Alumni to elect Corporation fellow

Alumni will soon vote on a new member of the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.

Every June, the Corporation welcomes a new alumni fellow, a graduate of Yale College or one of the University’s graduate or professional schools elected by alumni. The Alumni Fellow Nominating Committee, a subset of the Association of Yale Alumni, proposes a ballot of two to five candidates every spring. This year’s three nominees come from backgrounds in education, health care and the corporate world.

“I would be happy to work with any one of the three candidates,” University President Richard Levin said. “Each brings valuable experience and perspective, and has a deep commitment to Yale and its success.”

The Yale Corporation is composed of six alumni fellows, each appointed for a six-year term, as well as 10 successor trustees, so-called because they choose their own successor at the end of their six- to 12-year term.

Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer said the AYA committee looks for candidates who are outstanding, and whose professional experience will bring something to the Corporation but does not seek to replace departing trustees with a successor of a similar background. Even so, all three candidates on this year’s ballot have some experience with medicine.

Francisco Cigarroa ’79 trained as a doctor and served as the president of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He was appointed chancellor of the University of Texas System in 2009. A Mexican American, Cigarroa is the first Hispanic to lead a major American university system. (He did not respond to requests for comment.)

Susanna Krentz ’80, a health care consultant, founded her own firm, Krentz Consulting, in 2009. She also served as chair of the AYA, during which time she helped found the Women’s Intercollegiate Sports Endowment and Resource to support women’s varsity athletic teams at Yale. Krentz declined to comment for this article.

David Singer ’84 helped found three biotech companies, which develop technology and medication. Singer’s mother served on the Yale Corporation in the 1980s, and he has served Yale as a fundraiser and a donor since his graduation.

Singer said his time at Yale was formative, and he has only wonderful memories of his experience here.

“I think I’m not that different from the vast majority of Yale graduates who want to do whatever they can to make sure the world benefits from the kind of people Yale produces,” he said.

This year’s election will fill the place left by Margaret Marshall LAW ’76, whose term expires June 30. Currently the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Marshall is the first woman to hold that position. She served as the general counsel at Harvard University from 1992 to 1996. Marshall came to Yale after growing up in South Africa, where she spoke out against apartheid as a college student.

Lorimer, who was elected as an Alumni Fellow before becoming a Yale administrator, said she thinks the annual elections and the “new blood” they bring to the Corporation help prevent the group from stagnating.

Yale College graduates from five or more years ago and all Yale graduate and professional school alumni are eligible to vote in the election. The majority of alumni will vote online, but those who request them will receive paper ballots from the Secretary’s Office. The voting deadline is May 23.

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