Mark Robert Unak ’77 is a chief technology officer at a software company working on AI solutions for hiring decisions and for college admissions decisions. He answers 12 questions from the Yale Alumni Association, explains why he loves Saybrook College, and discusses passing it on to the next generation.

Why Yale?
In the Spring of 1973, the Harvard swim coach had resigned, so they did not have a coach. Yale swim coach Phil Moriarty convinced me to go to Yale so I could swim there.

What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
The social network in Saybrook College is an enduring positive memory of my Yale years. Getting to know the students in our college and my friends on the swimming and water polo teams is a continuing blessing.

If you could relive your time at Yale, what would you do differently?
Being on two sports teams meant that most of my time was spoken for. I did not get to sample very many of the available speakers and presentations from the academic departments. I went deep and not broad. I wish I could have sampled more things.

What would you do exactly the same?
I would go to Yale and swim and play water polo.

What is your favorite place in New Haven, past or present?
I loved the grinders at Broadway pizza and a beer at Rudy's.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
Saybrook dining hall.

What's your favorite pizza place in New Haven?

Who is another Yalie who inspires you? Why?

Don Schollander, the Yale swimmer and olympic champion. He showed me that there was another way to success besides the "Big Ten."

What have you gained from your alumni engagement with Yale?
Hanging with my friends.

How did your time at Yale shape the person you are today?
I learned how to focus and express my thoughts.

What is your hope for the future of the Yale alumni community?
It would be great to make it easier to help younger Yale students and graduates by passing along jobs and internships to the alumni community.

What advice would you give to current students?
Live in the moment.


How would you answer? Share your responses with the YAA and they might be featured in an upcoming edition of "Getting to Know You."