Classes are out and graduation has come and gone, but over the summer, Yale’s campus remains as lively as ever. Compared to the school year, when there are approximately 5,500 undergraduates on campus, Yale welcomes about 10,000 total visitors over a 10-week period in the summer, beginning just before Memorial Day and ending the first week of August. Many of these visitors come to campus to participate in one of Yale’s 100+ summer programs.
The number of participants in these programs has tripled compared to previous years, with over 3,000 summer students occupying 13 of the 14 residential colleges as well as central campus. Yale Conferences & Events (YC&E) is the department in charge of finding, vetting, and then working through the logistics of accommodating these visitors.
The YC&E team works with various internal and external summer programs throughout the year, including Yale Summer Session (YSS) and Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), as well an assortment of rigorous academic programs. These various programs bring students to Yale from South America, China, Scotland, England, Africa, and elsewhere. Some of these programs for international students include Yale College Courses for Credit, Yale’s Summer Drama Program, and Yale Writers’ Workshop.
“It is amazing to see the breadth and depth of all the programs on campus and the wide variety of learning experiences that each group provides,” says Kathryn Vieillard, associate director of YC&E.
For the university, these programs provide close to $5 million in revenue for dining, facilities, and internal service providers at Yale and in New Haven. In addition, thousands of elementary, high school, and college students and other visitors fill New Haven stores — helping to bridge the seasonal economic gap until the Yale students return, said Vieillard.
Additionally, between YC&E, YSS, and YYGS, over 150 young employees are hired to assist with programming details. These interns come from New Haven area high schools, and they can work part-time during the school year and full-time in the summer. At the end of the internships, the university helps these interns find work in the hospitality industry.
On the third Friday in July, YC&E hosts an all-campus BBQ on Old Campus, where nearly all of Yale’s 3,000 summer students and participants in the 100+ programs hosted by the university, celebrate the season. The all-campus BBQ features food, giveaways, a DJ, and festive activities for the campus’ visitors.
“It is a fast and furious 10 weeks, but just walking around and seeing all the young faces from all over the world living, learning, and dreaming on the Yale campus in summer is amazing,” says Vieillard.