Meet the Women of Yale

In Her Words

These short vignettes feature excerpts of interviews with Yale’s first undergraduate women - from the classes of 1971, 1972, and 1973 - supplemented by archival material.  The interviews took place in 2018 - 2020 as part of the 50th anniversary Oral History Project. 

Deborah Bernick ‘72
Deborah Bernick ‘72 is a healthcare and biotech consultant based in Virginia who transferred to Yale from Smith College in 1969 and was part of the first coed classes at Yale. She became actively involved in promoting sexual health on campus through her work with the Yale Student Committee on Human Sexuality. The pamphlet that she helped write, “Sex and the Yale Student,” was picked up nationally and became “The Student Guide to Sex on Campus.” Bernick and others led 1,000 students from other colleges and universities in a training course on Yale’s campus. As Bernick explains in this video interview, it was critical work. The pill had just become legal in Connecticut and it was a time of “enormous sexual experimentation and liberation.” As Bernick said: “Yale didn’t know all the changes that would happen.”

Bliss Browne ‘71
Bliss Williams Browne ‘71 B.A. was among the first women undergraduate students at Yale, where she became president of Yale’s Episcopal church as well as a Battell Chapel deacon. She called Yale University Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, who served at Yale from 1958-1975, the “single biggest influence on me at Yale.” It was Coffin who suggested that Browne enter the ministry, despite being a woman. “So I did,” she said. In 1974, Browne was ordained as a minister in the Episcopal church and, in 1979, became the first woman priest to preach at London’s Westminster Abbey. She would later work in the corporate sector as division head of the First National Bank of Chicago, where she became deeply engaged in civic leadership and founded Imagine Chicago, an organization designed to foster community engagement and literacy among young people. “I operate from the whole,” Browne said. “I see things in big picture terms and I’m in constant conversation with the fullness of life.”

Alexis Krasilovsky ‘71
Yale alum Alexis Krasilovsky ‘71 discusses her time at Yale and its effect on her career as an award-winning filmmaker and academic.

Lawrie Mifflin ‘73
Lawrie Mifflin ‘73 launched a career as a journalist after establishing Yale’s first women’s varsity sports team: Women’s Field Hockey.

Jane E. Sachs ‘73
Jane Sachs ‘73 B.A., ‘74 M.A., a clinical and forensic psychologist, found her home at Yale in Russian courses and the newly formed Yale Slavic Chorus. “The involvement of all things Slavic and Russian took hold of me,” said Sachs, whose mother was from the Ukraine. The Yale Slavic Chorus, an offshoot of the men’s Yale Russian Chorus, was an all-women singing group founded in 1969, the year that women were first admitted to Yale College. Sachs sang in the group its first two years, and then became the first woman to conduct the group in her junior year. “My interest and capability in music became pretty important to me,” Sachs said. “It was another culture, and it was women.”

Vera Wells ‘71
Vera Wells ‘71 B.A., a retired NBC executive and former member of the Yale University Council, talks about her experience as one of the first women – and first women of color – at Yale College. As an undergraduate, Wells proposed the Seminar on the Black Woman, and brought Sylvia Ardyn Boone to campus, who had studied at the University of Ghana where she was befriended by W.E.B. Du Bois and Maya Angelou. Yale’s African American Studies Department had just launched in 1969. “It turns out that everyone who registered for those seminars was a black woman—and it was the only time that black women on campus collected anyplace,” Wells said. Boone would earn her doctoral degree in art history at Yale and become Yale’s first tenured black woman professor.

Alice Young ‘71
Alice Young ‘71 B.A., founder and principal at Alice Young Advisory LLC, describes being one of the first women students at Yale, and one of only nine Asian-Americans in her class at the height of the Vietnam War. “I think people were thinking, ‘What is she doing here?’” Young recalls. Like many trailblazing Yale women of her generation, Young took up the challenge, cofounding the Asian American Students’ Association, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and traveling to her home state of Hawaii to recruit more students to Yale. Her efforts helped grow the numbers of Asian students at Yale from nine to 34 in just three years. “We really were able to make a difference,” she said.

May Day, 1970
In spring 1970, in anticipation of mass demonstrations that would bring thousands of students and activists from all over the country to Yale to protest the trial of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, Yale cancelled classes and shut down many operations of the University. In this video, Yale alumni women reflect on what it meant to attend Yale during such tumultuous times politically and socially.

