What is the Yale Medal, and to whom is it awarded?

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. In honoring outstanding, transforming and inspiring volunteer service to the University, the Yale Medal may be awarded to alumni or friends, as candidates do not have to be Yale degree holders. Anyone whose service merits exceptional recognition is eligible. Candidates must be available to accept the award in person at the Yale Medal Dinner in November.

Note that the Medal is not awarded to those whose service to Yale consists solely of financial contributions, nor is it a recognition for outstanding career accomplishments or service to society. Also, the committee only rarely considers current or past members of the University administration, faculty, or staff, unless such individuals also have an outstanding record of volunteer service before or after their periods of employment.

How often is the Yale Medal awarded?

The Yale Medal is awarded once a year in the fall at the Yale Medal dinner held during the Assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni.


How many Yale Medals are awarded annually?

The Yale Medal Committee may select up to five persons a year to receive the Yale Medal.


Who awards the Yale Medal and what is the make-up of the Yale Medal Committee?

The Association of Yale Alumni awards the Yale Medal. The committee is selected by the Chair of the AYA Board of Governors and consists of not fewer than six AYA Board members, in addition to the Chair and Vice-Chair as members ex officiis. Other ex officiis members are: the Executive Director of the AYA, the Provost, the Secretary, the Vice President for Development, the Assistant to the President of the University, one member of the Corporation and three members of the faculty.


When is the nomination deadline?

Nominations are accepted year-round, but since the committee's deliberations are in the spring, we typically have a late March deadline in order for candidates to be considered in the current cycle. And remember that only up to five may be selected in a given year from the many worthy candidates; someone who may not be selected in one year may be eligible again in the future.


How are nominations solicited?

The nomination form is available year-round at the AYA website, for anyone to submit nominations. When outreach activity ramps up in the spring, a letter of solicitation goes to Assembly delegates, Board members, Club Officers, Class Secretaries, Officers of Graduate and Professional School Alumni Associations, the University Council, the Director of the Yale Alumni Fund, the Yale Alumni Publications Board, the Development Board, other alumni leaders and university officials.


When are medalists selected and announced?

The committee selects the slate during its spring meeting, for presentation to and approval by the AYA Board of Governors at its April meeting. The Committee Chair then notifies the Yale Medal nominees of their selection, confirming that they will be able to attend the Yale Medal dinner in November. Public announcements are made through various media over the course of the fall.


For further questions about the Yale Medal, contact Jenny Chavira, at the Association of Yale Alumni.