Bulldog Coffee: a new opportunity to meet prospective students

By Sean McAvoy
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruiting

Volunteer alumni will soon be meeting with prospective applicants to Yale Divinity School at coffeehouses nationwide.  These informal discussions are part of a new effort by the Admissions Office to involve our wide and diverse alumni population in recruiting the next generation of YDS students.

This venture, dubbed “Bulldog Coffee,” is starting small, with a core group of 10 alumni who have generously donated their time.  These alumni will sit for a few hours in a local (to them) coffeehouse and speak of their Yale experiences with all those interested in attending YDS.  The Admissions Office will happily purchase the refreshments.

“Bulldog Coffees are a great way to engage our young alumni as key recruiters for YDS,” says Anna Ramirez, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.  The Admissions Office has been busy preparing these relaxed events around the country, with three already confirmed for the fall and more in the works.

"The Admissions Team has hit the nail on the head with the new Bulldog Coffee initiative,” says Horace Ballard MAR ’10, one of the first to volunteer.  “Everyone wins with this: a connection is made between individuals interested around ideas of faith, social justice, service, and liturgy, ‘bread’ of one's choice is broken, and the 'good news' about a place near and dear to your heart is shared. I am looking forward to my upcoming coffee in September." 

Many other alumni who are in contact about the program echo Ballard’s enthusiasm. The hope is that alumni reminiscences of life on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle will help allay any anxieties prospective students may have and help answer their questions, in addition to strengthening connections generally with YDS.

“Those of us who cannot come to Convocation and other wonderful events held throughout the year due to work or distance have an opportunity to re-connect with the Hill around a matter that is important to us all: our future,” Ballard says.  “I am thrilled to be part of the program.”

For many prospective students, this may be the only time before applying that they speak to someone with first-hand knowledge of YDS.  YDS’s alumni are its best ambassadors, and the calm, pressure-free environment of a coffeehouse gives them the opportunity to share a cup of coffee and their stories with those eager to learn more about our school.

Interested in joining the Bulldog Coffee program?  Email sean.mcavoy@yale.edu to learn more.

Date Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 1:11pm