Five exemplary alumni recognized with the Yale Medal for service to Yale

Bo Hopkins ’86 M.B.A. and his wife, Ranji Nagaswami ’86 M.B.A.
Friday, July 6, 2018

The Yale Medal is the highest honor presented by the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), awarded annually to members of the Yale family for their individual service to the university. This year’s recipients run the gamut of the alumni experience, encompassing both Yale College graduates and those from Yale’s professional schools, who have made a difference both as volunteers and as mentors and whose work has spanned the AYA, the Yale Alumni Fund, Yale Athletics, and more.

Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 318 individuals, all of whom showed extraordinary devotion to the ideals of Yale and demonstrated their support through extensive, exemplary service to the university and its many schools, institutes, and programs.

This year’s recipients are Lise Pfeiffer Chapman ’81 M.B.A.; Gregory J. Hall ’77; Bo Hopkins ’86 M.B.A.; Margaret Hilary Marshall ’76 J.D.; ’12 LL.D.H.; and Sheryl Carter Negash ’82. They will be officially honored at the AYA Assembly and Alumni Fund Convocation in November.

The contributions of the recipients are outlined below.

Lise Pfeiffer Chapman ’81 M.B.A.
Lise Pfeiffer Chapman ’81 M.B.A.

Lise Pfeiffer Chapman ’81 M.B.A.

Chapman’s dedication was evident in her early days as site coordinator and regional director for Yale Day of Service. In 2014, as Day of Service chair, she recruited presidents George H.W. Bush ’48, George W. Bush ’68, Bill Clinton ’73 J.D., and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ’73 J.D. to be the program’s inaugural honorary chairs. Chapman joined the Association of Yale Alumni Board of Governors in 2010, and was elected an executive officer in 2013 and chair in 2014. As chair, she focused on outreach to the university, inviting President Peter Salovey and several deans to attend board meetings and initiating participation in Yale College Reunions, Freshman Address, and Commencement exercises. She also led the creation of the Careers, Life, and Yale program to connect alumni with students and initiated the AYA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. In addition, she served as a Yale Alumni Service Corps project leader in Nicaragua, West Virginia, and India. Following her service as chair, Chapman co-founded 1stGenYale, a shared interest group that fosters a supportive community for alumni and students from first-generation and underserved backgrounds. For the School of Management (SOM), Chapman chaired her 25th, 30th, and 35th reunions, and was a member of the 25th and 35th Reunion Gift committees. She currently serves as a Yale Alumni Fund class agent and co-chair of 1stGenYale, as well as a member of her local Alumni Schools Committee and the Yale Alumni Fund board of directors, and as one of four founding administrators of the Yale Alumni closed Facebook group.

Gregory J. Hall ’77
Gregory J. Hall ’77

Gregory J. Hall ’77

Hall has been described as the “heart and soul” of the Yale Football Association and one of its transformative leaders, taking a vested interested in the program and its student-athletes. A three-year varsity letterman and a starter on the 1976 Ivy League championship team, Hall has made an even bigger impact on Yale football since leaving the university. He helped transform the program’s annual fundraising event, a golf outing, from one that annually raised $20,000-$30,000 to one that now draws in excess of $100,000. He was also instrumental in working with his coach, the late Carmen Cozza, to raise much of the money needed to renovate the Yale Bowl. Hall’s work as a mentor has been equally impactful. Working with scores of Yale athletes and non-athletes over the years, Hall has shared life skills, been a shoulder to lean on, and provided job opportunities and career support. He has also been a guiding force behind Yale football’s “4 for 40” program that includes mentoring, internships, and networking opportunities. Ten years ago, he helped launch an annual dinner for Yale’s graduating senior football players, a gathering that was recently rechristened the “Gregory Hall Annual Senior Football Dinner.” Hall was given a standing ovation when he spoke at the event this past year. In addition to his work on behalf of the football program, Hall has served as a Quarter Century Fund agent for his class, raised money for Yale after graduation at the Campaign for Yale, and served as an Alumni Fund class agent.

Bo Hopkins '86 M.B.A.
Bo Hopkins '86 M.B.A. and his wife, Ranji Nagaswami '86 M.B.A.

Bo Hopkins ’86 M.B.A.

