Alumni Fund

Participation Matters

The Alumni Fund provides essential, immediately expendable funding for the School’s core needs. Annual contributions from alumni directly enhance student life by supporting educational programming, technology, the medical library, student research, and most importantly, financial aid and scholarships.

Why give? Strong participation in the Alumni Fund is an important expression that alumni appreciate their Yale experience, are committed to today’s students, and feel invested in the school’s future.

Unrestricted financial support is a funding priority for the School. Gifts that have not been specifically designated provide the School with the funding to fulfill fundamental educational responsibilities. Unrestricted funding allows the pursuit of new educational programming, ideas, and technology in the quest for continued distinction, while maintaining the well-established standard of academic excellence.   
This is a priority area for fundraising efforts. Our medical students share a passion for medicine that is well balanced between a love and knowledge of science, and an undeniable urge to help others. But, medical education is expensive and despite our average medical student debt being lower than the average from other public or private medical schools, it is still much too high. At Yale, the financial aid package is directly tied to those endowments and current-use gifts that are designated for Financial Aid.
The School is currently developing a new curriculum that will dramatically enhance the students’ educational experience. This new curriculum will maintain Yale’s non-competitive, collegial environment of independent learning, providing the clinical and research skills needed to produce tomorrow’s leaders in medicine. The school will develop new, more integrated courses, increase coordination of our courses, and dramatically increase the amount of interactive problem-based and patient-based small group teaching. This will require a significant increase in faculty time commitment, and even more importantly, a significant effort to help faculty possess the requisite skills required for such teaching. The Educational Innovation and Excellence Fund, created in 2002 as the Society of Distinguished Teachers, supports the efforts of faculty who create and implement curriculum related to the teaching of those skills essential for the practice of medicine.
In 1934, Harvey Cushing approached two of his friends, John F. Fulton and Arnold C. Klebs, with a plan to donate their extensive rare historical book collections to Yale in the hopes Yale would build a separate Medical Library. As a result of donations from these three individuals, the present Medical Library was built in 1940. As a result of these donors and many other since, the Medical Library has been built on a tradition of philanthropy in order to ensure collections are available not only for the present user, but for future generations. The medical library is a welcoming research and study space providing online access to text, data, and images; a print collection of key medical reference books, journals and daily newspapers; and librarian support for identifying and using research content.
Yale School of Medicine is the only M.D. program that has had a continuous thesis requirement since 1839; it stands as a defining characteristic of a Yale medical education. For many students, the thesis is the first time that they have formulated and investigated a unique hypothesis, and for most, it is a life-changing experience. Students conduct research projects that extend over the summer, during the regular term, and for more than half the student body, over an entire fifth year. Funding for this research is a challenge faced by every student. Philanthropic support furthers this important aspect of scientific training at Yale, makes thesis funding available to more students, and extends the scope of the School’s research training programs.  
Available only in reunion years, alumni can sponsor the cost of a stethoscope for an incoming student. This program began during the school’s bicentennial year and has proven a tangible, incredibly well-received program by both students and alumni. Stethoscopes bearing the donor’s name, class year and even business card (if the donor so chooses) are handed out to incoming students at the annual White Coat Ceremony each August.
YSM students in Anatomy lab

Reducing the burden of debt on our students remains one of the school’s highest priorities. Generous support from alumni has played a significant role in allowing the school to revise its financial aid policies in 2018 and 2019

Starting with the entering class in the fall of 2019, students with demonstrated need should not graduate with more than $60,000 in debt - significantly lower than the national average of $197,000 for all medical schools in 2018. The reduction of the amount students are expected to borrow, enhances YSM’s ability to welcome top-tier students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Gifts to the Alumni Fund provide financial aid and scholarships that make a Yale medical education more affordable and accessible.