The phrase “giving back” is almost universal to the Yale experience. As Olympic Champion and women’s sports activist Sarah Hughes ’09 and Celebrity Chef and advocate for families dealing with cancer Ming Tsai ’86—the esteemed alums representing Yale Day of Service as the 2023 Honorary Co-Chairs—demonstrate, a Yale degree comes with a commitment to improving the world.
“The tradition of service and helping others is deeply ingrained at Yale both during your time there and afterwards,” Hughes notes in her Day of Service promotion video. Tsai adds, “One thing that’s awesome about being a chef is [that] we have a platform to be able to naturally and deliciously give back.”
Over the last 15 years, Yalies have organized more than 3,500 service initiatives as part of Yale Day of Service. After two years of primarily virtual projects, the 2022 event recovered to about fifty percent of its pre-pandemic activity. This year, alumni volunteer co-chairs Karen Green ’78 and Rob Greenly ’83 MBA hope to not only surpass last year’s 125 project sites, but also to expand the number of US states and international countries participating.
“Throughout our two years as co-chairs, we’ve aimed to make participation in Day of Service easy, meaningful, and fun for all alumni, their families, and their friends,” says Greenly. Green adds, “service opportunities enable alumni to not only build and strengthen alumni relationships with their communities, but also with each other and with Yale.” The co-chairs have operated with the motto of “transforming the world together” during their tenure, which will conclude at the start of the next academic cycle.
The 2023 Honorary Co-Chairs each end their video with a call to action: “We all know that Yalies are smart, creative, and resourceful,” says Hughes. “I challenge each of you to engage these skills with a service project that motivates you and helps transform your community for the better.”
Tsai reminds his fellow alums, “If we set the bar with kindness, that’s going to help everyone else.”
Yale Day of Service projects are being posted on the YAA events calendar every day, and feature a diverse selection of location, activity, and timing. Alumni interested in participating can read instructions for organizing a project or finding a project in their area online. Contact a Yale Day of Service leader or the YAA Staff for more information.