Making a Difference: YaleNews Profiles of Women Alums

Between 2019 and 2020, YaleNews will feature a series of profiles about Yale women who are making a difference in the world.  This series was created for the 50WomenAtYale150 initiative in celebration of women at Yale.

Finding Happiness in Quarantine
New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin ’89, ’94 JD sat down with YaleNews to discuss ways that people can find happiness during this current moment of pandemic. 

Words are Ideas: Yalie Diversifies Roster of Great American Speeches
Former journalist and speechwriter Dana Rubin ’82 spoke with YaleNews about her website, Speaking While Female Speech Bank, which features over 2,000 speeches by women across 33 categories, including the anti-slavery movement, health and medicine, protests and rallies, issues of race, U.S. politics, and women’s right to vote. 

Alumna Spearheads Effort to Help Homeless Yale Alum – and Others Like Him
When Kim Hershman ’88 B.A., ’92 J.D. first learned the story of Shawn Pleasants ’89 B.A., a Yale alumnus living homeless on the streets of Los Angeles, she immediately took action.

From the Schools

In conjunction with the anniversaries, many of Yale’s schools created superb content: histories of their early women graduate, essays about women, special anniversary programming featuring current alums, and an array of exhibitions. You can find these contributions to the anniversaries on this page.

Yale College

In a time of turmoil, triumph: 50 years of coeducation at Yale College
A look back to the events of 1969, the year that women entered Yale College as undergraduates for the first time. 

Yale Athletics Celebrates 50WomenAtYale150
As part of the larger 50WomenAtYale150 events that are happening during 2019 and 2020, a group of athletic alumnae have been planning events and activities to acknowledge the 50 years since Yale’s women athletes were awarded their first Varsity Y’s.

Showcasing Women In Film, Who Fought for Legitimacy on Two Fronts
Yale women interested in filmmaking had to overcome numerous roadblocks in the early years following the coeducation of Yale College in 1969. Namely, filmmaking as a practice at Yale had not yet been embraced as an art form, although students studied film, and women filmmakers were practically unheard of.

Dwight Hall
In honor of 50WomenAtYale150, Dwight Hall began an 11-month long celebration in January 2020 called “Kindred Spirits,” recognizing and honoring the legacy and depth of Dwight Hall’s women trailblazers.   

A Home in Hendrie Hall
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of co-ed undergraduate singing, the Yale Glee Club Associates commissioned the film A Home in Hendrie Hall. This 18-minute documentary illuminates how generations of Yalies – of different genders, races, sexual identities, and nationalities – have found a welcome in the Glee Club. Interviews with singers from classes 1970 to 2022 are interwoven with audio recordings, video footage, and photos of Glee Clubs past and present.

Time and Change: A Glee Club Podcast
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of co-ed undergraduate singing, the Yale Glee Club Associates commissioned Time and Change, a three-part podcast about the transformation of the Glee Club and the University. The story is told by two dozen of the people who lived it – and by music from eight decades of Glee Club recordings.

Whim ‘n Rhythm “Hammond Song” Performance
In 1981, seven women formed the first class of Whim ‘n Rhythm to create a senior women’s a capella group akin to the Whiffenpoofs. The “Hammond Song”, written by The Roches and arranged by Guy Brewer ‘81, was the first song performed by the new group. It became Whim’s signature closing song and tells a powerful story of love, loss, and sisterhood. In spring of 2020, 231 of Whim’s alumnae reunited virtually to create this digital performance, produced and engineered by Joelle Jaffe ‘00.  

In Talk and New Book, Alumna Shares Tales of Early Years of Coeducation
Anne Gardiner Perkins ’81 discusses her book, “Yale Needs Women.” The book tells the story of how Yale’s first women students challenged centuries-old traditions at what had until then been an elite male institution. Perkins was the first female editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News.

“I was one of them”: A First Woman reflects on her time at Yale
Andrea DaRif ’73, ’74 MA looks back to 1969, when she matriculated at Yale College as part of the first cohort of women.

A room of my own: A trailblazing first woman in the first days of coeducation
First Woman Cynthia Brill ’72 remembers the day of her arrival at Yale. 

Dedication of the Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Stone on Old Campus
View the unveiling of the commemorative stone celebrating the 50-year anniversary of women being admitted to Yale College.

