Presidents' Room (tour)

Presidents' Room

virtual tour

Make every event feel like an intimate gathering.

Cross section of Yale Schwarzman Center with Presidents' Room highlighted in orange
Cross section of Yale Schwarzman Center with Presidents' Room highlighted in orange

To advance toward the future, it can help to interrogate the past. In this case, advancing the Presidents’ Room meant researching the University’s archives and restoring the space to an erstwhile splendor—long before portraits of Yale presidents adorned the walls. Today, pilasters and sconces stand watch between the eight double doors of the circular room just as they did many years ago, reviving a vision of the space that living generations may never have known existed. 

Traditionally, the Presidents’ Room has been a site for important gatherings, usually by invitation—and often, as the name suggests, involving the president—although not exclusively. If these walls could speak, they would tell of Yale Medal honorees and Y-work Award recipients being lauded for their service to the University, and First-Year Scholars sharing a formal meal as their pre-college adventure ended and their Yale College journey began. 

The Presidents’ Room was designed to invite people into the fold, making every event feel like an intimate gathering. However, previous guests have noted how quickly the threshold between intimate and crowded was crossed whenever the agenda included a keynote address, challenging the presenter to cut through the din of silverware and conversation or the dampening effects of bodies and carpeting. Fortunately, this issue has been solved with in-built audio-visual technology as part of the renovation. 

Today, the Presidents’ room is as functional as it is intimate, as capable as it is bright. With central cooling, an airy coat of yellow paint, updated lighting treatments, and AV enhancements, the space resumes its role as a destination for important gatherings in understated grandeur. Perhaps you’ll find yourself mingling with luminaries, receiving or conferring an award, or dining with community leaders. Whatever the case may be, a moment in the Presidents’ Room is a moment in history—at the intersection of tradition and innovation.

Sights & Sounds

Click here and here for a 360-degree photo of the Presidents' Room and its gallery.

Stephen ‘Steve’ Blum ’74, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Yale Alumni Association
Robert ‘Bob’ Bonds ‘71, Associate Director, Yale Clubs, Yale Alumni Association
Weili Cheng ’77, Executive Director, Yale Alumni Association

No sound, no problem. Read the transcript.

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Featured image: Presidents' Room at Yale Schwarzman Center. Photo by Francis Dzikowski.