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Yale School of Management Alumni Gave Generously in 2016–17

In the past academic year, Yale SOM alumni continued a tradition of strong support for the school, with a record number of donors to the Alumni Fund, enthusiastic reunion giving, and a generous Class Gift from the graduating Class of 2017.

The Yale School of Management alumni community rallied again this past academic year, with a majority of the school’s graduates contributing to the school’s Alumni Fund and enthusiastic giving from the graduating Class of 2017 and the reunion classes.

More than 53% of Yale SOM alumni gave to the Alumni Fund, the strongest participation in 30 years. These gifts totaled $3.5 million, a record amount. Gifts to the Alumni Fund provide critical support for the school’s strategic priorities, which includes increased scholarship funding.

Gifts of all sizes made an impact. For example, more than $100,000 was raised by Alumni Fund donors who contributed $100 or less, which is equivalent to four average merit scholarships for Yale SOM students.

Total giving to the school from alumni and friends during the 2016-17 fiscal year that ended June 30 was nearly $30 million. The year’s strong support enabled Yale SOM to balance its budget for the ninth year in a row. Yale SOM Acting Dean Anjani Jain called the results a testament to how committed alumni are to Yale SOM.

“It has been a privilege watching our alumni and friends come together to achieve this incredible success, which sets us apart among our peers,” Jain said. “I can tell you that every gift counts. It’s this support that enables SOM to develop the programmatic, curricular, and research innovations that will shape the school’s  future.”

Becky Vitas Schamis ’00 played an important role in the effort, serving as chair of the Alumni Fund and one of many class agents.

“It was my great pleasure and privilege to work with our generous alumni this year,” Schamis said. “Yale SOM alumni are so loyal, and they’re so committed to the success of the school, whether they’re new graduates or members of the charter class. We all share a spirit of coming together and contributing for the greater good. It’s hard to beat.”

Giving in 2016-17 demonstrated the power of collective efforts among alumni. The Yale SOM Reunion Giving Campaign was a major component in increasing participation and dollars raised; the seven reunion classes gave more than $1,000,000 to the Alumni Fund.  This giving was galvanized through volunteer leadership and a Reunion Giving Challenge by John Shrewsberry ’92. Two other successful fundraising challenges—the 100 Hour Challenge led by Jeff Schroeder ’90 and an additional $100,000 challenge from an anonymous donor—exceeded their participation goals in record time.

Giving was increasingly global this year, with more international alumni participating in the Alumni Fund than ever before. This strong giving was led by alumni in China, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Singapore.

Yale SOM’s newest alumni also gave generously. Members of the Class of 2017 in the MBA, MBA for Executives, and Master of Advanced Management programs raised $447,000 for the Alumni Fund, achieving 92% participation, through their Class Gift Campaign.

Joel Getz, senior associate dean for development and alumni relations, expressed gratitude to alumni and the many volunteers who solicited their classmates and helped achieve this year’s success.

“I can’t overemphasize the critical role and direct, positive impact that our alumni’s annual support has on Yale SOM’s financial health and overall excellence,” Getz said. “We were able to achieve these remarkable results for the school because of the great generosity and enthusiastic participation of our alumni—and the dedicated efforts of our many alumni volunteers. To each person who took part, we want to extend a big thank you.”