Alumni Awards & Recognition Help

The Volunteer Recognition section of this site includes details on these recognition programs for alumni leaders and organizations, as well as an historical list of winners and links to nomination forms where applicable.

The Yale Medal

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The Yale Medal is the highest award given for outstanding service to Yale. The medal is given in recognition of extensive, exemplary voluntary service on behalf of Yale as a whole or any of its many schools, institutes or programs.

The Yale Medal is awarded once a year during the YAA Assembly to up to five persons. Winners must be able to attend the Yale Medal dinner in November to receive their medals.

The Yale Alumni Association awards the Yale Medal. A nominating committee selects a slate for presentation to and approval by the YAA Board of Governors. Public announcements are made through various media over the course of the summer and fall.  

The nomination form is available year-round and anyone may submit a nomination. The deadline for each year's selection is typically late March.

For further questions about the Yale Medal, please see this page or click here to contact us by email.

YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards

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The YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards aim to recognize alumni organizations for excellence in their events, programs, and best practices for Yale and on behalf of Yale. These awards recognize groups such as such as Yale College Classes, regional clubs, interest groups, and Graduate and professional school associations, and complement those for individual volunteers, such as the Yale Medal and the YAA Leadership Awards.

YALE COLLEGE CLASSES

Outstanding Class Award: For the class that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming

Outstanding BOLD Class Award: For the “Bulldogs of the Last Decade” class that exhibits excellence in young alumni engagement, either through an array of programming (educational, cultural, athletic, social, and/or community service), a specific initiative, or creative outreach connecting with classmates across the globe

Highest Percentage of Returning Alumni Reunion Award: For highest percentage of returning alumni measured against total living alumni of the class and against previous reunions of the same anniversary

Outstanding Class Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Award: For the class that best demonstrates meaningful leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management, and stewardship

Outstanding Class Event in a Non-Reunion Year Award: For the class event in a non-reunion year, including “mini-reunions,” that exhibits overall excellence in planning, participation, marketing, educational experience, and implementation

YALE REGIONAL CLUBS AND ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS

Outstanding Large Club Award: For the alumni association with more than 1,500 alumni that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming (Clubs include Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Central NJ, Georgia, Los Angeles, Maryland, New Haven, New York, North Jersey,  Northwest, Oregon & SW Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Westchester, Western Washington [Seattle]) , and Washington, D.C)

Outstanding Mid-Size Club Award: For the alumni association with 500-1,500 alumni that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming.

Outstanding Small Club Award: For the alumni association with fewer than 500 alumni that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming

Outstanding International Award: For the international alumni association that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming

YALE SHARED IDENTITY AND INTEREST GROUPS

Outstanding Interest Group Award: For the interest group alumni association that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming

Outstanding Interest Group Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Award: For the interest group that best demonstrates leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management, and stewardship

Outstanding Interest Group Reunion or Event Award: For the interest group event that exhibits overall excellence in participation, marketing, educational experience, and implementation

YALE GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Outstanding G&P School Award: For the graduate or professional school alumni association or chapter that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming

Outstanding G&P School Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Award: For the graduate or professional school alumni association or chapter that best demonstrates leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management, and stewardship

Outstanding G&P School Event Award: For the graduate or professional school event that exhibits overall excellence in participation, marketing, educational experience, and implementation

OVERALL ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS AWARDS:

Outstanding Collaboration Award: For the program or event that best exemplifies an integrated effort among two or more alumni association groups, or between an alumni group and an outside organization

Outstanding Innovation Award: For a new event or program, preferably one that has completed its second year of implementation

Outstanding Student Engagement: For the alumni association program or event that best integrates and engages current Yale students

*Best Marketing, Branding, and Communications Effort: For the effort that best exemplifies a successful communications effort based on design, creativity, implementation, and response

*Most Creative Use of Technology and Social Networking Media: For the effort in front of the curve, based on design, creativity, implementation, and response

Emerging Leaders Award: For the alumni association that best identifies, recruits, engages, and sustains new volunteer leaders

Outstanding Large Day of Service Award: For the alumni association that demonstrates the most successful Day of Service engagement with 25 or more people in attendance

Outstanding Small Day of Service Award: For the alumni association that demonstrates the most successful Day of Service engagement with fewer than 25 people in attendance

YAA Leadership Awards for Volunteer Innovation and Service

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With this award, YAA staff recognize the accomplishments of outstanding volunteers. Staff are responsible for nominating and selecting alumni leaders with whom they have worked.