Highlights from the Fiftieth Anniversary
View a selection of material from the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in September 2019, including the panels recorded during the 50th anniversary weekend.

Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Firsts and Founders in the FAS
This series, Firsts and Founders in the FAS, profiles notable FAS faculty members, past and present, who happen to be women. Each person profiled here has achieved an important first or has played a key role as a founder in her department or discipline. Some where the women first in their fields to earn tenure; some the first women hired in their disciplines at Yale; others the first women of color to chair departments in their fields. Some have played foundational roles in estblishing programs at Yale; all have made crucial contributions to their disciplines. These profiles span the disciplines and the decades, and the stories of these individual researchers are tied to the larger history of gender equity in the academic world.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Celebrating Women in Economics
May 14, 2020
A virtual event presented by the Women in Economics featured a history of women in Economics at Yale, senior thesis presentations, and a keynote speech by SOM Prof. Judith Chevalier. Panel Guests included Prof. Ebonya Washington and Ph.D. students Yoko Okuyama and Pengpeng Xiao.

‘Not a man’s field’: Mariam Chamberlain and the Yale Economic Growth Center
Learn about economist Mariam Chamberlain, known as “the fairy godmother of women’s studies.” 

Giving Nancy Ruggles her Due
Economist Nancy Ruggles co-authored all of the work with her husband, Yale economist Richard Ruggles, but lacked recognition for it during her lifetime.

The Young Women Who Didn’t Accept the Usual Answers
The story of the Yale economics PhD students who pushed the American Economics Association to recognize the discrimination that female economists faced.

A Second Act: Honoring the Legacy of Joyce Scholar Mary Reynolds
Trained as a social scientist, Reynolds made contributions to economics, political science, and scholarship on James Joyce.

School of Architecture

A History of Women at the Yale School of Architecture
This virtual exhibit reviews the history of women students at the school and includes photographs, articles, and events.

School of Art

The First Female Students at Yale
Yale opened its School of the Fine Arts, the nation’s first university arts school, in 1869. In accordance with the wishes of its funders, the school included women from the start.

Haas Library Marks the 150th Anniversary of the Yale School of Art
A historic ledger book on display at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library documents two milestones of Yale history in elegant copperplate script: the founding of the Yale School of Art and the first women admitted as students anywhere at Yale.

Artist and Poet Barbara Chase-Riboud in Conversation with Claudia Rankine and Marta Kuzma
Hosted in conjunction with the series of public events organized by the Yale School of Art in celebration of its 150th anniversary and its status as a co-educational professional school of art, acclaimed artist and poet Barbara Chase-Riboud spoke as the anniversary year’s Honorary Lecturer.

Painting Free: In Conversation with Howardena Pindell
November 28, 2018
Alumna and renowned artist Howardena Pindell ‘67 M.F.A. returned to Yale to discuss her lifetime work in an event titled “Painting Free: In Conversation with Howardena Pindell.”

Divinity School

Reflections Fall 2019: Resistance and Blessing: Women, Ministry, and YDS
The Divinity School’s Fall 2019 issue focused on the experiences of YDS women and ministry. Explore this issue to read essays, poems, and articles written by and about the women of YDS. 

The First Women of YDS
Read about Bernice Buehler ‘35 B.D. and Thelma Diener Allen ‘35 B.D., the first two women to complete the full course of study and graduate from YDS in its current location.  

The Forgotten Women of YDS
Learn about the women who attended YDS before co-education.

School of Drama

Firsts and Founders: Early Women in Drama at Yale
This exhibition, created by the Yale University Library, reviews the history of women at the Yale School of Drama. Women have been students, faculty, and staff in the Yale School of Drama since its beginnings as the Department of Drama in 1925. Championed by founding chair George Pierce Baker, women made up one-third of the first classes in the Department of Drama and one of the four first teaching faculty.

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Women in Science & Engineering 2020 Edition
With this virtual exhibition, the School hopes to raise spirits and encourage STEM students with the profiles of historical and current women figures who have persevered in their endeavors. Brenda Zlamany’s commissioned painting, Portrait of Yale’s First Seven Women PhDs, is also featured.

School of the Environment

Canopy – Fall 2019 Issue (PDF)
This issue of Canopy magazine emphasizes the enduring impact of women at the school.

Law School

A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: Barbara Babcock
This is the first installation in the series “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Barbara Allen Babcock ’63.

