Why We Exist
The Need We Meet
Students – undergrads and grad/professional (G&P) students alike – seek real-world skills and career wisdom to improve their time on campus and then to jumpstart their post-Yale lives and careers. STAY leverages Yale’s alumni volunteers and teams them with Yale students to shape lives through mentorship programs and advising opportunities. Our alumni volunteers get to ‘STAY’ in touch with the current campus climate, and pour students cultivate a close student community and receive alumni advice on everything from optimizing the Yale experience to networking and navigating career pivots.
STAY partners with the Yale Alumni Association (YAA), the Office of Career Strategy (OCS), student governments & organizations (e.g., YCC, GSA, and GPSS), and other campus partners, in order to:
- Enhance the Yale experience for students by connecting them with Yale’s experienced and enthusiastic alumni
- Prepare undergraduate and G&P students for life after Yale through our financial literacy (Financial Life After Yale) sessions, leadership forums, mentoring programs and networking events
- Encourage students to ‘STAY’ involved with Yale after graduation by providing volunteer and leadership opportunities
- Inspire alumni to engage with Yale by interacting with students
- Contribute our time and talent to further Yale’s mission in the world
STAY’s Strategic Role at Yale
STAY’s committee volunteers and leaders exert a distinctly positive force at Yale. Traditionally, alumni relations offices didn’t focus heavily on students. Likewise, Deans’ Offices don’t focus on alumni. STAY bridges Yale’s various Yale communities and stakeholders by:
- Breaking down institutional boundaries, by confronting challenges that alumni or students alone would find daunting.
- Finding and connecting existing resources and forming new partnerships
- Marshaling STAY horsepower to support resource-limited individuals and groups.
For example, despite harboring hundreds of student groups, each with their own leaders, Yale provides students with only limited leadership training. Bringing Yale alumni and students together in collaboration with the YAA, STAY helps fill this void. Our programs like our annual Student Leadership Forums bring distinguished alumni and members of the Yale community together with current students to discuss real-world leadership problems and strategies to deal with different leadership challenges. Likewise, Yale’s campus-wide joint student-alumni volunteer opportunities have much room to grow. Following the model of Yale Day of Service of students and alumni collaborating to give back to the community, STAY engages in additional service opportunities and recognizes Yalies through the Yale Jefferson Awards which STAY created and continues to manage.
Student-alumni organizations exist at a handful of other non-Ivy colleges and universities. One-off student-alumni programs exist at some other Ivies. Among the non-Ivies with sustained student-alumni organizations, such organizations focus on various combinations of service/philanthropy, tradition/pride, and networking/mentoring. Here at Yale, STAY has made Yale an Ivy League pioneer in student-alumni programming and service.
Key elements of STAY’s model include:
Meet and network with Yale alumni leaders
Get connected with wise/friendly alum-mentors
Gain early access to student-alumni programs
Obtain on-and-off campus insights
Learn leadership, teaming, and career/life skills
Find out how Yale engages alumni
On/away from campus, see how other Yalies live
Suggest alumni speakers and/or event topics
Nominate Yalies for their public service
See how peer schools do these same things
And get free food on a regular basis!