TODAY: All are invited to celebrate Yale’s 317th birthday on Founders Day

Students post during a Yale Founders Day celebration, with fun props and carboard cutouts of President Salovey and Handsome Dan.
Students during 2017 Founders Day celebrations. (Photo credit: Michael Marsland)

Yale turns 317 years old on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and all are invited to join the Founders Day celebration.

The festivities will include a birthday gala on Cross Campus, open houses, tours, presidential visits, and more. All events are free and open to the public.

The annual Founders Day celebration is held on or near the day when the New Haven Colony approved the creation of the “Collegiate School” that would become Yale: Oct. 9, 1701. The school was to be a place “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts & Sciences … [and] fitted for Publick employment both in Church & Civil State.”

Here’s a look at this year’s offerings. For a complete schedule of activities, visit the Founders Day website.

Cross Campus celebration

Drop by Cross Campus from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and enjoy harvest food and treats, music by The Bluegrass Characters and The Yale Citations, and remarks by President Peter Salovey.

This year, Founders Day coincides with the finale of celebrations for the 10th anniversary of Yale’s West Campus, home to Yale School of Nursing and numerous Yale institutes focused on health, culture, energy, and the environment. There will be displays and giveaways by staff, faculty, and students from West Campus. All are encouraged to sign the visitors’ book and pop by the selfie wall to take a photo with science-themed props.

Presidential visits

As he has every year since his inauguration, Salovey will make drop-in visits to departments across campus on Founders Day. This year, he will visit the Yale School of Management, 25 Science Park, the Office of Development, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ask the President

If you are curious about Yale’s history, trailblazers, buildings, traditions, or more, you can submit your question to the President prior to Founders Day. Salovey will answer submitted questions during the day’s celebrations.

Open houses, tours, and more

Other Founders Day activities include:

Open houses

Tours

Tree planting

Yale staff members can choose to mark milestone anniversaries by having a tree planted in their honor. On Founders Day, five trees will be planted 3-5 p.m. at Phelps Gate.

#YaleFoundersDay

Use #YaleFoundersDay on Instagram to share photos from your Founders Day experience — a photo will be randomly selected to win a prize!

Exhibit of historic Yale documents

In conjunction with Founders Day, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library will display three documents of early Yale University history Oct. 4–15

Healthy Yale, Healthy Planet”

Founders Day 2018 also coincides with the annual Sustainability Week program, taking place Oct. 8-12. Events aim to raise awareness and deepen campus engagement around sustainability. 

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