As both an advocate and fundraiser, Hopkins has played a vital role with Yale SOM and the Yale Alumni Fund. He began as an Alumni Fund agent for SOM, a position he holds to this day, and has filled myriad roles since that time. He is credited with successfully revamping the SOM Alumni Association and has made a significant impact as a fundraiser and volunteer, serving as an Alumni Fund agent chair (2002-2006), a member of the Alumni Advisory board (2006-2010), and on both the SOM Reunion Planning (2011, 2016) and Reunion Gift (2015-2016) committees. In addition, he created a year-long curriculum for undergraduates studying social enterprise with the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs, and with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences he has piloted or co-piloted 30 different social innovations projects, including one in India (Khushi Baby) that today serves thousands of rural mothers and newborn babies. In 2014, Hopkins was named the Alumni Fund’s first non-Yale College chair, after previously serving on the Alumni Fund’s board (2003-2009, 2010-2016) and executive committee (2004-2009), and as vice chair (2012-2014). As chair, he led the celebration of the Fund’s 125th anniversary, which included special fundraising appeals and an on-campus convocation. Furthermore, Hopkins, who credits Yale for introducing him to not only a great number of academic pursuits but also to his wife, Ranji Nagaswami ’86 M.B.A., served on the AYA Board of Governors (2011-2014), the University Council (2014-2016), the Yale Development Council (2014-2016), and the Yale Tomorrow Campaign Committee (2008-2011). He received the Yale Alumni Fund Chairman’s Award in 2005.

Margaret Hilary Marshall '76 J.D., '12 LL.D.H.
Margaret Hilary Marshall '76 J.D., '12 LL.D.H.

Margaret Hilary Marshall ’76 J.D., ’12 LL.D.H.

Marshall has made a significant and enduring impact on Yale, both through the Law School and as a member of the Yale Corporation, establishing herself as one of the university’s most active volunteers. Marshall’s work commenced soon after graduation, when she helped establish a Yale Law club in Boston. In 1990, she became a member of the Law School Executive Committee. She also volunteered on the Reunion Gift Committee and the Reunion Committee, serving as co-chair of the latter 1994-1995, in addition to her more recent leadership as a member of the Yale Law School Alumni and the Yale Law School Fund boards. Marshall has also been a regular guest lecturer, attended and spoken at student events, and served as a frequent and dedicated mentor to all who seek her counsel. In 2004, she began a six-year term as an alumni fellow on the Yale Corporation and, after completing her tenure in 2010, returned as a successor fellow in 2012. A year later she was elected the first woman senior fellow of the Corporation, a position she held until 2016. In between, she chaired Yale’s Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, work that ultimately led to the establishment of the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. She has also been an active member at Yale club gatherings in her hometown of Boston and a frequent speaker at AYA regional events, including one last year in her native South Africa.

Sheryl Carter Negash '82
Sheryl Carter Negash '82

Sheryl Carter Negash ’82

A committed ambassador for Yale, Negash has been an active Association of Yale Alumni volunteer on the AYA’s Board of Governors, and a service, club, and shared interest group (SIG) leader. She began her volunteer service in 2009, organizing and leading a service trip with undergraduates on behalf of the Afro-American Cultural Center to promote higher education —work she has continued as part of the Higher Education Initiative. Also in 2009, Negash embraced Yale Day of Service, going on to serve as a site coordinator and regional director, and as co-chair for the global event from 2015 to 2017. Negash has been an active SIG volunteer as well. She was a member of the founding board of the Yale Black Alumni Association (YBAA), serving as a chapter leader and YBAA’s national president and chair. She also was a member of the inaugural council of YaleWomen and currently serves in a leadership role for planning the 50 years at Yale College /150 years of women at Yale celebration. As a club leader, she served on the board of Yale Club of Los Angeles. And as a member of the Alumni Schools Committee since 2010, she serves as regional director for the Southern California South Bay area, coordinating alumni interviews for prospective applicants and personally conducting 10 to 30 interviews annually. After completing an AYA at-large delegate assignment, Negash joined the AYA’s Board of Governors in 2015, and from 2016 to 2018, she served as co-chair of the AYA’s Alumni Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. She currently serves as co-chair for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale.