Yale Bulletin
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President Richard C. Levin (center) poses with Yale police officer Willie Charles and his wife, Ruth, the 400th participants in the Yale Homebuyer Program.

Building Partnerships for a Stronger New Haven

As Yale embarks on its fourth century, an institutional priority is helping to build a stronger New Haven.

There have been many indications that the University is succeeding in this mission, including the following.

Downtown Revitalization

Yale works with the city government to improve New Haven's downtown, adding to its retail core and showcasing the city center's living spaces and businesses, as well as its arts and cultural activities.

The University's commercial properties downtown are home to 60 local merchants and five national retailers. This year, a new building was opened on Broadway that provides space for Urban Outfitters, a national retailer of stylish clothing and accessories; Alexia Crawford, the SoHo jewelry and handbag designer's second boutique; and J. Crew which will open in early 2002. Gourmet Heaven, an offshoot of a popular New York greengrocer and deli, was recruited to Broadway as well, providing 24-hour convenience to the community.

Yale takes an active role in supporting the arts and culture scene in New Haven.

The University was the top sponsor of this year's New Haven Jazz Festival, which featured performances by Ray Charles, Dianne Reeves and Poncho Sanchez, and was attended by 100,000 people. Yale was also a leading sponsor of New Haven's International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which attracted more than 100,000 people and featured performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and a free performance on the Green by the Metropolitan Opera.

Founded by Yale, the City, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the business community, "Market New Haven" also offered a series of events this summer, including concerts and family movie nights. In addition to these events, "Market New Haven" launched a strategic campaign to promote New Haven's image, in particular to foster more accurate perceptions about the community's strengths.

Economic Development

Yale is helping to build a strong economic base to provide jobs and tax revenues in New Haven. More than 15 biotechnology companies from Yale research now operate in New Haven and its region. These companies raised more than $1 billion in new investment for the New Haven region last year alone.

Such companies are locating in Science Park and the 550,000-square foot building at 300 George St. Science Park, which had lost money for years, now expects to produce a positive cash flow this year and has every square foot of available lab space occupied or committed. The 300 George St. building, vacant for most of the 1990s, is in the midst of a $20 million renovation. Both facilities are owned by private developers with substantial experience and success in creating biotech facilities.

The Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES) is dedicated to promoting and fostering entrepreneurship in the greater Yale community with over 1,000 undergraduate, graduate, faculty and alumni members at Yale and abroad. This year, YES and Yale sponsored the 2001 Y50K Entrepreneurship Competition which provided start-up funding as well as educational, networking and mentoring opportunities to Yale entrepreneurs. The competition serves as a launching pad for companies that will revitalize the community and develop the next generation of business leaders. Ninety-two teams entered this year's competition (more than double last year's number), and $100,000 was awarded to the winning teams.

The Enterprise Center -- a nonprofit entity founded by Yale, the United Illuminating Company and New Haven Savings Bank -- completed a full financing package for two start-up client companies in 2001: IDS, a technology integrator; and AQSolutions, an IT services company that recruits from emerging markets. Both companies have relocated to New Haven to be close to Yale resources and other technology start-ups in the city. The Enterprise Center provides start-up or growing companies with such services as business planning, market research, financial structuring, capital source development and management team building.

New Haven Public Schools

Yale's commitment to New Haven public schools extends to more than 10,000 city students who participate in programs with the University on the campus or in the schools.

In a unique partnership, Yale and community leaders created and funded the Greater Dwight Development Corporation and provided $400,000 in matching funds for an addition to the Dwight Elementary School. Yale's architecture students led the design process for the school addition, which opened in spring of 2001 and will provide much needed space for concerts, plays, other school activities and community use.

The Office of New Haven and State Affairs sponsored Hill Regional Career High School's entry in the 2001 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. In a six-week period, the team of students and teachers from the high school designed, built and tested a sophisticated remote-controlled robot to compete with robots from other teams nationally. Touted as the ultimate mind sport, the annual competition is intended to immerse students in the world of science and engineering.

Yale offers New Haven youth free, full-day education and recreation programs each summer. This summer was the best-attended, with more than 500 young people participating in programs including: Yale National Youth Sports Program, a five-week athletic and academic camp; SCHOLAR, the Science Collaborative Hands-On Learning and Research program in which 65 New Haven students live and study on the Yale campus; and U.S. Grant Foundation, a full-day program providing academic enrichment for 70 New Haven middle school students.

Neighborhood Revitalization

The Yale Homebuyer Program provides an incentive of a $25,000 grant for University employees to purchase homes in New Haven. More than 470 employees have taken part in the program since its inception eight years ago.


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