A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: The Honorable Inez Smith Reid
This is the second installation in the series, “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Inez Smith Reid ’62.

A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School: Honorable Ellen Bree Burns
This is third installation in the series, “A Celebration of Women at Yale Law School,” showcasing the life and career of the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns ’47.  

Commemorating the Hon. Jane Bolin ‘31
On Feb. 28, 2019, the Black Law Students Association hosted a Black History Month Closing Celebration, commemorating Judge Jane M. Bolin ’31, the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School and the nation’s first African American woman judge.

School of Management

The Pioneers: Celebrating Women Leaders of SOM
As part of the #50WomenAtYale150 celebration, the Yale School of Management convened a special panel comprised of trailblazing Yale SOM alumnae.

Panel Discusses “The Journey to Equity” for Women In the Workplace
The panel discussion, dubbed “The Journey to Equity,” convened Yale SOM faculty members and alumni in a talk focusing on why the pace of progress in gender equity has been so slow, especially for women of color. 

Celebrating Women at Yale SOM
Learn more about SOM women trailblazers and community members in honor of 50WomenAtYale150.

School of Medicine

Aperture: Portraits of Women Faculty in Medicine
View the online exhibit featuring Women Faculty at the School of Medicine. “Aperture” refers to a space or gap, signifying the scarcity of women on the walls of the School of Medicine.

Dorothy Horstmann, MD, and Current Women Faculty Are Celebrated at the Unveiling of Aperture 2
Aperture 2 is the second part in an exhibit of photographic portraits of women faculty currently at Yale School of Medicine. 

100 Years of Women at the Yale School of Medicine
This online exhibition explores the history of women in Yale Medical School - faculty, staff, students, nurses, residents, doctoral students, and researchers - through the 20th and early 21st centuries.

100 Years of Women at YSM
This website contains links to rich content on 100 years of women at the Yale School of Medicine, including information on distinguished alumnae, stories, recordings, and more.  

School of Music

Yale School of Music Hosts Its First Reunion in a Decade
The School of Music hosted its first reunion in a decade, commemorating both its 125th anniversary and the Celebration of Women at Yale. The reunion featured events that tied into Yale’s 50WomenAtYale150 initiative, including performances by and conversations with alumnae musicians.

Yale School of Music Launches Year-Long Celebration of Its 125 Year History
The year-long celebration includes a panel discussion about women composers and a world-premiere performance of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and School of Music alumna Julia Wolfe. 

Profiles in Persistence: The Women of Yale School of Music
The fall 2019-winter 2020 issue of Music at Yale includes a feature titled “Profiles in Persistence: Women of YSM.”

School of Nursing

Yale School of Nursing: Better Health for All People
Brilliant, talented women have been essential to the Yale School of Nursing since its founding in 1923 – as students, as professors, as deans, and as researchers. This online exhibition showcases the history of the Yale School of Nursing as well as the legacies of the women who shaped it.

School of Public Health

The History of the Yale School of Public Health
This article covers the history of the School of Public Health and features a photo exhibition of outstanding alumnae of the School.

Institute of Sacred Music

Two New Lectures by Marilynne Robinson
In honor of 50WomenAtYale150, the ISM invited Marilynne Robinson to deliver two lectures in spring of 2020. “Prophecy and the Present Time,”and “A Brief History of Ideas,” are now available for viewing. Marilynne Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal.

Composers Reflect On Their Work: Reena Esmail
Indian-American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, bringing communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. 

Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

Political polarization is biggest threat to international cohesion, former U.N. ambassador says
On June 10, 2020, Ambassador Samantha Power, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was the featured guest of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs.  

Alumni Q&A with Ambassador Barbara Woodward MA ’90
Dame Barbara Woodward (MA ’90) is the first female British Ambassador to China. She conducted this Q&A with alumni of the Jackson Institute.

From the Museums & Libraries

Yale’s museums and libraries have been enthusiastic contributors to 50WomenAtYale150 with a range of special exhibitions and events.  Although the pandemic forced the cancellation of spring, summer, and most fall 2020 events, major exhibitions celebrating Yale women are still to come.

