Top Vanderbilt news for 2008

It was a big year here at the U. Wrap up below, courtesy of the wonderful Missy Pankake, myVU:

Editor’s note — the following, in no particular order, is a selection of news highlights that made headlines at Vanderbilt in 2008.

News that made headlines

Nicholas S. Zeppos becomes the eighth chancellor of Vanderbilt on March 1.

Three generations of the family of the late Monroe Carell Jr. pledge a gift of $20 million to the fundraising effort for a new facility to care for children and mothers. The Campaign for Children and Mothers, with a goal of $45 million, will support the building of a 400,000-square-foot facility adjacent to and connected with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The Commons, a new campus within a campus for first-year students, opens Aug. 16.

VMC signs an agreement in September to be the new health care and emergency medical services provider for the Nashville Predators, Nashville’s National Hockey League team.

VUSN begins offering a Doctor in Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree.

The Commons Center is the first building in Nashville and the first building at a Tennessee university to receive Gold level certification for its environmentally friendly construction from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Pediatric heart specialists at the Children’s Hospital perform life-saving surgery on Iraqi toddler Amenah al-Bayati.

H. Rodes Hart, a Vanderbilt alumnus and Board of Trust member, succeeds the late Monroe Carell Jr. as chairman of Shape the Future, the university’s comprehensive campaign.

Vanderbilt announces it would replace need-based student loans with institutional grants and scholarships beginning in fall 2009 for all students with demonstrated financial need.

Vanderbilt’s recently announced enhanced financial aid program receives a major boost with a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Figures released by Tennessee’s Department of Health confirm that VMC continues to provide nearly half (47.9 percent) of all uncompensated medical care within Davidson County.

Vanderbilt University Library rolls out new online service: DiscoverLibrary. It contains all of the records from Acorn, the library’s current online card catalog, as well as records from the Television News Archive, the library’s largest digital collection.


The first Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame inductees are honored.

ESPN’s College Game Day broadcasts live from the Vanderbilt campus for the first time.

Vanderbilt football becomes bowl-eligible for the first time in 26 years. The ‘Dores beat Boston College in the Music City Bowl Dec. 31.


The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing turns 100 during the 2008-2009 academic year, and is holding a series of activities to celebrate its rich history. The school developed a yearlong calendar of special events designed to highlight both the past and future of nursing.

The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities celebrates its 20th anniversary. Special celebratory events included an unprecedented meeting of people, many of whom were leaders in the Civil Rights movement, interviewed by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author, poet, and Vanderbilt alumnus Robert Penn Warren for his 1965 book Who Speaks for the Negro?

Employee News

Vanderbilt Medical Center bans smoking on campus by staff, patients, visitors and contract employees, effective Sept. 1.

New Faculty/Staff Express Care walk-in employee clinic opens. Care is available M-F in the Medical Arts Building.

Staff Changes

Beth Fortune named vice chancellor for public affairs.
Jeffrey Balser named dean of the School of Medicine.
Richard McCarty named provost.
Jennifer Pietenpol named director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Carolyn Dever named dean of the College of Arts and Science.
Cheng H. Khoo named university registrar.
Susie S. Stalcup selected new vice chancellor for development and alumni relations.
Ara Pachmayer named director of the Global Education Office.
Nora Spencer named director of the Office of LGBTQI Life.

In Memoriam

Monroe Carell Jr., Board of Trust member
Pierre Colas, assistant professor of anthropology
Neil Brake, university photographer
Bettie Page, Peabody College alumnae

Lists and Rankings

Vanderbilt University ranked No. 18 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

VMC ranked No. 15 in the U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals.”

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was No. 23 in U.S. News & World Report‘s best children’s hospitals.

Vanderbilt University placed No. 42 on an academic ranking of the top 500 world universities by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development is the second-ranked education school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Vanderbilt Law School is No. 15. The research program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center tied at No. 16.

Vanderbilt University is ranked in the Top 10 best places to work in academia by The Scientist.

Vanderbilt University has attained the rank of 20th in the nation in the total value of federal science and engineering research grants awarded to campus researchers, according to an annual report compiled by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The School of Medicine ranked No. 10 for NIH (National Institute of Health) funding in fiscal year 2007.

VMC among the nation’s 100 “most wired” hospitals and health systems by Hospitals and Health Networks.


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