportunities, including further development of Careers, Life, and Yale; adding new shared interest groups; and increasing the number of lifelong learning and community service opportunities.
Developing a deeper and more diverse leadership pipeline is also a priority, all while combining the wisdom of more experienced alumni with the thoughts and ideas of the next generation of leaders.
“Each alumna and alumnus has a lifelong relationship with Yale,” Stratford said. “And at the alumni association, we want to provide opportunities for our alumni to engage with Yale and connect with each other in ways that are meaningful to them — and to provide opportunities for alumni of all ages to play an active role in shaping the association. In that way, we can facilitate programs that will have a positive impact on the lives of our alumni.”
In all, the AYA Board of Governors consists of the five officers, 24 board members, and seven ex-officio members that include the past chair, student officers, and alumni representatives from the Yale Corporation, Yale Alumni Publications, Inc., the Yale Alumni Fund, and the University Council.
The executive officers are selected by the board’s Officer Nominating Committee, while six of the board members are voted in by the AYA Assembly delegates and the other two appointed by a nominating committee comprised of current delegates. The chair and vice chair are two-year appointments, running through June 2020, while the remaining executive officer positions are one-year appointments. Board members serve three-year terms.
“I am so excited to have Nancy, Jerry, and all the new officers and board members with us to continue the AYA’s great work,” said AYA Executive Director Weili Cheng ’77, herself a past chair of the alumni association. “Our volunteer leadership is a critical component of what we do, and we’re so very fortunate to have such a strong team for the coming year.”