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 conferred by a vote of the Yale Board of Trustees as a way to honor alumni, parents, and friends with lifetime giving $1 million or more.

The Sterling Fellows 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 W. Sterling 1864 B.A. was a dedicated graduate whose 1918 bequest rebuilt the campus and established Yale’s most esteemed professorships. The Sterling Fellows society memorializes him and the impact of his historic contributions to the university. Likewise, the giving levels within the Sterling Fellows remember individuals whose generosity is woven into the fabric of Yale.

Sterling Fellows are recognized at the following levels:

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