The fourth annual Yale Global Alumni Leadership Forum @Yale (or YaleGALE@Yale) was held November 9-12, 2016 in New Haven Connecticut, home of Yale University. The YaleGALE@Yale Forum ran parallel to and with participation in the annual Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Volunteer and professional participants from Yale and institutions from 3 continents successfully shared their best practices in alumni relations, while developing international connections. In addition, seven representatives of the Yale Alumni Fund (YAF), Yale’s signature unrestricted annual fundraising effort, attended the Thursday sessions contributing to the robust conversation. Roy Niedermayer ‘69 produced the event with his customary efficiency, effectiveness, and enthusiasm.
For a complete program, including a list of breakout sessions and biographies of the YaleGALE presenters, facilitators, and planners see http://looksetveritas.com/yalegale/forums/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Program_YaleGALE2016.pdf. Participants in the Forum also received a complimentary copy of The YaleGALE Guide to Alumni Relations and Volunteer Engagement: http://bit.ly/yGaleGuide2bydgHr.
An informal reception with pizza was held on Wednesday evening for early arrivals at Gryphon’s Pub, an eatery and gathering place run by Yale’s Graduate and Professional Student Center. This casual ice-breaker served to begin conversations that would develop over the Forum.
The Thursday Forum sessions began with opening greetings from Roy Niedermayer ’69 and comments about trends in alumni relations from Kathy Edersheim ’87, Senior Director at AYA and Chair of YaleGALE. There followed a rousing and informative keynote address from Dr. David Caruso of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence on Emotional Intelligence in Alumni Relations after which attendees participated in six breakout sessions led by YaleGALE veteran volunteers and AYA professionals – often paired off to provide distinct points of view on a topic. During these in-depth workshop sessions, YaleGALE volunteers and attendees exchanged insights, learning from each others’ experiences. Stuart Cohen ’70 with Ilona Emmerth ’98, Senior Director of AYA, and Lynn Johnson ‘61 with Kathy Edersheim ’87 led discussions in the areas of engaging and cultivating volunteer leadership. Charlotte Hitchcock ’91 MPH and Ken Inadomi ‘76 with Henry Kwan ’05 MA, Director of AYA, and Sharon Randall ‘98 with Karen Jahn, Senior Director of AYA, facilitated lively conversations on engaging and maintaining alumni relationships through organizing common interest groups and conducting regular reunions., The workshops of Strategic Planning led by Susie Krentz ‘80 and Ed Sevilla ‘82 and Fundraising in the U.S by international universities with Marv Berenblum ‘56 and Ian Glenday ‘70 were especially well-attended, offering participants from young alumni organizations lessons in fostering and nurturing alumni organization in their early formative stages. Before lunch @Yale participants had an opportunity for a short walking tour of the Yale Campus led by Yale alumni participants.
On Thursday afternoon, YaleGALE @Yale included four breakout sessions focusing on aspects of the interaction between alumni relations and fundraising. Panelists included Lynn Andrewsen ‘82, Senior Director of Development: Annual, Reunion, and Leadership Giving at Yale, former Chairs of YAF, Jack Thomas ’80 and Nancy Stratford ’77 (currently Vice Chair of the Board of Governors) along with members of the YAF Board Shana Ross ’00, ’06 MBA, Kathryn Murphy ‘71, and Dave Herzer ’66.
Particular thanks are extended to Rahul Prasad ’87 Ph.D., Chair of the Board of Governors, for extending a welcome to participants. In addition, participants were given welcoming remarks from Weili Cheng ‘77, the new AYA Executive Director. Later that evening was the AYA Awards Reception in the President’s Room in Woolsey Hall, attended by about 400 people. YaleGALE received an award for writing and publishing the ground-breaking YaleGALE Guide. Afterwards, the Forum’s participants were able to review the day’s experiences over a relaxed buffet Indian dinner at Zaroka, engaging in many lively informal conversations.
On Friday, participants in YaleGALE @Yale joined Yale alumni in attending the AYA Assembly sessions. The day started with workshops for class leadership, regional associations, shared interest groups, graduate school alumni associations, and professional school alumni activities. This was followed by a plenary address from Yale President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D., who discussed current issues at Yale and then fielded questions.
At luncheon in Commons, Yale Vice President Joan O’Neill presented the 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 Yalies —alumni, graduate/professional students, and undergraduates — who inspire others in the Yale and larger community through innovative and sustained contributions of service to the greater good. Afterwards, Forum attendees had opportunities to attend additional afternoon workshop presentations, including one on alumni-student mentoring and one on technology.
Friday evening began with a reception at the Yale Law School, 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 lifetime and innovative individual service to the University. This year’s recipients reflect the range of service and leadership Yale strives to recognize with this award. The Medal was awarded to each recipient by Yale President Peter Salovey 86 Ph.D. Special congratulations to YaleGALE in China 2011 participant, James Lu ‘77.
On Saturday morning, Forum attendees were invited to get a taste of the American tradition of tailgating at the AYA Alumni Village near the Yale Bowl. After lunch, they had the opportunity to join alumni to cheer on Yale at the Yale-Princeton American football game.
Many thanks to all the YaleGALE participants and their participating institutions: American Friends of Tel Aviv University, represented by Shiri Stern, Business Development Director – Alumni Affairs; Ashoka University in New Delhi, India, represented by Karan Bhola, President of the alumni association; University of Goettingen, represented by Cornelius Bachman, a professor at their Medical School and alumni volunteer (also a representative of the Max Planck Society); Heidelberg University Association, represented by Irmintraud Jost, Executive Director; Max Planck Alumni Association, represented by Birgit Adam, Coordinator of the Alumni Association, Filippo Guarnieri, founding Chair of the Alumni Association (also a representative of NORDITA), and Drago Milovanovic, an alumni volunteer and current post-doc at Yale; Stockholm School of Economics – Riga, represented by Maira Rjabinina, Executive MBA Program Manager/Alumni Affairs; Tecnológico de Monterrey, represented by Juan Carlos Cabrera, Director of Relationship with Graduates and Academic Partnerships, Emilio Alvarez Frangie, National Director for Alumni Associations & Clubs Relations, Maria Aurora Ancer Garza, Director of Volunteers, Cesar Godinez Rodriguez, Director of Pride and Membership, Luis Zuñiga, Liaison Officer at Yale University; and the Yale Alumni Fund represented by Susan Holden ’84, Murph Levin ’66, Deborah Sherman ’89, Roni Beth Tower ’80 Ph.D., and Andrew Wallach ’80.
Special thanks to Bob Bonds ‘71 and Alisa Masterson, of AYA, who were in charge of much of the Assembly logistics, for all their help in what is always a busy season. An especial shout-out to Jocelyn Kane, Managing Director of the Yale Alumni Fund, for encouraging members of the Yale Alumni Fund to attend. Special thanks also to Joao Aleixo, Director of the Yale Alumni Service Corps, for all his valuable assistance, as well as Kathy Edersheim ’87, Chair of YaleGALE and Senior Director of AYA, for making everything else happen.