Faculty members Alan Kazdin and Jay Winter are this year’s recipients of the Howard R. Lamar Faculty Awards, presented annually to faculty who have made significant contributions to alumni programs and demonstrated exemplary leadership for alumni relations.
The sixth annual awards were presented by Nancy Stratford ’77, chair of the YAA Board of Governors, at an April 26 luncheon hosted by the Yale Alumni Association in conjunction with its quarterly Board of Governors meeting.
“As alumni of this great institution, our lives are immeasurably enriched by the contributions of Yale faculty, both when we return to campus and at alumni events around the world,” Stratford said in her opening remarks. “Their efforts enhance the worldwide Yale community in immeasurable ways, and we are particularly honored to highlight the accomplishments of two such individuals here today.”
Both Kazdin, who accepted in person, and Winter, who was unable to attend but prepared a statement to be read during the ceremony, expressed admiration for the alumni who have accompanied them on trips and attended their lectures, redirecting the praise shown to them instead to their alumni students.
“On every single Yale tour I have accompanied, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching and learning from people my own age,” said Winter. “The young are stimulating, and their eyes tell us about the future, but the men and women who have gone with me on these journeys into the European past have given me more than they know.”
Said Kazdin: "Heaven for a professor is to lecture to a Yale alumni audience. To receive an award for something you are honored to be asked to do is awkward but quite a privilege."
The inaugural Lamar Faculty Awards were bestowed in 2014 and named for Howard Lamar, the 21st president of the university and Sterling Professor Emeritus of History. Lamar was one of the inaugural recipients, alongside Marie Borroff, Donald Kagen, and Vincent Scully Jr.
The 2018 recipients were Meg Urry (Physics) and Jay Gitlin ’71, ’74 MusM, ’02 PhD (History), who was on hand Friday afternoon to help present the awards.
"This year's honorees," said Gitlin, "represent the very best of faculty citizenship."
The citations for Kazdin and Winter follow:
Alan E. Kazdin
Research Professor and Sterling Professor of Psychology & Professor of Child Psychiatry Emeritus
With a brilliant and nimble mind, you lead your field in the development of techniques that make parenting easier and more effective. This expertise has never been lost on Yale alumni, who for many years have come to your lectures to receive instruction on, for example, “How to Raise a Creative Kid (but Not a Daydreaming Weirdo).” With preternatural calm, good sense, and a significant dose of humor, you have translated decades of research into advice that grateful parents (and grandparents) can adopt with confidence.
Over the years, you have spoken dozens of times at Yale College reunions, where your morning lectures are packed and younger classes often invite you to spend an afternoon exclusively with them. Similarly, you are also sought throughout our alumni community, traveling to regional club events and serving as the guide on a Yale Educational Travel trip.
Anyone who has seen you in action can understand why so many flock to your talks. Your lectures are both academic and pragmatic, your voice both authoritative and engaging, and your subject always of keen interest. The online educational site Coursera recognized this with a teaching honor last year. Not one to recycle even that award-winning material, you retooled your presentation and thoughtfully launched it as a revised course for alumni, laying the groundwork for more purposeful discussions at that year’s reunions.
It is not uncommon to see you remaining in the room long after a presentation, talking to alumni as parents and helping them chart an oftentimes difficult but meaningful course. That thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit pervades all that you do – and all that you have done for Yale and its appreciative alumni.
Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus
Your breadth of knowledge is equaled only by the depth of your commitment to teaching, to engaging audiences of all ages, challenging them, and inspiring them. Alumni leave your lectures on the first and second World Wars in Europe with a deeper understanding of history and their place in it, of what shapes change, and what changes are meaningful to the next generation.
While you make it appear effortless, this is a most remarkable feat: converting scholarship into a tool for learning more about the world. But your work and effort have unquestionably struck a chord. Your Yale Educational Travel trips earn plaudits from all involved, with discussions of war and battle leading to an examination of art, music, and literature. Your Yale for Life acolytes have felt the same kinship, a product of your time spent not only as a professor but also as a fellow lifelong learner, one who would teach a full seminar and then stay for lunch, for further discussion, more opportunities to study and to grow.
Never one to rest on laurels, your intellectual honesty and curiosity leads you to forever strive to find ways to connect with students, no matter their age. At every step, you endeavor to create a new experience, a new course, a new reading list, another chance to engage and interact.
On all occasions, your warmth shines through, an affable, approachable nature to accompany a sharp and brilliant mind. Your dedication to your alumni students is always full of thought, always long on care – and nothing short of remarkable.