Young Alumni Chairman’s Award

The Young Alumni Chairman’s Award is presented annually to an individual volunteer who has graduated within the last ten years. The award shows the chairman’s appreciation for an individual’s extraordinary volunteer leadership and potential as a future Alumni Fund leader. This individual is also an inspiring example to other young alumni volunteers.

The recipient of the award makes consistent gifts to the Alumni Fund, exceeds volunteer expectations, takes initiative to create and implement innovative ideas, and shows great promise as a future fundraiser for Yale.

*Pictured above, Back row: Lynn C. Andrewsen ’82 B.A., Senior Director of Development, Annual, Reunion, and Leadership Giving; George M. Levin ’66 B.A., Yale Alumni Fund Class Co-Chair; Martha Therese Burson ’11 B.A., Yale Alumni Fund Class Co-Chair; Lillian A. Oshva ’96 M.D., Yale School of Medicine Alumni Fund Chair of Agents; Michael B. Tom ’83 M.D., Vice Chairman of the Yale Alumni Fund Board; Front row: Jocelyn R.H. Kane, Managing Director, Yale Alumni Fund; Robert W. Brundige ’66 B.A., Yale Alumni Fund Class Co-Chair; James A. Jones III ’66 B.A., Yale Alumni Fund Class Co-Chair; William M. Folberth ’66 B.S., Yale Alumni Fund Class Co-Chair; Charles B. Griffis, Jr. ’66 B.A., Yale Alumni Fund Class Agent.

Current Recipient

Martha Therese Burson ’11 B.A.

Martha Burson is co-chair of agents for the Class of 2011. Martha joined as an agent right after graduation, and over time, her involvement with and commitment to Yale has only increased, especially in terms of the numerous roles she has undertaken with enthusiasm. She stepped up as a co-chair in November 2014, and as her 5th Reunion Gift Committee Co-Chair. Martha became a member of the Alumni Fund Board in 2015. 

Martha brings a unique perspective given her background at nonprofit arts organization and in her most recent role in development at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She brings her expertise to bear on her Yale correspondence. She reads every draft class communication, edits each one with thoughtful changes, and has never missed a deadline in responding with feedback. When our Class of 2011 stewardship chair stepped down, Martha helped recruit a new stewardship chair in fall 2015, recommending classmates and personally reaching out to make the case for a fellow volunteer to step into the role. She replied individually to welcome new volunteers as part of our agent recruitment process.

Martha leads by example in participation and staying connected to Yale. She made time to come back to campus for the 125th Anniversary of the Alumni Fund. She reaches out before events such as the BOLD Night at BAR before The Game in New Haven in 2015 and the BOLD NHA event in New York in spring 2016 to encourage her fellow classmates to attend and show their Yale support not only with their donations but by coming together and reconnecting in person. She frequently contacts all the 2011 volunteers by email to gently remind them to do their outreach during big challenges and pivotal points in the year.

Martha’s reliable and creative approach to her roles in the Yale Alumni Fund has made a very positive impact on the Class of 2011 in terms of participation rates and total dollars raised for Yale. For the past two years, the Class of 2011 has surpassed its fundraising dollars goals to bring in $77,950 in unrestricted, current-use support for the university. Participation rates over the course of the past two years average more than 25%, a remarkable accomplishment for recent graduates.

Past Recipients

Katherine Philip Kaufman ’10 B.A. (2014 recipient)

Upon her graduation, Kate dove into the volunteer world of the Alumni Fund when she became a class agent.  Her leadership skills immediately stood out and Kate assumed the role of chair of agents the year following graduation. Her involvement with Yale has continued to increase in the three short years since then.  Kate was elected to the Alumni Fund Board in 2011, and has served several terms on the Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Alumni Fund Mentorship Task Force.

Kate takes care to go the extra mile in all her volunteer roles.  As an example, she not only serves as co-chair for her class, but also as stewardship chair, taking time to personally thank classmates who make generous gifts to the Yale Alumni Fund.  Her personal outreach to so many of her classmates provides the added benefit of a consistent flow of address changes, business contact updates, marriages, etc. back to Yale.  She also presented as a panel member for the YaleGALE at Yale conference in November 2014, sharing her insights with university representatives from around the world. 

