President Peter Salovey and Dean Lynn Cooley of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) welcomed the new class of graduate students to Yale at the school’s matriculation ceremony on Aug. 23.
Selected from a pool of 11,216 applicants, the entering class comprises 708 students who hail from 335 different undergraduate institutions and 49 countries across the world. Nearly half the new class are international students, with particularly strong representation from China, India, Canada, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. The majority (509) are enrolled in doctoral programs, and the remainder (199) are pursuing master’s degrees.
At the ceremony, Salovey spoke about his own experience coming to Yale from Stanford University as a doctoral candidate in psychology. “I had no idea how much Yale would shape my life professionally and personally,” he said, telling the students how he met his wife, Marta Moret, in 1983 when he and she were president and vice president, respectively, of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Describing Yale as a place of excellence and innovation, Salovey credited the GSAS’s longstanding commitment to diversity among its students and scholars as integral to the school’s success. He emphasized that graduate students should feel they have access to all the “treasures of the world” that live at Yale.
In her remarks, Cooley reaffirmed Salovey’s message about the wide array of university resources that exist to support the graduate students, and explained why attending the graduate school is a “precious opportunity.” She reminded the incoming students that while they undoubtedly have goals for their time at Yale, they should make the greater university community part of their experience. Yale, she said, sets itself apart in this regard from many peer institutions with its emphasis on “collegial and collaborative tradition” in scholarship. Cooley also encouraged the new graduate students to listen to the range of views that the Yale community holds, “even if it means agreeing to disagree.”
Finally, Cooley said that the matriculants will “have to learn to be comfortable inhabiting the shifting landscape between what you know and what you have yet to discover.” This “tolerance for ambiguity,” she said, is essential for graduate students, who are going to become “producers of knowledge and trailblazers in their chosen fields,” rather than just the consumers of knowledge they were in their previous educational experiences.
After the remarks by Salovey and Cooley, the new students enjoyed a musical performance from Elm City Choro, a group that plays upbeat instrumental jazz from the U.S. and Brazil. Immediately following the ceremony, students and their guests were invited to join Salovey and Moret for the President’s Reception on Cross Campus.