McDougal Graduate Student Center

Founders Hall, 135 Prospect St., upper level, 203.432.BLUE (2583),

A generous gift from Mr. Alfred McDougal ’53, a Yale alumnus, and his wife, Ms. Nancy Lauter, enabled Yale to create the McDougal Graduate Student Center in 1997. The McDougal Center provides space and programs for building intellectual, cultural, and social community, as well as facilitating professional development activities across the departments of the Graduate School. The McDougal Center endowment supports the facilities of the center and the appointment of more than sixty McDougal Fellows in five offices who create programs and services for the graduate community through five collaborating offices of Development and Diversity, Career Strategy, Graduate Student Life, and the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning’s Graduate Writing Lab and Graduate Teaching Program.

Graduate Student Life

Lisa Brandes, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director, McDougal Center; Founders Hall, 135 Prospect St., upper level, Rm. 185, 203.432.2583,

Jennifer Mendelsohn, Associate Director, McDougal Center; Founders Hall, 135 Prospect St., upper level, Rm. 186, 203.432.2583,

The Office of Graduate Student Life is responsible for student life programs in the McDougal Center and student services in the Graduate School. McDougal Graduate Student Life Fellows and staff produce a wide array of student life programs annually, including concerts; arts, literary, music, sports, and cultural events; health and wellness programs; outings; family activities and resources; international student events; public service opportunities; and dances and other social events. Graduate Student Life advises and supports more than seventy graduate student organizations, which sponsor events at the center, on and off campus. Activities are announced in the weekly e-mail McDougal Graduate Student Life Notes, on social media, and on the Yale Connect site listed above. This office also oversees the facilities and general services of the McDougal Center.

In collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for University Life, the assistant dean for student affairs coordinates general campus services for graduate students, serving as a graduate student advocate and departmental liaison for graduate housing, dining services, health services, athletics, security, chaplains, child care, and parking and transit. The assistant dean and staff are available to answer questions or help with any problems that students may have, including speaking individually about issues concerning their life at Yale and other personal matters and concerns. The Graduate Student Life office also assists departmental recruitment activities and organizes new student orientation and GS Dean’s social events. GSL staff help coordinate other events for the Graduate School community, including the Graduate School’s participation in the University’s Commencement exercises.