by Isadora Italia ‘14
From November 18 to 21, the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) hosted its third annual Yale Global Alumni Leadership Forum in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. It was held on the Yale University campus. Thirty-five representatives from 24 educational institutions in 16 countries and 5 continents came to Yale to share best practices in alumni relations with each other as well as alumni, alumni relations professionals and administrators from Yale University. Ben Slotznick ’70 produced the event with characteristic enthusiasm and aplomb.
The Forum (referred to as YaleGALE @Yale 2015) was coordinated with participation in the annual Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Assembly brings together 500 Yale alumni volunteer leaders each year from across the globe. At Assembly, Yale celebrates both alumni and University programs, offers training to alumni volunteer leaders, and honors outstanding alumni volunteers. Participants in YaleGALE @Yale attended separate sessions designed especially for them, but were able to observe much of Assembly to see how Yale communicates with, trains, and honors its own.
This year participation in YaleGALE @Yale was larger than ever. But success is measured not just in attendance numbers. Five institutions sent representatives for the second or third time and several others sent representatives to YaleGALE @Yale after having previously participated in a YaleGALE exchange abroad. Yale alumni graduates from seven decades, including two former university presidents and five Yale Medal winners, participated as presenters and facilitators to provide their insights into alumni relations at Yale. Other Yale alumni who were delegates to Assembly joined the Wednesday sessions of YaleGALE @Yale as participants and hosts (see discussion of +Alumni Day below).
For an agenda, including list of YaleGALE biographies of select YaleGALE presenters and facilitators, along with a sample of the supporting material, see http://looksetveritas.com/yalegale/forums/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/YaleGALE_at_Yale_2015-agenda.pdf.
For the many participants who arrived on Tuesday and were not overwhelmed by jet-lag, Mark Dollhopf ‘77, former Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni, hosted an informal dinner reception at his home. This provided a warm and welcoming way to begin the conversations that would evolve and deepen over the next several days.
The four-day event began on Wednesday morning, with self-introductions and an overview of the purpose of alumni relations by Kathy Edersheim ’87, Chair of YaleGALE and Senior Director of the AYA. Morning breakout sessions included ones in volunteer engagement, leadership cultivation, and strategic planning in alumni relations. Attendees from abroad paired up with Yale alumni in small groups for short-walking tours of campus. Discussions continued over lunch.
After lunch Jonathan Holloway ’95 Ph.D., Dean of Yale College, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Yale administration and addressed the current issues on diversity and inclusion on campus. The day continued with discussions on the power of tradition and regional associations in maintaining alumni engagement.
Every session provided opportunities for sharing viewpoints and practices. In addition five delegates made guest presentations, sharing examples of programs and issues that they face at their institutions. This generated additional insightful conversation among the group.
Wednesday sessions ended with an engaging presentation by Mike Morand ’87 ’93 M.Div., Deputy Chief Communications Officer, on the importance of storytelling in public relations. The day ended with a dinner gathering at Zaroka’s to encourage informal conversation and reflections on topics of the day.
On Thursday morning, Forum participants joined the opening session of the AYA Assembly. This year the theme was “Yale and Pubic Health in the 21st Century”, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yale’s School of Public Health. Speakers showcased the many ways in which students, faculty and alumni advance the cause of better global health at Yale through countless research studies, programs and initiatives. The opening plenary was held at the Yale School of Medicine.
The plenary session began with a welcome by Lise Chapman ’81 M.B.A., Chair of the AYA Board of Governors, followed by introductions to the topics of the day by Dr. Christine Walsh ’73 M.D., a member of the AYA Board of Governors and Co-Chair of Assembly, and Prof. Jeannette Ickovics. A keynote address was delivered by Dr. Peter Singer ’90 M.P.H., Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada, and Foreign Secretary of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. After plenary, the YaleGALE group continued with its own sessions.
During the rest of Thursday, programming primarily focused on fundraising. Morning session topics ranged from fundraising among students and young alumni to fundraising in the U.S. for educational organizations abroad. As a supplement to the walking tours of the previous day, all delegates were taken to a residential college for lunch, experiencing for themselves a cornerstone of Yale campus life. This provided an additional chance for networking and conversations.
The afternoon began with greetings from Lise Chapman ’81 M.B.A., Chair of the AYA Board of Governors. For most of the afternoon, Mark Dollhopf ’77, former Executive Director of AYA, gave a special program on fostering a culture of giving. The day concluded with a self-guided walking tour of Yale’s central campus.
That evening YaleGALE participants attended the Yale Medal Reception at the Yale Law School followed by the Yale Medal Dinner in the Commons Dining Hall with about 600 Yale guests including the Assembly delegates.
Every year since 1952, the Yale Medal has been conferred to honor outstanding individual service to the University. The Medal was awarded to each recipient by, Yale President Peter Salovey 86 Ph.D. Two of this year’s Medal winners have participated in YaleGALE events and programming: Stephen Scher ’56, ’66 Ph.D. and Barbara Wagner ’73.
On Friday morning, Forum participants attended the AYA Assembly plenary sessions on the Yale response to several national student university issues, plus breakout sessions for alumni volunteer leaders of Classes, Clubs, Shared Interest Groups, and Graduate and Professional Schools. Morning plenaries included a session with Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler, discussing gender policies and sexual misconduct, as well as Yale’s progress in these regards. Yale President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D. and Dean Jonathan Holloway ’95 Ph.D. explained new programs and initiatives to address current issues of diversity and inclusion. Joan O’Neill, Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development welcomed delegates, and Lise Chapman’81 M.B.A. introduced a video which provided an update on AYA and various Yale alumni organizational activities.
