The Traphagen Alumni Speakers Series supports events in Yale College that bring distinguished alumni to campus and offer direct access for current undergraduates to those alumni. Past Traphagen visits have featured film producer and philanthropist Abigail Disney ’82; software designer and entrepreneur Mitch Kapor ’71; and a special 40th anniversary of coeducation event featuring some of the “First Latinas at Yale”: Judge Amalia Meza ’75 B.A., Dr. Mercedes Lynn de Uriarte ’73 M.A., Dr. Kathryn Ann Williams ’74 B.S., Professor Virgina Rosa Domingez ’73 B.A., and Judge Dora Irrizarry ’76 B.A.
Members of the Yale College Dean’s Office, Yale faculty, and student officers of registered undergraduate organizations are invited to apply for funding through the Traphagen Series to support events that they are planning.
Funding is awarded by a committee that reviews applications based on the following criteria:
For all Traphagen-funded events, all publicity materials prior to and at the event must indicate that the visit is sponsored by the “Traphagen Alumni Speakers Series, Yale College Office of Student Affairs.”
The Traphagen Alumni Speakers Series was established through a generous gift from Ross E. Traphagen, Jr. ’44, who believed that by bringing alumni from the real world back onto campus, he could expose students to the sundry career paths their education offered and to the successes and failures of seasoned professionals.
Mr. Traphagen graduated from Exeter in 1940, earned his B.A. in history from Yale, and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1948. After practicing law for 13 years at Davis Polk & Wardwell, he joined Goldman, Sachs & Co., serving as a partner for nearly 20 years until he founded his family office, Plough Penny Partners, in 1985. During World War II, Ross was a captain with the U.S. Army Field Artillery, receiving a Bronze Star for heroic action in the European Theater.