What We Do

Yale alumni come from just about every corner of the globe and are engaged in almost all possible human endeavors, but you have one thing in common: your connection to the university.

A group gathers for a photo during Week 2 of the 2018 Yale College Class Reunions.

The Yale Alumni Association (YAA) exists to encourage those connections, both among alumni and affiliates and to the university. A dedicated staff partner with alumni leaders to create and foster these relationships, through events, reunions, mentorships, educational travel, lifelong learning opportunities, service programs, and through collaborations with alumni affairs colleagues in the Graduate School and professional schools.

The best news is that this is not an association you need to join. If you studied at Yale, you are already a member of the Yale Alumni Association. That includes Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and all of Yale’s professional schools, as well as post-doctoral fellows and international affiliates. So welcome to your alumni association. Welcome to your Yale. 

Mission

The Yale Alumni Association unites the people and ideas that comprise the lifelong Yale experience. We provide the ongoing support and structure for Yale alumni to pursue interests and activities that positively impact their lives, Yale communities, and the world at large.

Our character, strength, and values come from our diversity and our commitment to a culture of inclusion and equity. We encourage and empower our alumni to create, participate, and lead, in ways that are personally meaningful and valuable to the community.

Our mission is to enhance and renew the lifelong Yale experience for all alumni, whoever they are and wherever they may be. We strive to inspire new ideas, affiliations, friendships, professional fulfillment, and acts of service, around the world.

Our Values

In everything we do, we embody and promote these core values:

Openness: We welcome the healthy exchange of interests and ideas.

Relevance: We endeavor to provide content and experiences that are unique, engaging, and valuable.

Inclusion: We strive for full engagement and a sense of belonging among our alumni, a diverse group that encompasses many generations, identities, and Yale affiliations.

Impact: We seek to inspire positive change for alumni individually and collectively, and for the world.

Collaboration: We believe our greatest strengths are realized by working together, in conjunction with Yale, to achieve a shared mission based on the ideals of higher education.

The Constitution

The association was established by the adoption of a Constitution by the Founding Board of the Association on Aug. 11, 1972, pursuant to the charter authorization of the president and fellows of the Yale Corporation contained in their resolution approved on Oct. 4, 1971, and by the approval of that Constitution by the Corporation on Oct. 13, 1972.

The Constitution has been amended by approval of the Corporation in November 1980, June 1988, June 1990, December 1999, February 2003, April 2005, and December 2008.

Constitution

By-Laws

YAA Today

The Yale Alumni Association both provides alumni 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. Regardless of your location, availability, or level of interest in staying involved, we are here to help keep you connected to your fellow alumni and the university that unites you.

And if you’d prefer to talk to a member of our staff, we’re always happy to help. Contact us today!

Groups

Unsure of how to get started? Find the regional club near you, a shared interest group that’s the perfect fit, or information on your Yale College class or graduate or professional schools association by searching our Groups page.

Alumni gathered around a map in Beinecke Library

Our History

More than 200 years of Yale alumni activity – the longest record of any U.S. university – began in 1792 with the election of the first class officers. Later, large numbers of classmates began to return to New Haven three years after graduation to receive master’s degrees, a practice adopted from the English system. With this tradition began a cycle of reunions that eventually was refined into the five-year system of Yale College Class Reunions held today.

And that kicked off a proud tradition of Yale alumni. Here is a look at some important dates in the history of Yale alumni and the Yale Alumni Association:

  • 1800s: Late in the 19th Century, as Yale graduates sought each other's company across the country, Yale clubs began to organize in the larger cities.
  • 1890: The Yale Alumni Fund was chartered by the Yale Corporation. The Alumni Fund has since become the vehicle for the most successful giving record of any alumni body in history.
  • 1906: To meet the broad and varied interests and concerns of Yale alumni, the Yale Alumni Board was chartered. Its task was to create a central alumni group for an exchange of views between the university and its alumni.
  • 1969: To develop a more responsive alumni structure, the Yale Corporation commissioned a “root and branch study.” The goal was to create a clearinghouse through which alumni and university officials could express their concerns, and a working organization to provide programs and services to alumni. From the recommendations of this study, the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) was born.
  • 1971: The Founding Board created the AYA Assembly.
  • 1972: The first Assembly of representatives gathered in what would become a regular meeting of the governing body of the alumni association. As such, August 1972 is credited as the official beginning of the Yale Alumni Association.
  • 1982: Rose Alumni House, the home of the alumni association, is renovated to provide a comfortable, welcoming environment for all Yale alumni. The house is named after Frederick Rose ’44, the first chair of the alumni association.
  • 2008: The alumni association expanded its footprint by moving part of its operations to 1201 Chapel Street, the former home of the historic The Three Chimneys Inn.
  • 2018: The Association of Yale Alumni changes its name to the Yale Alumni Association, to better reflect its constituency and its ties to the university. The change is part of a broader overhaul that includes a new visual identity and redesigned website.