2011 Recipient Bios

After earning his Ph.D. and working in a number of Connecticut parishes, Rev. Robert Beloin has served Yale and the New Haven community with distinction for 17 years as the Roman Catholic Chaplain. Based at St. Thomas More Chapel and known as Father Bob to members of the campus community, his dynamic approach to faith formation and his way with students, especially those in difficulty, is remarkable. He has led a successful campaign to build one of the most beautiful buildings at Yale, The Thomas E. Golden, Jr. Center, and has filled it with programs both religious and secular while making the facility readily available to the University and community at large.  He works in the soup kitchen at the Center for 200 “guests” weekly and responds to emergency calls during the night at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Willard W. Brittain has been a tireless supporter of Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center.  Through his work at the Center, Brittain honors three of its deceased student founders: Donald Ogilvie, Armstead Robinson and Glenn DeChabert (ORD). In 2004, Brittain helped to found the endowed ORD Leadership Forum at Yale which has undertaken numerous activities to develop leadership skills of undergraduates.  He has also played a pivotal role in key events in the history of black students, black studies and black faculty at Yale.  He has been a consistent supporter of innovation, helping to set up regular meetings with alumni volunteers and staff at the Afro-American Cultural Center and focusing on the long-range goal to have leadership development and workforce dynamics as part of the Yale curriculum.  The Brittain-Palmer Fund was established by Mr. Brittain and his Yale roommate Jeffery Palmer to provide discretionary program funds to the Director of the Cultural Center.  In addition, Mr. Brittain served as an advisor to the Yale Corporation Audit Committee and on the University Council Committee on Workplace Diversity.

Katherine Edersheim has made many contributions over the years as an alumna volunteer, holding a number of key roles including serving as the first woman president of the Yale Club of New York City and as an officer of the AYA Board of Governors during the development of the AYA Strategic Plan.  She is perhaps best known for her pioneering work as the Chairperson of the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange which has taken alumni delegations to Australia, Japan, Turkey and China to share best practices in alumni relations with universities in those countries. She serves on the Yale Alumni Service Corps Board and as Executive Producer for their program in China, is Vice President of the Yale Alumni Chorus and is a leader in the development of an alumni association in New York for the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) of which Yale is a member.

Terry M. Holcombe has served Yale in many volunteer capacities before, during, and after his tenure as the University’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs.  It was some 22 years ago that he began the process of raising funds for the renovation of Yale’s residential colleges and it seems particularly fitting that he should receive the Yale Medal this year with the completion of the last college renovation. Holcombe has co-chaired the Class of 1964 Reunion Gift Committee for his 35th, 40th and 45th Reunions and is currently also co-chairing the reunion fundraising effort for his 50th. He has served on Mory’s board at a time of great transition and revitalization. Steadfast and tenacious in engaging class mates and alumni in support of Yale, he works quietly, often behind the scenes, and is superb at deflecting the credit to others.

John N. Scales is the quintessential volunteer – never hesitating to say “yes” when asked to help out and step in. A pillar of the Yale Club of Pittsburgh, Scales has served on its board since 1991 and on the Alumni Schools Committee since 1995. He has also served as an AYA Delegate from 1996-1991 and later was elected to the AYA Board of Governors.  Back in 2001 during Yale's Tercentennial Scales originated an idea of giving thirty-two books to high schools and local town libraries in honor of Elihu Yale’s gift of thirty-two books that started Yale and the Yale library. More recently, he has gotten involved in a number of the new initiatives that are part of the AYA Strategic Plan, serving as a Regional Director for the Yale Day of Service and as a volunteer speaker on Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) programs.