Giving to Yale

Judge George A. Saden ’31

Judge George A. Saden ’31

In crafting his estate plan, Judge George A. Saden ’31 was guided by two principles—his love of learning and his devotion to Yale. In 1999, he created the John S. Saden, Lillian Chavenson Saden, and Charlotte Marion Saden Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor his late parents and sister and to provide financial assistance to Yale students, especially those from his hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was following his death in 2003, however, that the full impact of his generosity to Yale was realized. As the result of an additional significant bequest, the Saden Scholarship Fund now supports four exceptional Saden Scholars at Yale College each year. Sudie James Simmons ’13 of Jonathan Edwards College and Brandon Sherrod ’15 of Pierson College are two of the current student recipients. 

Sudie James Simmons ’13

Sudie, who graduated from Bridgeport’s Central High School, brought a wide range of interests with her upon entering Yale College, among them psychology, engineering, fencing, and Spanish literature. In the years since, she has emerged as an international and artistic scholar. One of Sudie’s mentors comments, “In my eyes, she is a dynamic thinker and has an intellectual curiosity that is second to none.”

Fluent in Italian and Spanish, Sudie participated in a Yale Summer Session in Siena, Italy, and also traveled to Rome, Florence, and Venice this past summer. She also enjoyed the chance to work with the Association of Yale Alumni helping out with reunion weekend events. In addition to playing the viola in the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Jonathan Edwards College Philharmonic, and the Opera Theatre of Yale College, Sudie has taken on the role of managing director of the Opera Theatre. Her experiences have awakened an interest in the field of arts administration, in which she hopes to pursue a career related to opera and education. Sudie plans to apply for a Fulbright at King’s College London to study Theatre and Performance Arts. 

Brandon Sherrod ’15

Brandon Sherrod ’15, a standout member of the men’s varsity basketball team, was the recipient of the 2012 John C. Cobb Yale Basketball Rookie of the Year Award. In high school, Brandon was heavily recruited by Division I teams throughout the country. He chose Yale because, “As a Connecticut resident, I wanted a school that was close enough so my family would be able to see me play. And, from an educational standpoint, you can’t beat Yale.” He says he is “truly blessed to play basketball at a high level, and at the same time, to receive a top-notch, world-class education.” Brandon’s prowess is not limited to the basketball court, however. He is a drummer, saxophonist, actor, and gospel singer. Interested in majoring in political science, his ambition is to one day become mayor of his hometown, Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

Judge Saden’s legacy is but one example of how bequests to Yale have shaped the University for over 300 years. By including Yale in their estate plans, thousands of donors, through gifts of all sizes, continue to touch countless lives.