Help Center: YAA Assembly

The YAA Assembly, mandated by the YAA Constitution, is the preeminent leadership information and development program for alumni leaders affiliated with the alumni association. It is also the body of alumni association delegates, as outlined by the YAA Constitution, who serve as representatives of the alumni community.

If your questions are not answered below, you may contact Assembly staff for further assistance.

About Assembly

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The Assembly is an annual event. In its current iteration, it is combined with the Yale Alumni Convocation for annual fund volunteers. Traditionally held on campus before the weekend of the final home football game in the fall, the 2020 program will consist of monthly virtual activities running from September 2020 through April 2021.

Typically a two-day, in-person event, Assembly and Convocation will be hosted virtually in 2021 due to uncertainty and protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will take place November 4-6, 2021, through innovative technologies and digital platforms.

For the traditional in-person Assembly and Convocation, the schedule is as follows:

The Assembly & Convocation program traditionally begins with "Meet Me at Mory's" on Wednesday evening, a chance for attendees to socialize and network with fellow volunteers. Registration is open in the evening for early arrivals.

Thursday's program runs the full day, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and focuses on a theme related to Yale today. Details about the theme, sessions, and speakers are available in the fall each year.

Friday's program is also a full day, dedicated to leadership development, with sessions related to specific roles and constituencies such as interest groups or fundraising as well as skill-building and networking designed to support Yale volunteers regardless of your role.

Throughout the event, you will have an opportunity to honor and celebrate volunteers and organizations being recognized with awards, including the Yale Medal dinner and an evening reception. These events alternate between Thursday and Friday evening, depending on the year.

In addition to the Yale Medal, other awards presented during Assembly/Convocation include: YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards, YAA Leadership Awards, Yale Alumni Fund Chairman's Awards, and Yale Jefferson Awards for Public Service

While not part of the Assembly/Convocation program, many participants stay in town for the YAA Alumni Village and final home football game on Saturday.

Assembly Participants

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Assembly and Convocation is a by-invitation only program for specifically designated alumni volunteer leaders affiliated with the Yale Alumni Association and Yale Alumni Fund. Those volunteer leaders for the Yale Alumni Association include appointed delegates, ex-officio delegates and at-large delegates. 

The Role of Delegates

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A YAA delegate is a graduate of Yale who is selected to represent a regional Yale club, Yale College class, recognized shared interest group, or graduate or professional school alumni association constituency to the YAA Assembly. There are also at-large delegates to the Assembly (see the at-large delegates heading on this page for more information) who represent alumni outside those constituencies. Constituencies have varying numbers of delegates as provided by the YAA Constitution and delegates serve a three-year term that typically begins on July 1 and ends June 30 three years later.

The primary delegate responsibility is to represent their constituency at the Assembly and Convocation and share information about Yale today with that constituency.

Alumni who completed any Yale degree are eligible to serve as delegates. The individual needs to be a member of the relevant Yale College class, Yale regional club, shared interest group, or graduate or professional school association to represent that constituency. At-large delegates may be any Yale degree holder.

Alumni who have has served full three-year appointed delegate terms are not eligible to be re-appointed until three more years have passed. Appointed delegates filling out partial terms, or who for some other reason have not served a full three-year terms, are eligible for re-nomination to a consecutive term.

Delegates are responsible for getting themselves to New Haven and for the cost of their hotel accommodations; several meals are provided as part of the Assembly. There is no charge to attend the Assembly, but for delegates who are able to assist in offsetting some of the costs of the Assembly, the YAA asks for a voluntary donation.

The YAA does have a small budget available to assist those for whom the expenses of attending the Assembly would be a barrier to their involvement. For reimbursement assistance, delegates must pay for the expenses upfront, and then submit receipts to the YAA. The total available allowance is 50% of travel and accommodation expenses, up to $300. Contributions and un-reimbursed travel expenses may qualify for a federal tax deduction. To request reimbursement assistance, please contact assembly@yale.edu

The Role of At-Large Delegates

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At-Large delegates join other delegates and volunteer leaders in coming to New Haven in the fall to attend the Assembly and Convocation, which is the annual campus gathering of alumni leaders that generally occurs on the final home football game weekend in November. They are charged with bringing thoughts, concerns and questions they may have, as well as those of other alumni they may know, to the Assembly and raising those thoughts at the appropriate sessions. 