Peabody Museum of Natural History

Ladies First
Two dozen pioneering doctors, scientists, and engineers were highlighted in “Ladies First,” an exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History that honors the often-overlooked accomplishments and discoveries of women in STEM fields

Yale Center for British Art

Art in Focus: Women from the Center
This exhibition celebrates women artists in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. Inspired by the Celebration of Women at Yale, Art in Focus: Women From the Center highlights women artists whose inventive art practices have enabled them to stake out space in the art world.

The Hilton Als Series: Njideka Akunyili Crosby
This focused exhibition of works by the Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby (born 1983), Yale MFA 2011, is the final show in the series of three exhibitions curated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hilton Als. Works are selected by Als in collaboration with the artist.

Yale University Art Gallery

On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women At Yale
On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale will showcase and celebrate the remarkable achievements of an impressive roster of women artists who have graduated from Yale University. The exhibition features works drawn entirely from the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery that span a variety of media, such as paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photography, and video.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Constitution Day: Pop-Up Display of Materials from 1787+
On September 17, 2019, the Yale University Library sponsored events and exhibits recognizing U.S. Constitution Day. The theme, “Liberty is a Lady,” explored women’s rights through the Constitution and marks the 100th anniversary, in 2020, of (white) women’s suffrage. By looking at the changing rights of women in the United States, these events raise further questions about who truly enjoys equal protection under the law. 

Manuscripts & Archives

The Women’s Center Historical Archives
Since its founding in 1980, the Yale Women’s Center has kept an archive of meeting notes, staffer journals, feminist publications, correspondences with administrators and other material related to women’s activism in its back filing cabinets. In 2014, the Women’s Center donated more than four linear feet of material to Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives Library for others to read and research.

Sterling Memorial Library

History of Co-Education in Yale College
This guide provides a comprehensive look at the history of the implementation of coeducation as it affected all aspects of student life at Yale, including issues of health, housing and access to facilities and athletics and Title IX as well as sources on underrepresented groups, including women of color. 

Exhibit at Sterling Library Explores History of Coeducation at Yale
This article summarizes the Sterling Library exhibit on the history of co-education at Yale, called “When the Walls Came Tumbling Down,” and covers coeducation history at Yale from 1783 to 1989.

When the Walls Came Tumbling Down
This exhibit highlighted the academic, logistical, and social challenges faced by the first women undergraduates at Yale.

Yale University Library

Resources on Women at Yale
This guide focuses on the broader institutional history of women at Yale, rather than on specific individuals or “famous firsts.” Special attention has been given to organizations and programs that have represented Yale women historically, from clubs for wives of male faculty and students to feminist undergraduate organizations.

Exhibit: Student Research on the History of Women at Yale
In conjunction with the 50 Women at Yale 150 campus-wide celebration, two Yale College seniors have curated side-by-side exhibits on two different aspects of women at Yale using materials from library collections.

Musical Daughters of Eli
This exhibit highlights a few of the women who blazed trails in music at Yale. Some of them made music as performers or composers, while others were active behind the scenes, building institutions as administrators or philanthropists. 

Not a ‘Harem”: Codding, Eisenhardt, Stanton, and the Lives and Legacies of Dr. Harvey Cushing’s Female Associates
Dr. Harvey Cushing employed a team of educated women who assisted him with everything from stenography to tumor diagnosis. These working women were indispensable to Cushing; their contributions are evident through his published works as well as his personal letters and diaries.

12 Portraits: Studies of Women at Yale
This online photo series celebrating the contributions of women at Yale complements an installation in the Sterling Library Memorabilia Room. The portraits, which are drawn from a larger series by acclaimed photographer Tanya Marcuse ’90 MFA, are presented with contact sheets and other traces of her creative process.

Class Day Speakers

Class Day is a Yale College tradition dating to the 19th century that takes place on Old Campus on the Sunday before Commencement.  In recent years, a number of notable Yale women have delivered the Class Day Address. 

Class Day 2020: Dr. Jean Bennett ‘76
Dr. Jean Bennett ’76, a pioneer in the field of gene therapy who has dedicated her career to restoring eyesight, spoke at Class Day 2020. She spoke of growing up at Yale as the daughter of a professor, of the 1:10 female to male ratio during her time as an undergrad, and her trailblazing career path as a scientist.

Class Day 2019: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ’08 M.A.
The acclaimed novelist and essayist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ’08 MA was the 2019 Class Day speaker. She advised the graduating class, especially the women, to never apologize for taking up space in the world, or for having a well-considered opinion.

