Over 500 alumni leaders attended the annual Yale Alumni Association Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation in New Haven on November 16-17, 2023. This year’s theme was “The Creative Economy at Yale: Innovations in Culture, Society, and Technology.” As Emily Bakemeir, vice provost for arts and faculty affairs shared during a panel discussion on the topic, “Yale’s mission can’t avoid leading in the creative economy. That mission starts with ‘Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice.’ So, it demands that we are an active part of the research, innovation, and educating of future generations that form this $985 billion – and growing—industry, equipping our students to go out into the world and help it re-invent itself.”

Assembly and Convocation is the YAA’s signature program for volunteer leaders. Attendees are offered an inside look at Yale today, honor outstanding volunteers and organizations, and engage with each other and professional staff to share best practices and new ideas.

This year’s attendees were treated to various exciting on-campus programming including campus tours (including the newly renovated Peabody Museum!), faculty lectures, a conversation with university trustees, and a university update from President Peter Salovey ’86 PhD. In preparation for the events, alumni leaders were also invited to take part in several online sessions to preview the content offerings awaiting them at Assembly and Convocation.

Other highlights from the weekend include:

  • The Yale Medal dinner and ceremony at the Schwarzman Center
  • An array of faculty lectures including “Digital Creativity: Science and Technology in Artistic Spaces” with Florian Carle, art curator at the Yale Quantum Institute, and Jonathan Feinstein, John G. Searle professor of economics and management at the Yale School of Management, and “Innovative Technology for Biomedical and Societal Impact” with Lori Bruce, associate director at the Yale Center for Bioethics and Anjelica Gonzalez, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • A panel discussion on the Creative Economy at Yale with Yale University Deans Jeffrey Brock ’92, dean at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science & Zhao and Ji Professor of Mathematics at Yale University, James Bundy ’95 MFA, Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean at the David Geffen School of Drama and artistic director at the Yale Repertory Theatre, and Megan Ranney, dean of the Yale School of Public Health and C.-E.A. Winslow Professor of Public Health
  • A conversation with Yale University Trustees Fred Krupp ’75 and Maurie McInnis ’90 MA, ’96 PhD
  • The premiere of the YAA 50th anniversary video
  •  A reception and ceremony to celebrate alumni receiving the Volunteer Leadership Awards, groups receiving the Excellence Awards, and individuals receiving the Alumni Schools Committee Awards

Reflecting on her experiences during the weekend Xiaoyan Huang ’91, Chair of the YAA Board of Governors shared, “I found this Assembly and Convocation to be particularly energizing with the number of registrants, and the enthusiasm of the delegates during luncheons, workshops, and receptions. The Yale Medal Ceremony was deeply moving and inspiring. The Dean’s panel discussion about the creative economy was intellectually fascinating. With the capstone win of the Yale-Harvard game and the Ivy League Championship, Assembly and Convocation was simply perfect. The personal connection, the positive energy, and the shared love for Yale was palpable everywhere. On a personal level, my heart swells with the joy of connecting with fellow alumni volunteers and the sharing of the love and gratitude we feel for our alma mater.”

The entire alumni community is invited to explore the various volunteer opportunities available to you. There are so many ways to give back and strengthen your connections to Yale!