Name: Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar
YaleWomen title: Vice Chair
Yale Affiliation: ’88
Where you live: Boston, MA
What you do: My background is marketing communications, but in recent years I’ve devoted quite a bit of my time to other activities, including serving as a Yale alumni volunteer. I also spend far too much time training for various races because I’ve finally discovered my inner athlete.
Your family: I live with my husband Todd and maybe a few too many dogs and cats. I’m also fortunate to have my wonderful mother Petra just a few doors down from us on the same street.
Other Yale volunteer work: In addition to serving as a member of the YaleWomen Governing Council, I am also a member of the AYA Board of Governors. I also serve on the steering committee of YaleWomen Boston, and I have for many years been an interviewer for the Boston-area Alumni Schools Committee. Finally, I recently completed three years of service as president of the board of directors of YaleBoston, having previously served as vice president, secretary. I also served for many years as one of YaleBoston’s AYA delegates, both ex officio and elected.
Something we might not know about you: I can very briefly be seen, in the background and in profile, in one scene in A Beautiful Mind. The casting folks were looking for “Ivy League-types” (whatever the heck that means), and one of them (I think she was a Yalie) reached out to New York-area alums asking if we wanted to be extras. I had nothing better to do that day, so I said, why not. Once we got to Princeton, they decided that, as a woman and a person of color, they could use me to visually contrast the “old” Princeton and the “new” Princeton. And so I got to sit in a Princeton dining hall, eating chocolate cake, chatting with Ron Howard about chocolate cake, and pretending to be a professor while the “pen ceremony” scene was being filmed around and behind me. Thus started and ended my illustrious “acting” career. Blink and you’ll miss me!
Favorite Yale memory: Hmmm . . . I may need to plead the Fifth on this one . . . really and truly, though, too many to choose just one . . .
Which two Yale women would you ask to join you for lunch and why: There are too many noteworthy options, so I’m going to keep it simple and say Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o, because we have so much in common, we can all talk about our illustrious careers as black actresses. Oh, alright, they can talk about their truly illustrious careers as black actresses, and I can say I was in an Academy-Award winning film for a split second!