At a luncheon in Commons, Yale President Peter Salovey ‘86 Ph.D. presented the fourth annual Yale-Jefferson Public Service Awards. These awards are an alumni-student honor sponsored by Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY). They are given annually to recognize three Yalies — one alumnus, one graduate/professional student, and one undergraduate — who inspire others in the Yale community through innovative and sustained contributions of service to the greater good.
The Forum and Assembly ended with several more exciting events. First was the AYA Awards Reception on Friday. The evening Awards Reception for about 600 was held in the Presidents Room in Woolsey Hall. YaleGALE received an Innovation Award for Programming Excellence for YaleGALE @Yale.
That evening @Yale participants were able to experience another Yale tradition, as they joined the YaleGALE Reunion dinner and festivities at Mory’s. Mory’s is a restaurant and tavern over 150 years old, with a tradition of hosting Yale student and alumni events.
Finally, there was the traditional last football game of the season against arch-rival Harvard on Saturday. YaleGALE attendees were able to sample pre-game festivities at Alumni Village, just outside the Yale Bowl. Delegates and alumni alike experienced traditional alumni festivities – such as the ever-lively tailgate – and relished in Yale’s tradition for the duration of the sunny afternoon.
YaleGALE participants and their participating institutions included: American Univ. of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic, represented by Erlan Amiraev, Alumni Relations Office Assistant, Bharathidasan Institute of Management (India), represented by Sarto Rajendran, President of BIM Alumni Association, Boğaziçi University (Turkey), represented by Emre Kazancioğlu, Alumni Associations Director, Nilgün Orhan, Alumni Office Manager (Bebek), and Hakan Zihnioğlu, President of Alumni Association, Florida Atlantic University, represented by Paul Metcalf, Associate Director Alumni Relations, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) – Law School (Brazil), represented by Sérgio Guerra, Vice-Director of Education, Research and Grad. Studies, IBJ (Japan), represented by Hiromi Matsuda, CEO, and Mr. Kuomizu, Director and CIO, IIT Bombay (India), represented by Ravi Sinha, Dean (Alumni & Corporate Relations), Makerere University (Uganda), represented by Moses Nadiope, Investment Officer, and Gloria Nakyeyune, Fund Administrator of University Endowment Fund, Max Planck Society (Germany), represented by Birgit Adam, Central Alumni Coordinator, Meiji University (Japan), represented by Dean Kimura, Professor at the Graduate School of Business, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa), represented by Paul Geswindt, Director Alumni Relations, NORDITA (Sweden), represented by Filippo Guarnieri, Promotion & Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, represented by Mr. Kikuchi, General Manager of Information Center, Salem State University, represented by Lori Boudo, Director of Annual Giving, and Mandy Ray, Director of Alumni Affairs and Events, Stockholm School of Economics – Riga (Latvia), represented by Raimonds Kulbergs, Campaign Development, Tec de Monterrey (Mexico), represented by Maria Aurora Ancer, Director, Alumni Relations & Career Services (EGADE), Francisco G. Perez, Director Alumni Relations, and Luis Zuñiga, Liaison Officer at Yale University, Tel Aviv University, represented by Sigal Adar, CEO- Israeli Friends of Tel Aviv University, Sigalit Ben Hayoun, Executive Director- Alumni Organization Tel Aviv University, and Shiri Stern, Director Alumni Affairs, Trent University (Canada), represented by Lee Hays, Director Alumni Affairs, Tsurumi University (Japan), represented by Mr. Tsukada, Deputy Secretary-General, University of Cape Town, represented by Lungile Jacobs, Deputy Director, Development and Alumni Department, and Johanna Fausto, U.S. Regional Director, Department of Alumni & Development, University of Johannesburg, represented by Nandi Madadasana, Senior Manager of Alumni/ Strategic partnership & special projects, University of the Western Cape (South Africa), represented by Samantha Castle, Alumni Relations Manager, University of Witwatersrand, represented by Peter Maher, Director of Alumni Relations: Head of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund Office, and Teresa O’Connell, Administrator of The University of the Witwatersrand Fund, World Learning, USA, represented by Kevin Beal, Director of Alumni Engagement, and Yale-NUS, represented by Austin Shiner ’11, Senior Admissions Counselor and Manager of Alumni Affairs.
This year for the first time, AYA delegates to Assembly were invited to attend the first day of YaleGALE @Yale. For this reason, the Wednesday portion of @Yale was named “+Alumni Day”. Assembly delegates who attended @Yale included Margot McMahon ’84 M.F.A., James Pascale ’76, Paula Tin Nyo ’84, Lillian Oshva ’96 M.D., Christopher Joyell ’91, Lee Corbin ’91, and Dan Koenigsberg ’62.
Special thanks to Jenny Chavira ’89, Acting Executive Director of AYA, along with Bob Bonds ‘71 of AYA, who were in charge of much of Assembly logistics, for all their help in what is always a busy season. Thanks also to Xiaoyan Huang ’91, a member of the AYA Board of Governors for helping facilitate the session on volunteer run conferences. An especial shout-out to Lynn Andrewsen ’82, Managing Director of the Yale Alumni Fund, working behind the scenes with the panelists on fundraising panels. Special thanks also to Kathy Edersheim ’87, Chair of YaleGALE and Senior Director, International Alumni Relations and Travel, AYA, and Joao Aleixo, Director at AYA, for facilitating everything else.