Alumni Give Back in Yale Leads for Students Participation Challenge

Yale Leads for Students

Each fall, the Yale Alumni Fund’s annual participation challenge is an opportunity for alumni to make a difference for today’s undergraduates. 

This year’s participation challenge, Yale Leads for Students, runs from October 19 through October 23. By encouraging as many alumni as possible to participate, the challenge aims to ensure students have the best possible experience—whether on campus or from afar.

“We wanted to focus this year’s participation challenge on two areas that are particularly important right now: financial aid and student support,” says Jocelyn Kane, managing director of the Yale Alumni Fund. “In the spring, gifts to the Alumni Fund enabled Dean Marvin Chun and his team to meet the urgent needs of students, from airfare home to Wi-Fi hotspots and laptops so they could access online courses.

“The needs are still great,” continues Kane, “Many students have had a change in their family’s circumstances, and many have additional financial needs that they may not have had last year. Thanks to the collective generosity of our donors, the Yale Alumni Fund helps the university fulfill its obligation to provide financial aid that meets the demonstrated need of every student.”

As a recent graduate whose senior year was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson Cole ’20, witnessed firsthand how the university supported students. “I saw how the emergency funding from the dean’s office made a difference for a lot of my fellow students,” says Cole. “While it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that our senior year had been cut short so abruptly, Yale tried hard to help us continue our classes and finish out the year. It was also meaningful to know that so many alumni had given so that we could have a great Yale experience, before the pandemic and throughout it.” 

Now an alum himself, Cole maintains a strong connection to Yale. He was a co-chair of his senior class gift committee and now serves as a Yale Alumni Fund agent for his class. “I received so much from Yale. The professors, peers, staff, and everyone I met helped to make me the person I am today. The Yale community is always there to help one another, and that’s been especially true during the pandemic.”

“It’s important to me to give back,” says Cole. “Giving to the Yale Alumni Fund is one important way I can pay forward some of the extraordinary generosity I received as a student.”

Alumni and friends can make a gift online to support the Yale Leads for Students Participation Challenge. Every gift, of every size, makes a difference.

October 15, 2020