A statue of legendary Yale alum Nathan Hale, Class of 1773, sits on Old Campus, visible to thousands of passersby each year who may or may not know his legacy as a spy during the American Revolution. Others may walk through the Branford residential college courtyard and stop to read his words carved at the base of Harkness Tower, “I wish to be useful.”
Hale’s words have been invoked throughout the 14-year history of Yale Day of Service because of their significance to Yale’s mission of “improving the world today for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice…” Public service is integral to the Yale experience and quite often shapes a Yalie’s life choices long after leaving the university.
In considering the ways in which Yalies “wish to be useful” two years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yale Alumni Association, in partnership with 2022-23 Yale Day of Service co-chairs Karen Green ’78 and Rob Greenly ’83 MBA, are harnessing Yalies’ energy for good. Using the mantra, “easy, meaningful, and fun,” the co-chairs’ strategy is to publicize Yale service as accessible for all alumni and their networks of family and friends.
“With Yale Day of Service, the acts of Yale alumni, whether small or not so small, when taken together, can transform the world,” said Green and Greenly. “We learned at Yale that each of us can use and has a responsibility to use our knowledge to help the world around us. Yale Day of Service provides everyone the opportunity to give back in 2022, whether it’s with virtual, outdoor, or in-person service.”