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.

Apply for Funding

Faculty, YCDO staff, and registered undergraduate organizations may request funding from the Traphagen Funds. Funding is limited and it is not typically granted for routine, yearly activities.

Funding is awarded by a committee based on the following criteria:

  • Involvement of one or more Yale alumni in the event
  • Clear indication of the event’s purpose (i.e., content/focus of alumnus/-a’s speech or other featured activity)
  • Level of Yale community access to the event
  • Projected audience
  • Presentation of a clear and reasonable budget (a sample of Traphagen policy and a sample budget are available within the Traphagen YaleConnect portal.

For 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 vast array of career paths their education made possible as well as to the successes and failures of seasoned professionals.

    Mr. Traphagen graduated from Exeter in 1940, earned his B.A. in history from Yale in 1944, 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, Mr. Traphagen was a captain with the U.S. Army Field Artillery, receiving a Bronze Star for heroic action in the European Theater.