Monthly Archives: December 2008

‘Dores win Music City Bowl!

bowlJust returned from my first-ever bowl game and man am I hooked. Watching the Commodores win their first bowl game in 53 years, fist bumping and high fiving with complete strangers, jumping up and down with and hugging my freezing stepchildren as we all cheered with delerious, near-frost-bitten abandon as the ‘Dores pulled it out and secured a victory at our very own hometown Music City Bowl–what a way to spend New Year’s Eve!! Congratulations to the players, coaches, fans, staff and everyone who worked so hard and loved this team all season long on this exciting victory and… winning season! YEAH DORES!!! Get scoop galore  – including photos, video, etc. at www.vucommodores.com.

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Nashville Mayor Karl Dean speaks out – Go ‘Dores!!

Watch Nashville Mayor (and VU alum) Karl Dean’s holiday message supporting the hometown team for this year’s Music City Bowl. Don’t wait – buy your tickets today! (I did).

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Note from the Chancellor: Let’s go bowling!

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Catch the spirit–Music City Bowl Style

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Spend New Year’s in Nashville with the Commodores at the Music City Bowl

picture-2You know we’re headed to a bowl game for the first time in 26 years, and that the bowl is our very own hometown Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

What you may not know is the only way to get seats with the Commodore Nation is to buy your tickets through Vanderbilt, either online at www.vucommodores.com, by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by stopping by the box office at McGugin.

You may also not know that the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering some great packages that include tickets and hotel rooms so you can make a New Year’s event out of it. There will be plenty of things to do, including the famous battle of the (marching) bands on Second Avenue, tailgates, pre-Game Day bash, and more. Don’t miss your chance to be part of history.

Get updates at www.vucommodores.com and check out the great new bowl blog by Commodore Wizard Brandon Barca right here.

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I heart VMC

One of the benefits of working at Vanderbilt is being able to walk across campus to our world-class medical center when it’s time for a doctor visit. I had to go for some routine checkups and tests last week, which took me to different parts of the hospital and clinics.

I expected my temperature to be checked, but came away with my heart warmed. In the walk through the corridors I saw two nurses in different areas hugging patients goodbye and calling after them, “Be sure to call us if you need anything!” I was seen pretty much right on time in each of my appointments, and every person with whom I interacted–from the person checking me in, to the nurses, to my doc–was kind, helpful and professional. My doctor spent plenty of time talking with me, shook my hand, looked me straight in the eye and said as I was leaving, “Call me anytime. We’re always here for you.”

I know I work in public relations so I’m sure there are those out there who will take all of this with a grain of salt. But I’m writing today as a patient, not a flack. I saw no trace of the fabled nameless, faceless health care system we read about in the papers so often in my visit last week, and in fact never have in my years of visiting Vanderbilt Medical Center facilities. What I saw was that “Hearts and Minds” is much more than just a slogan to these professionals. Thank you, VMC, for all you do for your patients and their families.

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Celebrating new vice chancellors; mourning lost colleague

This week was one of joy and pain in our Public Affairs world.

Beth Fortune

Beth Fortune

We celebrated the happy announcement of our interim leader, Beth Fortune, as vice chancellor of public affairs. Beth’s appointment, which is pending the approval of the Board of Trust, was very welcome news to members of the division, who have benefited  from her leadership, collegiality, mentoring and advocacy during the nine years she’s been at the university. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Beth served as the first female gubernatorial press secretary in state history, just one item on her very long list of professional accomplishments and honors. We are delighted to have her at the helm. Congratulations, Vice Chancellor Fortune! Read more on VUCast.

stalcup

Susie Stalcup

We also celebrated the naming of Susie Stalcup as vice chancellor for development and almuni affairs. Stalcup comes to Vanderbilt from Columbia University Medical Center, where she has led all aspects of CUMC’s $1 billion capital campaign, which met its goal two-and-a-half years before the scheduled December 2011 conclusion. The DAR position was one of several held by Chancellor Zeppos before he was named chancellor in March 2008. Stalcup’s appointment, also pending approval by the Board of Trust, is expected to begin in January 2009. Congratulations, Vice Chancellor Stalcup! Read more on VUCast.

Neil Brake

Neil Brake

And finally, this week we gathered together at Benton Chapel to mourn the loss of our dear colleague, Neil Brake. Neil died Nov. 4 at the age of 47. He was one of the university’s, and many would argue the region’s, best photographers, known for his outstanding eye, his ability to capture the precise, perfect moment, and the ease at which he put his subjects. The juxtaposition of the joy that shines through his photographs, of which his colleagues in Creative Services prepared a wonderful slide show for the memorial, and the pain of his loss was heartbreaking. I knew when looking at the many pictures of smiling people that those smiles were often so bright because of the person behind the camera.

I had the great pleasure of working with Neil for several years, and remember the fun times we had on the Roads Scholars bus tour and the time he gave me a spontaneous and riproaring lift all the way from the Baker Building to the Wyatt Center in his famous golf cart, changing a ho-hum day into a big adventure. But what I’ll remember most about Neil is the way I always felt whenever I saw him or talked with him–I felt like I must be one of his favorite people. He was always so happy to see me, so funny and kind, so helpful. I now know that one of his legacies is that he made us all feel as though we were one of his favorite people. We miss you, Neil.

Read Jim Patterson’s story on the memorial service on myVU.

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