Giving to Yale

The Sterling Fellows

Individual acts of generosity and vision remain at the heart of Yale. The university’s most loyal and generous benefactors are recognized as Sterling Fellows. Membership is voted on by the Yale Corporation and is an honor bestowed on alumni, parents, and friends who have given $1 million or more during their lifetime.

Every generation has left its mark on Yale, so that a university made great by its people, its traditions, and its accomplishments becomes an even greater institution for the generations that follow.

Elihu Yale, the Sterling family, the Harkness family, Payne Whitney B.A. 1898, George Peabody, Paul Mellon ’29—these and other far-sighted donors formed a Yale that stands among the world’s leaders. In more recent years, the Beinecke family, Edward P. Bass ’67, Maurice R. Greenberg P ’95, Betty and Whitney ’51 MacMillan, Denise and Stephen ’59 Adams, Joan and Joel ’54 Smilow, Edward P. Evans ’64, Patricia and Peter Gruber, John C. Malone ’63, Charles B. Johnson ’54, and others are further transforming Yale.

The Sterling Fellows are true partners in a great enterprise, and they enjoy a special relationship with each other and with the leaders of the university. Fellows are invited to gather each year to learn about Yale’s initiatives, discoveries, and accomplishments. Through their giving they help bring the university’s most important goals within reach, and through their example, they inspire other alumni, parents, and friends to support Yale.

Recognizing the Sterling Fellows

John Sterling, B.A. 1864, was a dedicated alumnus whose 1918 bequest literally rebuilt the Yale campus, and he is remembered in the name of the Sterling Fellows for the transformation his gift wrought upon the university. Likewise the giving levels within the Sterling Fellows honor individuals whose gifts are woven into the fabric of Yale.

The Mellon Circle   
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments reach or exceed $100,000,000
The Battell Circle
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments are between $75,000,000 and $99,999,999
The Harkness Circle
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments are between $50,000,000 and $74,999,999
The Whitney Circle
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments are between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999 
The Sheffield Circle
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments are between $10,000,000 and $24,999,999
The Lanman Circle
Honors Sterling Fellows whose commitments are between $5,000,000 and $9,999,999