Class Day 2018: Hillary Rodham Clinton ’73 J.D.
Hillary Clinton ’73 JD, the former First Lady, U.S. senator, secretary of state, and 2016 presidential candidate, delivered the Class Day address in 2018. She spoke to soon-to-be graduates about resilience and the need for “radical empathy.”

Class Day 2016: Samantha Power ‘92
Ambassador Samantha Power ‘92, permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, spoke at Class Day 2016. She shared her two “lightning bolt moments” at Yale, as well as her advice to get close to issues and work to see them from new perspectives.

Women of Yale Lecture Series

The Women of Yale Lecture Series, hosted by President Peter Salovey, showcased the accomplishments of women who graduated from the university - particularly women of color - and whose leadership reflects on the success of coeducation at Yale.

Quiara Alegria Hudes ’99: Art and Disruption
January 27, 2020
Yale University President Peter Salovey hosted Quiara Alegría Hudes ‘99 for the Women of Yale Lecture Series. In her talk, she discussed language, the influence of her family on her work, and her decision to connect back to Yale in her newest writing.

Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson ’94 M.P.H., ’00 M.D.: In Conversation with President Peter Salovey
September 18, 2018
Patricia Nez Henderson ’94 M.P.H., ’00 M.D. discussed her work promoting the wellness of the Navajo community in a conversation with President Peter Salovey before a packed audience at the Yale Center for British Art.

Anita Hill ’80 J.D.: In Conversation with President Peter Salovey
October 30, 2017
Yale alumna Anita Hill ‘80 J.D. joined President Peter Salovey in a conversation for the President’s Women of Yale Lecture Series. In this sold-our event, she acknowledged that the fight against sexual harassment is still far from over. 

Vera Well’s ’71: The Life and Work of Sylvia Ardyn Boone
February 20, 2017
Vera Wells ‘71, joined President Peter Salovey in a conversation about the life and work of Sylvia Ardyn Boone – an eminent scholar of African and women’s art and the first black woman granted tenure at Yale. 

Maya Lin ’81 B.A., ’86 M.Arch., ’87 D.F.A. Hon.: Topologies – Process and Projects
October 7, 2016
President Peter Salovey spoke with famed architect and alumna Maya Lin as the inaugural speaker of President’s Women of Yale Lecture Series. Lin’s talk, titled “Topologies — Process and Projects,” is based on 2015’s “Topologies,” a monograph of her work.

Yale Women, On the Record

The women of Yale return to campus often to share their wisdom and experiences with the Yale community. Here is a sampling of those rich discussions.

A Conversation with Anne Wojcicki ’96, CEO & Co-founder, 23andMe
October 8, 2020
23andMe CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki ’96 joined University President Peter Salovey for the Yale School of Management’s Gordon Grand Fellowship Lecture series. The pair discussed Wojcicki’s experience at Yale, her career and her views on science.

How the Pandemic will Shape International Politics – Ambassador Samantha Power ’92
June 10, 2020
500 attendees tuned in for the final Jackson Virtual Discussion Forum of the spring semester. Ambassador Samantha Power, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, addressed “How the Pandemic Will Shape International Politics.”

A Conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor ‘79
October 23, 2019
A large crowd gathered at Woolsey Hall to hear a special conversation between Dean Heather Gerken and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ‘79 during alumni weekend in New Haven.

Hillary Rodham Clinton in Conversation with Dean Heather Gerken
October 25, 2017
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton ’73 returned to Yale Law School to talk about her book “What Happened,” during a lively conversation with Dean Heather Gerken. The hour-long video can be viewed here. 

From Provost to President: Leadership in University Administration
October 12, 2014
Prominent women university leaders participated in a special panel convened to celebrate the inauguration of President Peter Salovey. They included Hanna Holborn Gray, former President, University of Chicago; Alison Richard, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge; Susan Hockfield, former President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Judith Rodin, former President, University of Pennsylvania; President, Rockefeller Foundation. The panel was moderated by Margaret H. Marshall, former Chief Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court; Senior Fellow, Yale Corporation.

Indra Nooyi ’80 M.P.P.M, ’19 HON in Conversation with Dean Sharon Oster
July 20, 2011
Indra Nooyi talks to former Dean Sharon Oster about her career, her role as CEO of PepsiCo and how she has instilled a sense throughout the company that a business must weigh its impact on society as well as its profits.

