The Yale Alumni Association is celebrating 50 years of encouraging alumni connections, with each other and to the university.

In August 1972 the association was established by the adoption of a Constitution by the Founding Board of the Association after a comprehensive study conducted in 1970 known as the “Dwyer Commission.” As Frederick Rose ’44, the inaugural chair of what was then called the Association of Yale Alumni shared in a letter to the alumni community in 1973, “It is our earnest hope that all alumni, whether in a position to be active in the affairs of the University or merely interested passively, will find the AYA responsible to their needs.”

Today, the YAA offers programs directly and supports hundreds of Yale alumni organizations, from regional clubs (both domestic and international) to Yale College classes to interest groups and more. These programs are for all alumni, regardless of affiliation or location. You are already a member of the YAA as someone who studied at Yale as a degree candidate for at least one semester, including at Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and all of Yale’s professional schools, as well as post-doctoral fellows, Broad Center Fellows, medical residents and fellows, and international affiliates.

The YAA also connects alumni through the Cross Campus platform’s networking and mentoring programs, service projects like Yale Day of Service and Yale Alumni Service Corps, and lifelong learning programs online, in your community, and abroad with  Yale Alumni College and Yale Alumni Academy.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, the YAA is pleased to present a celebratory video highlighting the evolution of the association and the engaging programs and activities offered to all alumni. Thank you to the alumni volunteers who shared firsthand how their involvement with the alumni community enriches their connection to Yale and other alumni.

“In light of this 50th milestone, I invite all alumni to participate in YAA’s programs to engage with Yale and the broader alumni community. There are so many opportunities to make meaningful connections!” says Weili Cheng ’77, the executive director of the YAA.

Yale Alumni Association Historical Milestones

1971: November 19. The Yale Corporation approved the establishment of the Association of Yale Alumni to replace the Yale Alumni Board.

1972: The Founding Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni created the AYA Assembly, whose delegates constitute the governing body of the AYA.

1988: The first woman chair of the AYA, Saundra Bialos ’71 MSN, elected.

1992: AYA Assembly XL “20/200 Alumni and Yale: Perspectives and Challenges” held to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the AYA and the two hundredth anniversary of alumni affairs activity at Yale.

1992: J. Weili Cheng ’77 becomes the first Yale College woman to Chair the AYA Board of Governors.

1998: Rose Alumni House is rededicated following extensive renovation to render the building handicap accessible and to add a new wing of additional offices.

2001: Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Yale Medal Awards ceremony at a luncheon in Commons.

2018: The AYA is renamed the Yale Alumni Association (YAA) and with a new name comes a focused mission, core values, and a relaunched website.

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