University President Peter Salovey and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp presented nine Seton Elm-Ivy Awards on Thursday to individuals and groups who have worked to strengthen relations between the University and the Elm City.
The awards, which are granted annually, honor people whose efforts support the collaboration between the University and its hometown, according to the website of the Office of New Haven and State Affairs. Anyone from New Haven or the Yale community can nominate an individual or group by filling out a form available on the office’s website.
At the annual luncheon and ceremony, hosted at Yale on York, two individuals and a nonprofit arts incubator won the Elm Awards — an award given to New Haven organizations and individuals — and five Yale affiliates received the Ivy Awards. At the ceremony, Salovey and Harp presented certificates to the awardees.
“I think the Elm-Ivy Award epitomizes the relationship between the New Haven community and Yale, and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate these awards,” said Salovey in his remarks at the ceremony. “I am proud that Yale has also played a role in what we have seen, the transformation of this city.”
David Greco won an Elm Award for his work in ARTE Inc. — an organization that promotes Latino art, culture and education in Connecticut. Patricia Melton ’83, the president of New Haven Promise — a college scholarship program funded by Yale — was recognized for her work with the nonprofit. Founded by Yale School of Art graduates, NXTHVN received the award for transforming an old industrial warehouse in the Dixwell neighborhood into a “true community for artists.”
The University and city government also awarded Linda Friedlaender, senior curator of education at the Yale Center for British Art, Risë Nelson, director of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, and the 2018–2019 Yale-United Way Campaign with Ivy Awards for their contributions to the city. The Undergraduate Ivy Award went to Matthew Coffin ’19, who tutors autistic students at Wilbur Cross High School and volunteers with Squash Haven. The Graduate/Professional Ivy Award was given to Richard Crouse GRD ’21, who leads the Yale Science Diplomats and its Flipped Science Fair event.
Coffin told the News that he “wasn’t really expecting [to receive] the award.” Still, he recognized that it was “a huge honor” even though receiving awards is “not why” he does service work in New Haven.
Bruce Alexander ’65, a former vice president for New Haven and state affairs and campus development who retired in May 2018, received the Special Elm and Ivy Award for “his vision and efforts to help Yale University and the City of New Haven shine and thrive together.”
During his 20-year career at Yale, Alexander led efforts to modernize Broadway, Chapel Street and the Whitney-Audubon Arts District through Yale University Properties — an entity that manages the University’s commercial properties. He launched outreach programs like New Haven Promise, New Haven Works, Yale’s Pathways to Science and Market New Haven and founded new community spaces like the Dixwell Yale Community Learning Center, New Haven Reads and Scantlebury Park.
“I am always delighted by this chance to celebrate the historic, vibrant, ever-evolving partnership enjoyed by these two venerable institutions,” Harp said at the beginning of her speech. “In so many ways, our respective operations are interlaced.”
The awards were established in 1979 by Fenmore R. Seton ’38 and his wife, Phyllis. More than 430 individuals and groups have been honored in the 40 years of the awards.
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