Virtual Summer Webinar Series 2020

50WomenAtYale150 organized and co-sponsored a series of virtual events with the women of Yale during the summer of 2020, which you can find below. Click on each webinar title to view the replay.

The Accidental Entrepreneur: A Chat with Melissa Biggs Bradley ‘89, CEO of Indagare
July 8, 2020
50WomenAtYale150 hosted an exclusive conversation with Melissa Biggs Bradley ‘89, founder and CEO of Indagare is an innovative digital travel company that combines curated content with high-touch service. Melissa has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, and Indagare has been named to Inc.’s Fastest Growing Companies in the US and to Crain’s 50 fastest growing companies in New York. The session was moderated by Grace Hsieh ’07, co-founder of Accelerate Yale and Yale Angels.

Women’s Health in the Time of COVID-19
July 15, 2020
Yale researchers came together to speak about how COVID-19 is experienced differently between men and women. Leading Yale immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki presented her ground-breaking research that uncovers how the coronavirus affects the biology of women and men differently, teaching us new ways to fight COVID-19. The Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale, Dr. Carolyn M. Mazure, identified how the stress of the pandemic is different for women and men, refining focus for mental health professionals on risk and resilience. Yale Medalist Susanna Krentz ‘80 moderated the discussion as they conversed about a major new research finding and next steps in investigating sex differences to advance the health of women and men.

Live Cooking Demo: Pad Thai with Chef Vanda Asapahu ’06 MPH
July 16, 2020
50WomenAtYale150 presented a live cooking demonstration of classic Pad Thai with Chef Vanda Asapahu ‘06 MPH. Asapahu is the owner/chef of her family’s restaurant Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles.  This session was co-sponsored by the Yale Food and Drink Facebook group.

Happiness in Times of Uncertainty with Gretchen Rubin ’89, ’94 JD
July 21, 2020
New York Times best-selling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin ‘89, ‘94 JD joined 50WomenAtYale150 for a discussion on happiness during the time of pandemic. The session was moderated by special needs advocate and journalist Eraina Ferguson ‘10 MAR.

One in Four: LGBTQ+ Women of Yale College – History and Community
August 11, 2020
50WomenAtYale150 organized a historic panel with six LGBTQ+ alumnae of Yale College who reflected on their time at Yale and beyond. The session included a panel with a moderated conversation, and a breakout session for participants to foster community and connection. Panelists included Kit McClure ‘73, Alice Y. Hom ‘89, Veda Hlubinka-Cook ‘93, Marcela Benitez ‘07, and Miranda Rector ‘20. The session was moderated by tinA teresA pihL ‘93.  This session was co-sponsored by Yale GALA and YaleWomen.

The Future of Digital Health II: HealthVenture & New York Presbyterian
August 12, 2020
This event, hosted by Accelerate Yale, featured a conversation between Donna Lecky, JD, MBA ‘16 of HealthVenture in New Haven and Pamela Sutton-Wallace Wallace MPH ‘97, SVP and Regional COO of New York Presbyterian Hospital. They explored innovations in healthcare technology, and how healthcare providers are responding during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The session was moderated by Sharon Mwale MPH ‘16 of HealthVenture. The session was co-sponsored by 50WomenAtYale150 and the Yale Alumni Health Network.

Slow Down and Walk with Okwui Okpokwasili ‘96
August 18, 2020
In this exclusive interview, multidisciplinary artist and MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili ‘96 shared thoughts on the inspiration for her work and craft. Dr. Nadine George-Graves ‘93, Chair and Professor of Dance at The Ohio State University, moderated the conversation. This event was co-sponsored by YaleWomen and the Yale Black Alumni Association.

The Happiness Project: A Book Club Conversation
August 19, 2020
Author Gretchen Rubin ‘89, ‘94 JD joined 50WomenAtYale150 and Yale alumni for a discussion of her global bestseller, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, the Yale Alumni Book Club selection for August 2020. This session was moderated by Elvira Duran ‘05 and Jessica Price ‘04. It was co-sponsored by the Yale Latino Alumni Network (YLAN) and YaleWomen.

