The second annual Yale Global Alumni Leadership Forum @Yale (or YaleGALE@Yale) was held November 12-15, 2014. Intended to share best practices in alumni relations, by all reports it succeeded marvelously. YaleGALE@Yale 2014 was designed to run parallel to and with participation in the annual Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Ben Slotznick ’70 produced the event with characteristic zeal.
The Forum brought 29 delegates from 14 institutions on 3 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/forums/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/YaleGALE-at-Yale2014-final-short.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/forums/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/YaleGALE_at_Yale_2014_proceedings-compressed.pdf.
For those who arrived early Tuesday and were not overwhelmed by jet-lag, Mark Dollhopf ‘77, Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), held an informal reception at his home, co-hosted by his wife Marjo. It served as a casual way to begin the conversations that would evolve and deepen over the next several days.
The Wednesday Forum session included four sets of breakout panel discussions, led by YaleGALE veteran volunteers and AYA professionals – often paired off to provide both points of view on a topic. Some of the sessions were led by executive officers and other members of the AYA Board of Governors. Many thanks to them for participating, including especially Alison Brody ’95 (Vice-Chair), Scott Williamson ‘80 (Executive Officer), Sara Cavendish ‘84, and Bill McGurn’ 65 for leading two of the panel discussions. @Yale participants had an opportunity for two short walking tours of the Yale Campus led by Isadora Italia ’14.
YaleGALE had issued an open invitation to members of the New York City Alumni Steering Committee for the Alliance of International Research Universities (IARU) to attend the Wednesday sessions. It was pleased that two representatives from IARU universities attended IARU Day.
The day was capped off by a visit from Yale President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D., who discussed current issues in alumni relations and then fielded questions. Afterwards, the YaleGALE participants enjoyed an evening reception and dinner for about 80 including the entire AYA Board of Governors. The dinner was held at the Quinnipiac Club in downtown New Haven.
Thursday opened with Forum participants attending the AYA Assembly plenary at the University Theatre. The plenary session began with a welcome by Darcy Pollack ’87, member of the AYA Board of Governors and Assembly Chair, followed by Yale Vice-President Linda Lorimer ’77 J.D., and Victor Wong ’11. Afterwards, Forum participants returned to Dwight Hall for three morning sessions on fundraising introduced and moderated by Lynn Andrewsen ’83, Managing Director of the Yale Alumni Fund. Lunch for Forum participants was held in the dining halls of Yale’s residential colleges. This provided a chance for networking, conversations, and a taste of Yale college residential life. The afternoon began with greetings from Lise Chapman ’81 MBA, Chair of the AYA Board of Governors. The rest of the afternoon was filled with a special session on fundraising and managing volunteers by Mark Dollhopf ’77, Executive Director of the AYA.
The evening Awards Reception for about 600 was held in the Presidents Room in Woolsey Hall. Among the awardees were YaleGALE Board Members. That evening @Yale participants were able to experience another Yale tradition, as they joined the YaleGALE Reunion festivities at Mory’s. Mory’s is a restaurant and tavern over 150 years old, with a tradition of Yale singing groups appearing to serenade diners. The YaleGALE celebrants were not disappointed when a singing group from the Graduate School appeared. The YaleGALErs later joined in a camaraderie-filled rendition of The YaleGALE Song.
On Friday morning, Forum participants attended the AYA Assembly plenary. They heard about some of the amazing work being done around the world by Yale alumni volunteers on the University’s behalf. For example, the Yale Alumni Service Corps traveled to India last summer with about 130 Yale volunteers, to work in the village of Kakelao. The plenary also included the showing of a new YaleGALE video about its trip to Europe in spring 2014: https://vimeo.com/110254211. Late morning provided opportunities to attend break-out sessions on various alumni programming initiatives.
At a luncheon in Commons, Yale President Peter Salovey ‘86 Ph.D. presented the third 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. The evening began with a reception for 600 in the Beinecke Rare Book Library, a truly unique setting, 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, Yale President Peter Salovey 86 Ph.D. Two of the Medal winners participated in YaleGALE: Jack Thomas ’80 and Marv Berenblum ’56.
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 Yale-Princeton American football game.
YaleGALE participants and their participating institutions included: AFS-USA, represented by Mandy Barber, Alumni Relations Manager, Boğaziçi University in Turkey, represented by Emre Kazancioğlu, Alumni Associations Director, and Hakan Zihnioğlu, President of the Alumni Association, Durham University, represented by David Williams, Alumni Relations Manager, University of Goettingen represented by Dr. Cornelius Bachmann, faculty, and Bernhard Hackstette, Head of Alumni Relations and Director of the Alumni Society, Koç University in Turkey, represented by Güneş İngin, National University of Singapore, represented by Pheck Choo Ng, New Mexico Highlands University, represented by their President Jim Fries and Joe McCaffrey, University Foundation Board Member, Southern Connecticut State University, represented by Michelle Johnston, director of Alumni Relations, and Teresa Siroco, past President of the Alumni Association, Stockholm School of Economics – Riga in Latvia, represented by Konstantin Antropov, President of the Alumni Association, Tec de Monterrey, represented by David Huerta, Director of the International Liaison Office at Yale, Monica Avila, Mexico City Alumni Relations, Armando Bahena, Regional Marketing and Communications Director, Daniel Ballesteros, Marketing Director, Gisela Cante, Alumni Relations Manager for Puebla Campus, Iran Rocio Chavez de la Fuente, Alumni Relations Manager, Zuleika De Alba, Business Affairs Director, Patricia Franco, Regional Alumni Director, Leonor Lee, Alumni Relations Manager for Mexico City Campus, Monica Peña, Alumni Relations Manager for Estado de Mexico Campus, Irma Peña, Coordinator for Alumni Relations at EGADE, Claudia Toledano Ayala, Alumni Relations Manager for Hidalgo Campus, Yale Club of Oregon and Southwest Washington, represented by Xiaoyan Huang ’91, Trent University in Canada, represented by Lee Hays, Director Alumni Affairs, University of Tokyo, represented by Masako Osako, of the IARU Alumni NYC Steering Committee, and World Learning USA, represented by Thomas Navin, Director of Advancement.
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. An especial shout-out to Lynn Andrewsen ’82, Managing Director of the Yale Alumni Fund, for significantly augmenting the panels on fundraising, and raising those discussions at YaleGALE to a new level. She not only introduced and moderated the sessions, but worked behind the scenes helping produce appropriate material. Special thanks also to Kathy Edersheim ’87, Chair of YaleGALE and Senior Director, International Alumni Relations and Travel, AYA, for making everything else happen.