April 22nd, 2014 | University

Yale Day of Service chairs include former presidents

Four of Yale’s most distinguished alumni from two of America’s most prominent political families will play a key role for this year’s Yale Day of Service. In an email to Yale alumni, University President Peter Salovey announced that former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush ’48, George W. Bush ’68 and Bill Clinton LAW ’73 as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 will be the honorary chairs for the day, which is being held this year on May 10.

“Their commitment and leadership inspire all of us to action to change lives,” Salovey wrote in the email, adding his hope that many Yale alumni will follow their example. According to Salovey, every Yale graduate is unified in the duty to serve their communities with the gifts and skills acquired at the University. The email did not specify what responsibilities come with the position of honorary chair.

Launched in 2009, the global Yale Day of Service is an opportunity for Yale alumni to come together and volunteer at a service site with other University graduates, said Stephen Blum ’74, senior director of strategic initiatives at the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Organized by AYA, the Yale Day of Service hosted 232 service sites last year where over 3,500 Yale alumni and their families and friends participated across 16 countries.

According to the website, “many Yale Day of Service projects are part of ongoing service efforts by local Yale Clubs or other Yale alumni organizations, a good number of which have grown out of a first Yale Day of Service effort.”

Projects are led by alumni and the service proposals are submitted to AYA in January and February. Alumni and other volunteers begin registering for Yale Day of Service sites beginning in March through the website. There are about 221 service opportunities listed on the Yale Day of Service’s website ranging from an excursion to the zoo with refugee children in Zurich, Switzerland to a career fair in Accra, Ghana.