Saundra "Sandy" Bialos, the first female chair of the Yale Board of Governors, passed away on January 24, 2023, in Seattle, Washington after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Below, friends of Sandy remember her and her passion for Yale.
"Yale has lost a giant in the pantheon of its alumni leaders. Sandy Bialos ‘71 MSN, died this past month after a gallant fight with a cancer that diminished her body but not her soul, her spirit and her love for life. I was blessed to become her friend. We shared something very special, namely being at Yale at a dynamic period in Yale’s history and becoming engaged as alumni leaders. In her case and in typical Sandy fashion she really engaged as she worked her way up the alumni ladder with her service as a Director of the New Haven Yale Club, then as a member of the AYA Board and then as the first woman and first graduate of the Yale School of Nursing to serve as Chair of the AYA from 1988-1990, all while maintaining a full and active professional and family life. And she did it all with a smile. Sandy probably did not set out in life to be a pioneer but she was all of that for Yale women as she, no doubt, watched with pride as innumerable women followed in her footsteps as Chair of the AYA. The Yale Medal exemplifies outstanding service to Yale. Sandy Bialos, Yale Medal recipient, set the standard for service to Yale, to family and to society. Rest in Peace."
--Philip G. Boyle ’71
Former Chair YAA
"Among the alumni you have known in your separate spheres, Sandy was a star. She received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the School of Nursing in 1996, served as Chair of the Board of the YAA 1988-1990 and was the recipient of the Yale Medal in 1993. One piece of history where Sandy stands alone was that in the 300 plus years of alumni relations, she was the first woman elected as Chair of the Board of the Yale Alumni Association. Go Sandy!!!!!
As indicated by her YSN award and among the rich pool of Nursing alumnae, Sandy was also a standout. She was a career member and leader in the Connecticut Nurses Association and an outstanding clinician in private practice as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Her world was marked by these professional and volunteer honors but was always secondary to the love of her family; husband Don, a graduate from the Yale School of Medicine Psychiatry Residency, her two sons, Michael and Jeffrey and their respective wives; Marilina and Rebecca.
She will be missed by many."
--Maureen Doran ’71 MSN
Fomer Chair YAA