This first Yale Global Alumni Leadership Forum (or YaleGALE@Yale) to share best practices in alumni relations was held November 20-23, 2013. Ben Slotznick ’70 produced this event with his usual élan. YaleGALE@Yale 2013 intentionally ran parallel to and with participation in the annual Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). It concluded with Yale’s last home football game of the year – against Yale’s traditional rival Harvard (known simply as The Game).
The Forum brought 28 delegates from 9 institutions on 4 continents to the Yale University Campus in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. These leaders in alumni relations, professionals and volunteers, had an opportunity to share best practices in alumni relations with each other and network with Yale alumni volunteer leaders – including members of the YaleGALE Board and the AYA Board of Governors. In addition, they were able to interact with AYA senior professional staff.
For a short version of the Forum schedule, see http://looksetveritas.com/yalegale/resources/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Agenda_Yale_Global_Alumni_Leadership_Forum_short_2013.pdf For the complete agenda, including list of YaleGALE breakout sessions and biographies of the YaleGALE presenters and facilitators, along with supporting material, see http://looksetveritas.com/yalegale/resources/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/YaleGALE_at_Yale2013-final.pdf.
The Wednesday Forum session included four sets of breakout panel discussions, led by YaleGALE veterans. Some of the sessions were visited by the members of the Global Initiative Working Group of the AYA Board of Governors. Many thanks to them for participating, including especially Working Group Chair Joe Staley ’59 as well as Roy Niedermayer ’69 for leading two of the panel discussions. We enjoyed an evening reception and dinner for about 80 including the entire AYA Board of Governors. The dinner was held at the Yale Peabody Museum among ancient artifacts and reconstructed dinosaurs. Entertainment was provided by The Duke’s Men, an undergraduate student a cappella singing group.
Thursday opened with Forum participants attending the AYA Assembly plenary at the historic Shubert Theatre in New Haven. The plenary session began with an address by Jimmy Lu ’77, Chair of the AYA Board of Governors, and a video address by John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor of the city of New Haven. Afterwards, Forum participants returned to Dwight Hall for morning sessions on Yale’s Internationalization Strategy lead by Don Filer, Executive Director, Yale Office of International Affairs, on Globalizing the Call to Service by Kathy Edersheim ’87, and on Creating Service Programs around the World by Lise Chapman ’81 MBA, Officer of the AYA Board of Governors. Lunch for Forum participants was held in the dining hall of Davenport College, one of Yale’s twelve residential colleges. This provided a chance for networking, conversations, and a taste of Yale college residential life. The afternoon was filled with a special session on fundraising and managing volunteers by Mark Dollhopf ’77, Executive Director of the AYA. The evening reception for about 600 began at the New Haven Museum, followed by the Yale Alumni Medal dinner in the impressively immense Commons.
Every year since 1952, the Yale Medal has been conferred to honor outstanding individual service to the University. This year’s recipients reflect the range of service and leadership the AYA strives to recognize with this award. The Medal was awarded to each recipient by, Peter Salovey MS ’83, PhD ’86, the new President of Yale University.
On Friday morning, Forum participants attended the AYA Assembly plenary, which included the University Update address by President Salovey MS ’83, PhD ’86. They heard about some of the amazing work being done around the world by Yale alumni volunteers on the University’s behalf such as working with children at a school in South Carolina, the recent YaleGALE program in the Baltics, the inaugural YaleWomen Conference attended by 400 people including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’79 JD, and the Yale Alumni Service Corps in Ghana with 150 volunteers. Late morning provided opportunities to attended break-out sessions on various alumni programming initiatives.
At a luncheon in Commons, the AYA Assembly delegates and Forum participants were joined by alumni volunteers for the Yale Alumni Fund attending their Convocation. Yale University Vice President Linda Lorimer ’77 JD presented the second 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.
In the afternoon, Forum attendees had opportunities to attend additional breakouts, or go on short tours of Campus. That evening @Yale participants were able to sample local entertainment, such as the YaleGALE Reunion festivities at BAR and the Yale Glee Club concert.
On Saturday morning, Forum attendees were invited to get a taste of the American tradition of tailgating at the AYA Alumni Village just outside Yale Bowl. After lunch, they had the opportunity to observe The Game.
YaleGALE participants and their participating institutions included: AFS-USA, represented by their President Jorge Castro, and Marlene Baker, Chief External Relations, Development and Communications Officer; The Australian National University, represented by Lea Sublett, Associate Director for Alumni Relations, Adam Ford, President of the ANU North American Alumni Association, Martha Evans, Senior Projects Officer for ANU North American Alumni Outreach; European Humanities University, represented by Vice-Rector Darius Udrys (pictured on left, enjoying some of the spirited football game festivities), Board Member Greg Prince ’61, ’73 PhD, Senior Advisor Nancy Remmington ’74 MA, as well as Olga Romanenko, Coordinator for Development and Communciations Department, and Andrei Khrapavistski, Alumni Relations Coordinator; Tec de Monterrey, represented by David Huerta, International Office Director, Germania Tapia, Director of Alumni Communications and Marketing, Bernardo Moncayo, Philantropic Network Coordiantor, Zuleika de Alba, Business Affairs Director, Patricia Franco, Career Center and Alumni Relations Director, and Clelia Herandez, Alumni Relations Director; New Mexico Highlands University, represented by their President Jim Fries, their Alumni Director James Mandarino, Foundation Board Member Joe McCaffrey, and Kerry Loewen, Chair, Department of Media Arts & Technology; Stockholm School of Economics – Riga, represented by Pro-rector Diana Pauna, University of Amsterdam, represented by Carolyn Wever, Director Development & Alumni Relations; University of Edinburgh, represented by Mariana West, Alumni Manager, International, as well as alumni volunteer leaders Charles Cottingham, Paula Fearon, Charles Fuhrmann, and Fiona McCracken; and University of Tokyo by Hisaya Shimada, Director of Alumni Office.
Special thanks to Bob Bonds ‘71 and Jenny Chavira ’89, of AYA, who were in charge of much of Assembly logistics, for all their help in what is always a busy season. Special thanks also to Kathy Edersheim ’87, Chair of YaleGALE and Senior Director, International Alumni Relations and Travel, AYA, for making everything else happen.