Winning Women: Yale Women in Elected Office
August 26, 2020
What does it take to fun for office – and win? 50WomenAtYale150 hosted Patti Russo of The Campaign School at Yale in conversation with three Yale women in elected office. Panelists include Lt. Governor of Connecticut, Susan Bysiewicz ‘83; Connecticut State Representative Gail Lavielle ‘81 MA; and Florida State Representative Dotie Joseph ‘01. This session was co-sponsored by YaleWomen.

Virtual Fall Encore Webinar Series 2020

After the 150th Anniversary Symposium in September 2020, 50WomenAtYale150 organized and co-sponsored additional virtual events, which you can find below. To view the replay, click on the webinar title.

The Way Forward
October 1, 2020
Women’s Health Research at Yale conducted a lively discussion of how science drives discovery, how studying the biology and social experience of women makes it better, and how better science leads to better lives. The event will include an introduction by Nancy J. Brown, Dean of the Yale School of Medicine. Panelists include Dr. Carolyn Mazure, Professor in Women’s Health Research, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale School of Medicine, and Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale; Dr. Megan Smith, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center; and Jocelyn Maminta, Director of Multimedia for Hartford Healthcare. This event was co-sponsored by the Yale Alumni Health Network.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling
October 1, 2020
YaleWomen delivered a webinar as an encore event to the 50WomenAtYale150 symposium, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” The webinar featured an exceptional panel of YaleWomen alumni and Yale faculty who have shattered glass ceilings in a variety of fields: finance, academia/medicine, legal/judicial, Corporate America, and management consulting/entrepreneurship. Panelists shared candidly not only the challenges they overcame, but also gave advice and insights on implementing successful career paths.

Time & Change
October 13, 2020
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of co-ed undergraduate singing, the Yale Glee Club Associates commissioned the short film “A Home in Hendrie Hall” and the podcast “Time and Change.” Producers Naomi Lewin ‘74 and Miriam Lewin ‘80 discuss their work and speak with a panel of alumni about the process of coeducation for both the Glee Club and Yale College. Panelists include Bob Bonds ‘71, Ellen Marshall ‘71, Joanne Wible-Kant ‘73, and Alec Haverstick ‘74.

Voices: Yale Women of Faith
October 15, 2020
50WomenAtYale150 hosted a conversation led by University Chaplain Sharon Kugler with Yale women of various faith traditions to explore the ways that their respective faiths carry them through times of uncertainty. Kugler was joined by Rabbi Angela Buchdahl ‘94 (Judaism), Sarah Birmingham Drummond ‘93 (Christianity), Nila Bala ‘12 JD (Hinduism), and Didem Kaya-Bayram ‘16 (Islam).

The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs
October 15, 2020
How do we go beyond bones to bring extinct dinosaurs to life? What did dinosaurs sound or look like when they roamed the Earth? In this webinar hosted by the Peabody Museum and cosponsored by 50WomenAtYale150, Julia Clarke (‘02 PhD, Geology & Geophysics) uses new tools to study the evolution of dinosaurs—including birds. She shared the ways that international field teams in Antarctica, South America, and Asia led by Clarke are bringing together data on living animals to ask new questions of the fossil record. She also explored the presence of women scholars and researchers in the field. Clarke’s presentation and Q&A was moderated by Yale alumna and producer of WNPR’s Where We Live, Carmen Baskauf (‘17).

Understanding the Impact of the 19th Amendment: Two Scholars’ Perspectives
October 27, 2020
YaleWomen and 50WomenAtYale150 conducted a fireside chat on the history of the 19th Amendment. Martha S. Jones, Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University and Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, will explore the struggle to win approval for the 19th Amendment along with Prof. Reva Seigel ‘86 JD of Yale Law School. Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans ‘90 JD and Dr. Susan Pepin ‘87 will provide remarks and will moderate.

An Ocean of Untapped Talent: Investing in Black & Latinx Women Founders
December 1, 2020
Accelerate Yale hosted a conversation with Kathryn Finney ‘00 MPH, investor, innovator, and tech trailblazer. Kathryn is the founder of The Doonie Fund and digitalundivided, and a former General Partner in The Harriet Fund, the first venture capital fund focused on Black and Latinx women founders. She shared her perspectives on the need for more Black and Latinx women in tech, her work to create pathways to success for these founders, and why it is smart to invest in this untapped talent pool. Wendy Maldonado D’Amico ‘93 and Gary Stewart ‘96, ‘99 JD of Accelerate Yale and Yale Angels moderated the conversation and Q&A.