Her thoughtful, reliable, and responsive approach to her roles in the Yale Alumni Fund has made a very positive impact on the Class of 2010.  For each of the past three years, the Class of 2010 has surpassed its fundraising dollars goals and participation rates have averaged more than 25%, a remarkable accomplishment for recent graduates.

Margaret Greenberg 12 (2013 recipient)

Margaret Greenberg is the chair of agents for the Class of 2012. She previously served as a Calhoun College co-chair for the 2012 Senior Class Gift, where her enthusiasm helped lead the college to 95 percent participation.

Margaret began the year with a focus on recruiting and building the agent team. She sent more than 100 personalized emails to Senior Class Gift volunteers, a personal outreach effort that made an important difference in securing thirty-nine new agents—more than any other BOLD (Bulldogs of the Last Decade) class.

In spring 2013, Margaret solicited the non-donors in the class by text, phone, and email. By the last quarter of fiscal 2013, the Class of 2012 had secured more than 300 donors, surpassed its first year dollar and donor goals, and boasted the best performance for a first-year alumni class in five years.

Michael Horn ’02 (2012 recipient)

Michael has a long and distinguished history of service to Yale, his class, and especially the Alumni Fund.  Upon graduation, he stepped into his first volunteer fundraising role for Yale when he became the Class of 2002’s chair of agents, and over the years, he has looked for and created opportunities to become more involved in supporting Yale’s fundraising initiatives.  Michael served three terms on the Alumni Fund Board of Directors and two on the Nominating Committee, and he co-chaired his 5th and 10th Reunion Gift Committees.  As co-chair of his 10th Reunion gift campaign, Michael mentored three first-time Reunion Gift Co-Chairs and 32 Reunion Gift Committee members and, in the process, trained up-and-coming young volunteers and expanded his class’s leadership base. 

Throughout the 10th reunion gift campaign, Michael championed the Alumni Fund and spoke passionately and persuasively about the importance of unrestricted, current-use support for the university. Michael’s efforts were tremendously successful, and over the course of the year, 377 classmates came on board in support of the Alumni Fund for a total participation rate of 30.0%—higher than any 10th reunion class’s Alumni Fund participation rate since the Class of 1987. 

Deeply committed to expanding Yale’s volunteer education opportunities, Michael has collaborated with fellow volunteers and development staff to create and deliver a number of training modules.  Michael planned in-person training sessions for the Alumni Fund’s annual Volunteer Convocation, and co-led an all-volunteer conference call geared toward Reunion Gift Committee members in the 5th through the 25th reunions. Michael has been instrumental in identifying new young alumni engagement strategies.  He has also assisted the Office of Development in recruiting reunion gift leadership for other classes by adeptly sharing his own experiences in that role. 

As chair of agents and co-chair for the 5th and 10th reunion gift, Michael has been successful in recruiting and motivating class agents and Reunion Gift Committee members, energizing and personalizing the class’s fundraising efforts, and setting and achieving ambitious goals. 

Jay Hallen ’01 (2011 recipient)

With nearly ten years of dedicated service to the Alumni Fund, Jay is a passionate alumnus with an eye on results. He has been chair of agents for the Class of 2001 since 2002 and served on his class’ 5th and 10th Reunion Gift Committees. Over the years, he has been extraordinarily successful recruiting new agents and re-energizing the fundraising efforts for his class. 

Under Jay’s leadership, the class has surpassed ambitious dollar goals for eight consecutive years. In his 10th reunion year, Jay led the class in raising $139,965 in unrestricted, current-use support for the university—more than any 10th reunion class since the Class of 1991. In the final weeks of last year’s annual campaign, he personally contacted more than 150 unassigned classmates to ensure that his class would meet its participation goal. Jay’s efforts were tremendously successful, and over the course of the year, 384 of his classmates came on board in support of the Alumni Fund for a total participation rate of 28.9%—higher than any 10th reunion class’s Alumni Fund participation rate since the Class of 1994. 

Jay works diligently to engage his agents and increase the YAF’s visibility amongst his classmates. He regularly calls and emails agents during the year to ask them to follow up with prospects and to provide YAF and university updates. 

As a member of the YAF Board of Directors, Jay has taken on an expanded role with the Alumni Fund. In this leadership role, Jay has been a thoughtful contributor, providing helpful feedback and innovative ideas.