On the Thursday of Assembly weekend, volunteer leaders attend informational and educational sessions organized around a theme examining some aspect of Yale life. Friday is focused on leadership development and generally features small group breakouts and hands-on sessions where volunteers share their own experiences as Yale leaders. On Saturday, the YAA hosts a special tailgate event preceding the football game.

Delegates are expected to communicate back to other alumni what they have learned, both about the University in general and in terms of specific ideas and strategies that can help in their work with alumni groups.

While any graduate who would like to share their perspective and skills with the Assembly is welcome to consider at-large delegate service, we often look for alumni who are involved as volunteers with alumni groups outside their classes, schools, clubs, or recognized shared interest groups. At-large delegates are ideally alumni who offer additional views to the Assembly beyond the views of those already represented. Ideally, the Assembly is representative of the alumni body: optimally a diverse group of individuals in terms of age, gender, race, occupation, and geographic location.

Anyone who graduated from Yale College and/or the graduate and professional schools is eligible to serve as an at-large delegate. The same term limits apply to at-large delegates with regard to filling consecutive three-year terms.

The first step is complete a self-nomination form online to be considered for appointment. A committee of the YAA Board of Governors reviews applications in the spring and selects up to 20 new at-large delegates each year.

Assembly and Convocation Registration

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Attendance at Assembly/Convocation is by invitation only. (See the "Assembly Participants" topic for more details.) Those being officially invited will receive an e-mail with a personalized link to register online approximately 2-4 weeks before each month’s event.

Recorded content from Assembly and Convocation programs will be available for public consumption after the events have concluded. Guests located in the same household are welcome to tune in together.

Additional FAQs

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All Assembly and Convocation plenary sessions will be recorded and available for public consumption after the event has concluded. We are making every attempt to accommodate time zones in every area of the world, but realize there is no time that will work for everyone. Smaller group opportunities will be offered at multiple times and dates to give attendees many chances to connect with fellow alumni leaders in real time.

If you need accommodations related to digital accessibility, please contact assembly@yale.edu two weeks before the accommodation is needed.

Fees and Tax Deductibility

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Delegates are responsible for getting themselves to New Haven and for the cost of their hotel accommodations. Meals are provided as part of the Assembly. There is no charge for attending the Assembly, though the YAA does ask for a voluntary contribution from those delegates who are able to assist in offsetting some of the costs of the Assembly. The YAA does have a small budget available to assist those for whom the expenses of attending the Assembly would be a barrier to their involvement. The policy allows delegates to submit receipts and we can cover 50% of travel and accommodation expenses, up to $300. Contributions and un-reimbursed travel expenses may qualify for a federal tax deduction.

YAA does have a small budget available to assist those for whom the expenses of attending would be a barrier to their involvement. The policy allows delegates to submit receipts for hotel and travel expenses. Contact us for more information.

Though all Assembly/Convocation events are free of charge for invited participants, the cost of hosting the program is significant. YAA and the Yale Alumni Fund welcomes voluntary contributions at any level, and all such gifts will help us defray the cost of producing the Assembly & Convocation program.

You may be able to treat voluntary contributions to the AYA and any travel expenses you incur in conjunction with your volunteer position as tax-deductible charitable gifts. Contact your tax advisor for further information. YAA provides a form to submit your receipts to Yale to receive a statement for tax purposes.

Note that only those expenses incurred by recognized volunteers invited to the Assembly & Convocation may be considered for tax-deductible charitable gift accounting. Expenses incurred for bringing guests do not qualify.

Assembly and Convocation Logistics

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YAA arranges for room blocks with special rates at several downtown hotels for each year's Assembly/Convocation. Watch for a save-the-date with hotel details in late summer.

Room blocks are generally released about 30 days prior to Assembly/Convocation. After this date, you will need to book directly with the hotels, subject to availability.

Hotel parking is recommended for those staying at any of the downtown hotels.

Public lots and garages are available throughout New Haven. Please pay particular attention to the operating hours, as these facilities are usually not open 24 hours a day.

New Haven street parking is subject to meters, ticketing and towing, and Yale lots have either limited or no access. 

There’s no particular dress code for the Assembly/Convocation. You will see everything from suits to jeans, although the most common attire is probably business casual. For the Yale Medal Dinner, men typically wear coats and ties, with equivalent formality for women.