The 2018 YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards winners gather for a group photo.
YAA Board of Governors

The YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards recognize accomplishments that raise standards and contribute to the growing effectiveness of alumni relations programs at Yale.

Submit your nomination today.

About the Excellence Awards

Info Accordions

Any alumni group may be nominated for any program, event, or effort that demonstrates excellence in one or more of the evaluation criteria. Nominations are no longer required to fit a specific category. No organization can win an award for the same effort, event, or program more than two years in a row. The award selection committee will consider multiple nominations from a single alumni organization or group but will consider only one nomination per event or effort.

The YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards recognize the superior accomplishments of Yale College classes, regional clubs, interest groups, Graduate and professional school alumni associations, and other alumni group efforts. Nominees should exhibit excellence in events, programs, engagement, and best practices that align with the mission and values of the Yale Alumni Association. Accomplishments recognized should raise standards and contribute to the growing effectiveness of alumni relations programs at Yale. Nominations may be submitted by any alumna/us. Leaders are strongly encouraged to self-nominate.
Nominations may be made for any group effort, event, or program: Classes have won awards for reunion events and events in non-reunion years; clubs of all sizes and around the world have won for their innovative programming; Graduate and professional school alumni associations, interest groups, and other alumni groups have won for specific events and volunteer engagement efforts; Day of Service events both large and small have won; and group efforts have won for marketing, branding, communications, technology, social networking media, collaboration, student engagement, or outstanding innovation.

Award nomination submissions must be made to the chair of YAA Volunteer Leadership Committee via the online nomination form. Nominations may be submitted by any member of the Yale alumni community, including the leaders of the relevant alumni group, or any other alumni who are familiar with its activities. If you are not the leader of the group you would like to nominate, please obtain approval before submitting the nomination. 

Submissions will be judged by the answers to the questions on the nomination form. At least one image that the YAA can use to promote your nomination digitally is required, and supplementary material (up to 4 images or 4 pages) may be included for any visual element central to a nomination, particularly related to marketing, branding, and communications efforts. You are asked to provide contact information for the alumni leader or organizer of the nominated effort, and an additional reference person (organizer or participant) whom the selection committee may reach out to for additional information.

  • July: Call for Nominations (Nominations are due by September)
  • September: Selection Process
  • October: Award recipients announced.
  • November: Awards presented at the YAA Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation in New Haven

The YAA Board of Governors awards up to 20 Excellence Awards each year. Nominations will be judged against the broad goals of the General Judging Criteria below and recognized for excellence against one or more of the Specific Judging Criteria. Awards are made at the discretion of the YAA Board's Volunteer Leadership Committee.

Winning organizations are expected to have representation at the YAA Assembly/Yale Alumni Fund Convocation to receive the award.

General Judging Criteria

  • Supports the mission of Yale and the Yale Alumni Association
  • Reflects the values of the Yale Alumni Association
  • Meets goals and objectives of organization’s strategic plan (if one exists)
  • Is role model for other Yale alumni groups
  • Wise management of available resources
  • Evidences sound planning and implementation
  • Consultative and broad-based engagement of leaders and volunteers
  • Demonstrates effective and well-targeted communications
  • Addresses the needs and exceeds the expectations of target audience
  • Enhances the reputation of Yale and the Yale Alumni Association

Nomination-Specific Judging Criteria 

  • Evidences creativity and/or innovation
    • In programming
    • Use of technology
    • Alumni engagement
    • Marketing/branding efforts
  • Demonstrates or encourages connections between alumni groups
  • Engages young alumni
  • Engages international alumni
  • Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Promotes career advancement and networking
  • Promotes lifelong learning
  • Champions community service
  • Multi-year sustained engagement

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