Reunions—Our Grand Finale

June 4, 2018

The academic year may be over, but members of the Yale men’s heavyweight crew team were hard at work yesterday. On Sunday, the men’s eight bested their opponents in the final race of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta, seizing the national championship for the second year in a row. Please join me in congratulating these stellar students, Head Coach Steve Gladstone and the entire coaching staff, Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, and all their supporters on this incredible achievement. Go, Bulldogs! I encourage you to view this slideshow of photos from the race.

Yesterday also marked another finale—the last of Yale’s 2018 reunion celebrations. Over the course of two weekends, we welcomed over 4,500 alumni from the Class of 1938 to the Class of 2013, along with families and friends, back to campus. Organized by the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), this year’s reunions were festive occasions—opportunities to reminisce with former classmates and professors and to learn about Yale today. You can see photos and social media posts from the weekends.

When Yalies get together, you can be sure to find elevated levels of curiosity and interest in a range of topics. For example, each year the AYA organizes lectures and discussions with faculty members. This year’s program included a talk on the history of American restaurants and a presentation about efforts to improve the pipeline for developing new cancer drugs. One of my favorite parts of reunion is dropping in on these conversations and hearing great questions from alumni. Of course, there is plenty of laughter and fun as well.

This year we celebrated another terrific milestone within our alumni community—the tenth anniversary of the Yale Day of Service. In May, over 3,500 Yalies in forty-seven states and twenty countries volunteered at food banks, cleaned up parks and community gardens, and worked with young people in after-school programs, among other activities. I had the privilege of reading with a third-grader named Alyana at New Haven Reads, an amazing organization founded to “share the joy and power of reading” by pairing children with volunteers to increase literacy. I am grateful to everyone who helped make the 2018 Yale Day of Service an enormous success.

Alumni gatherings, at reunions and throughout the year, remind us of all we share as members of the Yale community. Regardless of class year or school affiliation, we have an important connection to Yale and its mission. Our alumni create knowledge and understanding, and they serve others, carrying on Yale’s commitment to “improving the world today and for future generations.” Each of us can take enormous pride in Yale’s vibrant alumni community; I know I do.