Light & Verity

Alumni association to be overseen by fund-raising VP

Officers’ responsibilities are rearranged.

In 1998, Yale rearranged its officers’ responsibilities so that the vice president for development was no longer in charge of the Association of Yale Alumni. Oversight of the AYA moved to Vice President Linda Koch Lorimer ’77JD. But as Lorimer begins a phased retirement this April, AYA executive director Mark Dollhopf ’77 will report to development head Joan O’Neill, whose new title will be vice president for alumni affairs and development.

Although the new arrangement is the more typical one in American universities, in the past Yale had stressed the value of separating fund-raising from what some call “friend-raising”—encouraging alumni engagement and goodwill. “We have found it essential to the success of the AYA to keep it quite separate from fund-raising,” then-President Richard Levin ’74PhD told the Yale Alumni Magazine in 2008.

But AYA Board of Governors chair Lise Chapman ’81MBA says the move signals “no change of direction for the AYA, just a change in the direct reporting relationship.” President Peter Salovey ’86PhD concurs, adding, “I am very excited about the momentum of alumni relations in recent years and expect to see great things ahead.”

“It has really been good to forge a separate identity for the AYA,” says Deborah Rose ’72, ’77MPH, ’89PhD, a major donor who has long been active in the AYA and whose father was its first chair. “Under Mark, the AYA has engaged alumni in ways they want to be engaged, with an ever-widening range of shared-interest groups. He has taken a creative path. I would want to see that continue and be encouraged, and I’ve been assured that the two functions will continue to remain separate.”

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