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Candy apples and pumpkin cupcakes for Founders Day

Cross Campus was buzzing with activity yesterday afternoon, as people from all parts of the university munched on candied apples and took pictures with a giant cutout of  President Peter Salovey ’86PhD.

The afternoon festivities were the culmination of the university’s first Founders Day celebration, commemorating the 313th anniversary of the granting of Yale’s charter in 1701. (The actual date of the charter was October 9.) But Salovey said the daylong event, which featured food, performances, open houses and photo contests, was not just about history.

“Founders Day is for inspiration, not nostalgia,” Salovey told a crowd of several hundred on Cross Campus. “We today are Yale. We are the guardians of its history but also the makers of its future.”

Over the course of the day, Salovey dropped in to workplaces across the community, including Science Park and Ingalls Rink. Major university attractions, including Woodbridge Hall, Harkness Tower, and the President’s House were also open to the public for tours and open houses. 

According to deputy chief communications officer Michael Morand ’87, ’93MDiv, the event was inspired by the success of last year’s inauguration events, which brought together diverse parts of the Yale community. “Yale is a place of great tradition. This is a new tradition—a reminder that tradition is living,” Morand said.

Throughout the day, student a cappella and dance groups took turns performing in front of Sterling Memorial Library. The closing celebration on Cross Campus included over 3,000 pumpkin cupcakes, as well as local apples and pears covered in maple sugar.

Students and other members of the University community wandered through other booths featuring activities such as pumpkin decorating and photo booths with fake “Salovey” moustaches. 
Tess McCann ’15 said she enjoyed the festivities. “Everyone’s outside and eating pumpkin-flavored goodies,” she said. “It’s fun to run into people I haven’t seen in a while.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Founders Day, Peter Salovey
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