The YAA Leadership Awards are given out at the annual YAA Assembly and Alumni Fund Convocation.

Yale Jefferson Award

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The Yale Jefferson Awards annually honor (i) a Yale undergraduate, (ii) a student at one of Yale’s professional or graduate schools, and (iii) an alumna/us for their service to the greater good.

The awards are presented annually during the YAA Assembly and Alumni Fund Convocation in November.

To submit a nomination, please use this form.

To be considered for the Yale Jefferson Award, candidates must have a demonstrated involvement in a Yale service project or make substantial use of Yale resources for an outside service project. This may include involvement in a variety of existing alumni enterprises: Yale College classes, regional Yale clubs, shared interest groups, graduate and professional alumni associations, Yale Alumni Service Corps, Yale Day of Service, etc. Alternatively, award candidates may demonstrate their involvement through Yale-related channels other than those already in existence.

The Howard R. Lamar Faculty Award

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Inaugurated in 2014, the Howard R. Lamar Faculty Award honors outstanding individual service by faculty members to the alumni of Yale University. Honorees are judged to have demonstrated leadership and commitment to serving alumni through a wide range of programs, initiatives, and activities.

The award is presented annually to one or more current faculty members during a meeting of the YAA Board of Governors.

The Howard R. Lamar Faculty Awards are selected by a committee of the YAA Board of Governors.

For more information, and a list of past winners, please click here.

Yale Class Awards

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Yale College Class Distinguished Service awards are bestowed at 5-year reunions to recognize and thank classmates who have dedicated time, energy and enthusiasm to their respective class.  Awardees are selected by the class leadership.

Please see this page for more information.

Guidelines for the Awarding of the Class Award For Distinguished Service to One's Class:

  • The Class Award will be given to an alumna/us for "distinguished service" to his or her class. It shall be awarded to each recipient by his or her class, not by the YAA. Class awards are meant to recognize and thank those who have dedicated time, energy, and enthusiasm to the class; they are not intended to serve as recognition of financial contributions, career/personal accomplishments, etc.
     
  • No more than five (5) awards will be given during any five-year period. However, during the first reunion following the establishment of the Class Award, the limitation is not applicable. The award shall be given only to living alumni. Awards are presented at the class' quinquennial on-campus reunion in the spring, usually at the Class Dinner.
     
  • The Class Award is optional. The standard award is determined by the YAA and includes the recipient's name, the class, the date of presentation, "In Recognition of Outstanding Service" and the YAA logo. Classes not desiring to follow the Class Award guidelines must select an award different from the standard Class Award.
     
  • The YAA director and assistant directors for Yale College Classes shall work closely with each reunion class to order the requisite number of Class Awards and to see that the proper engraving instructions are accomplished. The YAA shall also maintain a permanent record of all award recipients.
     
  • Since Class Awards recognize service to the entire class, the cost of the awards is to be paid through the class treasury. Although the awards are usually presented at reunions, they are not truly a reunion cost, and therefore should not come out of the reunion budget.

Approved by the YAA Service to Classes Committee on Oct. 18, 1980, and by the Class Officers at a meeting on Oct. 27, 1980.

Yale Club Recognition Awards

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The Yale Club Recognition Award provides an opportunity for regional clubs to publicly honor members for their dedication to Yale through local volunteer activity. It is given by the Yale Club (not directly by the YAA) for “outstanding leadership and service” at the regional club level.

See this page for more information.