The winner of the second annual Yale Day of Service t-shirt design contest has been selected for 2024! Brian Wu ’86, ’88 MFA is the President of the Yale Association of Rhode Island and a long-time Day of Service participant. Selected by vote of the Yale Day of Service Leadership, Brian’s aesthetic appeals to the minimalist and introspective audience, who appreciate symbolism and implicit messaging. 

At first glance, a viewer might read the circular pattern as florally inspired or reminiscent of vector art. Indeed, Wu channeled some inspiration from nature, saying the design, “represents 'day' and the many meanings of flowers: mutualistic symbiosis, continuity, propagation, and the beautiful result of effort. It's cheerful and shows the sum-greater-than-parts linking of Yalies through the hidden Y's, which are similar but not the same."

Yet the interconnected peaks and valleys have much more to say than symmetry and surface beauty. Tracing over the curved and straight lines, one realizes how one section flows into the next, in a way that the beginning and end are irrelevant. Much like a volunteer’s Day of Service experience, the viewer does not need to be concerned with the end product, but instead on enjoying the fluidity and cadence of the process. Wu continues, “It's an attempt to capture the spirit of Yale Day of Service instead of trying to depict the projects we do, which are so varied. At its heart, [Day of Service] is a simple idea, and, as one of my Yale design professors said, a good logo can be drawn with a stick in the sand.”

Despite the transitory nature of single-day service programs, the meaningful connections developed among alumni, family, and friends can extend into boundless opportunities. Service, as a foundational component of community-building, permeates the areas where Yalies live and work, and drives forward progress for volunteers and organizations alike. Sometimes a one-time event turns into a long-term relationship, and many alumni volunteer leaders started by joining a Day of Service event.

On May 11, 2024, and many alternate dates throughout the spring, Day of Service volunteers all over the world will show their Yale pride by wearing t-shirts with Wu’s design, as well as those from years past. Though branded attire is not required, school spirit abounds through a wealth of memorabilia with Day of Service significance. 

Yalies looking to get involved can find a project and register online or review the instructions and organize a project themselves! All Yale Day of Service organizers receive a free t-shirt in the mail. Others wishing to sport the latest Day of Service gear can purchase through the Campus Customs online shop

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