Gifts from alumni and friends of Yale SOM are the school’s largest source of funds. Philanthropy contributes more to the school’s budget than tuition does.
The generosity of alumni and friends enables the school to advance its major priorities and make progress toward achieving its aspirations—to be the business school most integrated with its home university, to be the most distinctively global U.S. business school, and to be recognized as the best source of elevated leaders across sectors and regions. In the past year, donor support has helped the school:
- Provide scholarships to attract top talent and loan forgiveness to support alumni working in the public or nonprofit sectors.
- Launch the Program on Entrepreneurship, which offers a growing slate of courses, supports students in launching new ventures, and strengthens connections across the university’s entrepreneurship community.
- Add two new areas of focus—sustainability and asset management—to the MBA for Executives Program.
- Inaugurate the Yale Center Beijing, a space for convening thought leaders from Yale, China, and around the globe to further constructive dialogue and the exchange of ideas.
- Increase opportunities for students to study management topics from a global perspective, through immersion studies at Global Network Schools around the world and though small network online courses, which bring together students and faculty virtually.
The Power of Scholarships
Under Dean Edward A. Snyder’s leadership, Yale SOM has expanded its ability to offer scholarships to talented students, thanks to significant gifts from alumni and friends. But Yale SOM still has fewer resources in this area than some peer schools, and that means that students who are otherwise well suited to Yale make the decision to go elsewhere.
“What drew me to Yale SOM was the ‘business and society’ mission,” explains Betsy Rives ’17, who was working at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when she decided to go to business school. “It was important to me to make sure that wherever my career led me, it was positive for the rest of the world.” Yale SOM quickly became her top choice. But while Rives knew where she wanted to go, money was a factor.
“The financial obligation of business school is huge,” she says. “Some of the other programs I was accepted at were less expensive or included financial packages.” She continues, “I was coming from the nonprofit world and didn’t want to stray too far from my passion afterward, so there was no guarantee of being able to pay back giant loans. As much as I loved SOM, I couldn’t justify attending if it wasn’t affordable.”
Fortunately, a scholarship made SOM affordable—and had another perk besides. “What I didn’t expect,” Rives says, “was that I’d be able to meet both of my scholarship donors,” Yale College alumni Robert A. Lawrence ’47 B.A. and Charles D. Ellis ’59 B.A. “One of them, before classes even started, took me to breakfast and showed me around New Haven. I was blown away not only by their financial generosity, but also by their personal generosity and concern.” Her scholarship, she now realizes, “is way more than just the money. The money is a huge help, but SOM truly is a community —and it’s clear my scholarship donors are part of that community.