They won’t inspire a new Maya Lin creation, but big tercentennial donors will still leave their mark on campus.
After famed architect Maya Lin ARC ’86 declined Yale’s invitation to design a sculpture commemorating generous donors, the administration has decided to engrave their names in Beinecke Plaza.
Lin, the famed designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and Yale’s Women’s Table, declined the University’s invitation to design the sculpture in April.
“We thought about having a new sculpture,” University President Richard Levin said. “[But] the conclusion was to actually do a lower-key, very nice recognition by inscribing the names.”
Each name will indicate a donor who gave more than $300,000 in conjunction with the University’s Fourth Century Initiative.
Vice-president of Development Charles Pagnam estimated that about 200 names would be inscribed in the plaza.
The Fourth Century Initiative, which was a part of Yale’s tercentennial efforts, will conclude at the end of the calendar year.
The three main objectives of the program were maintaining traditional Yale strengths, developing new areas of academic distinction and defining Yale’s leadership in the new century.
With these goals in mind, a particular emphasis was placed on building up Yale’s international reputation in science and engineering, defining the University as a leader in environmental studies and enhancing its internationalism.
And recent fund raising has paid dividend in these areas. Yale Corporation member Roland Betts ’68 gave a large gift to renovate the future home of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and World Fellows program, and Levin recently announced that the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies had raised more than $30 million in the school’s fundraising campaign.
“Within reason, I think donors remain interested in the priorities set forth by the President, Provost and the Yale Corporation,” Pagnam said.
Pagnam cited several areas that continue to attract donors, including residential college renovations; Yale College and professional school financial aid; Science Hill; the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and Yale’s increased global focus.