This April, even students can see the bigshots.
Last night, all Yale undergraduates and graduate students received an e-mail from the Tercentennial staff inviting them to reserve tickets for the events of the second major tercentennial weekend, which is devoted to the University’s most active alumni. There will be limited student seating available for all 52 of the events of the April 19-22 weekend.
The panels, lectures and exhibits will feature big name guests, including former President George H.W. Bush ’48, author Tom Wolfe GRD ’57 and cartoonist Garry Trudeau ’70. The e-mail has a link to a Tercentennial Web page that contains a listing of all the events and a ticket request form. Students have until April 6 to register for events.
Administrators said there will be a substantial number of seats for students at every event, including the Bush-led forum on “Yale and Public Service.”
“Tickets for [Bush] will be in the hundreds,” Laurans said. The event will be held in Woolsey Hall. She added that tickets to a panel led by Yale President Richard Levin, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin LAW ’64 and former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors Janet Yellen GRD ’71 will also number in the hundreds.
Over 1,400 alumni have replied that they will attend the weekend celebration. The March 7 deadline for responses has passed, but administrators said response cards are still rolling in. The University sent out 2,000 invitations to alumni several months ago.
“The response is fantastic,” said Janet Lindner, coordinator of the Tercentennial. “It’s like when you plan a party, you never know how many people will come.”
Despite the large numbers of alumni returning to campus, Associate Dean Penelope Laurans, who coordinated the April weekend, said it is very important that students be invited to all of the events.
“Students manifested interest,” Laurans said. “Our goal is not to shut people out, it’s to accommodate people.”
Seating will also be reserved for faculty and all members of the Yale community. In addition to the e-mail, there will be a posting in the Yale Bulletin and Calendar with instructions on how to apply for tickets online.
Alumni were asked to rank the events they’d like to attend when they return to campus. Laurans said there has been significant interest in the guided tours of the Peabody Museum and the British Art Center.
She added that the only events where students are not guaranteed entry are those where the venue could not be changed, like a tour of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. But she stressed that students have the opportunity to visit these places any day, and that students should not be upset if they can’t participate in some of the events that weekend.
“Eighty percent of the people leading the programs are Yale faculty,” Laurans said. “There is always the opportunity for [students] to take classes with them.”
Administrators said the timing of the weekend, which coincides with Spring Fling, makes them unsure how many students will take part in the events.
“We don’t know if it will be the storming of the palace or the deserted village,” Laurans said.
Elizabeth Arno ’03, who along with all other students received the invitation to apply for tickets today, said she would attend the weekend’s events “if they take [her.]”