Gift supports Elizabeth Parker Ware Deanship at Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama
(Photo by Jack Devlin)

With a generous gift, Donald R. Ware ’71 has endowed the top leadership position at Yale School of Drama and named it in memory of his mother, Elizabeth Parker Ware. The gift marks a seminal moment for the School of Drama, ensuring that every dean — beginning with the current dean, James Bundy ’95 MFA — will have permanent support to realize their vision for the school and its community, Yale leaders said.

The excellence of the School of Drama depends on our ability to recruit transformative faculty leaders who define their fields,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “By establishing the Elizabeth Parker Ware Deanship, Don Ware is helping to secure the eminence of a drama school that is already among the finest in the nation, and it allows us to honor the exceptional and long service of Dean James Bundy. I am profoundly grateful.”

I am honored to serve Yale School of Drama as the inaugural Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean,” said Bundy, who has served in his position since 2002. “Through his remarkable gift, Don ensures that the School of Drama’s rich legacy is but prologue to a glorious future of training generations of theater artists to come. On behalf of the entire school community, I extend my deepest gratitude to Don for his great generosity.”

Ware is a member of the school’s board of advisors, a role he has held since 2016. After graduating from Yale College, he pursued a career in law and is currently partner and co-chair of patent litigation practice at Foley Hoag in Boston.

Elizabeth Parker Ware was the granddaughter of a prominent newspaper editor, publisher, and writer. As a college student in the late 1930s, she became the first woman editor of DePauw University’s student newspaper. Although the social mores of the time prevented her from pursuing a career in journalism, her affinity for words persisted. A dedicated mother and community volunteer, Parker Ware also loved music and dance, encouraging her son’s creative side and inspiring his lifelong love for the arts.

With this legacy, I am honoring my mother’s extraordinary character and the career in journalism she never got to have,” said Ware. “The School of Drama is one of the world’s preeminent institutions dedicated to excellence in arts education, and I am so proud to know that her spirit will live on in such a distinguished way.”

Founded in 1924, Yale School of Drama is the only graduate-level professional conservatory in the English-speaking world to offer training in every theatrical discipline: acting, design (sets, costumes, lights, projection, and sound), directing, dramaturgy and dramatic criticism, playwriting, stage management, technical design and production, and theater management. The school is associated with Yale Repertory Theatre in a relationship analogous to that of a medical school and a teaching hospital. Together, Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre train and advance leaders to raise the standards of global professional practice, pursuing excellence in art to promote wonder, empathy, and understanding in the world.

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