On the last and perhaps most beautiful Friday evening in July, the SOM faculty and staff welcomed the Class of 2016 to Evans Hall for an open-air cocktail reception. As 52 new Yalies exchanged pleasantries on Beinecke terrace, it became very clear that the Admissions staff deserved the first toast. Faculty and students alike commented on an accomplished, diverse, and extraordinarily large class.
We are the first SOM class in Evans Hall and the first with access to the Asset Management and Sustainability focus areas in addition to Healthcare. Our cohort includes specialists in genetics, administration, insurance, and policy; plus a range of practitioners from nursing to psychiatry to surgery. The healthcare group is complemented by asset managers, traders, consultants, and IT specialists. To our left are estate, tax, and patent attorneys, and to our right sit engineers from pharm, med device, green building, and the oil and gas industry. We even have our own helicopter pilot and PR guy!
The Beineke reception kicked off two intense “boot camp” weeks. Euphoria turned to mild panic as the reality of student life set in. Do I read everything tonight or sleep for a few hours? How good is good enough? We settled in and settled down, and the cycle of read-lecture-homework-sleep-repeat started forming bonds. We also started connecting on a deeper level with the school. We slowly realized that we were in a very special place, where the access and pride of “Yale” on a hat or sweatshirt carried a unique set of responsibilities and expectations.
By the half-way point we were feeling good enough to grab dinner away from the Omni. Yale t-shirts appeared under blazers. Families came in for a few hours of R&R at the Owenego Beach Club. By Thursday night, we even ventured out to Mory’s with the Class of 2015, rounding out the program with a genuine college hangover.
So, what’s it like to nearly complete four college courses in two weeks? It’s like boot camp. That is, boot camp in a $243-million-dollar barracks with catering and perfect acoustics. We shined our shoes and stood at attention, but we were also treated like family by the SOM faculty and staff. We are now colleagues and friends, and a proud class of firsts for Yale SOM.
I know that someday we will all have inspirational answers to Dr. Bach’s question, “…yea, but what have you done since graduation?”