August 21, 1998

Contact: Beth Fox

(615) 322-NEWS

Honor emphasized at Vanderbilt's freshmen orientation


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt University class of 2002 will vow to honor Vanderbilt's long tradition of academic integrity Aug. 26, as they become the first class to sign a copy of the honor code for permanent display.

The signing ceremony, which will include remarks by Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt, will be the first public declaration of commitment to the honor code by Vanderbilt's newest students. The incoming freshmen's signatures will later be framed and will hang in the Sarratt Student Center as a tribute to the honor code.

All faculty, staff, students and community members who wish to witness the event, the first of its kind at Vanderbilt, may attend.

The ceremony is sponsored by the Undergraduate Honor Council, which is hoping the signing and framing will be the start of a new tradition.

"The students of the next several years will be a fortunate student body, because they will get to take part in the metamorphosis of a community of teachers and students," said Carl Petersen, public affairs officer for the Undergraduate Honor Council.

The honor code has been in existence since 1875. Although it has evolved over the years, its goal is still the same, Peterson said.

"Students holding their friends and classmates accountable for their actions - students upholding the integrity and quality of a Vanderbilt degree for themselves and future Commodores - is the true spirit of an honor code."

The Undergraduate Honor Council, which was established first as the Honor Committee in 1900, not only secures justice for all students under the honor code, but fosters an environment that holds honor as the ultimate personal achievement, Peterson said.

The Undergraduate Honor Council has worked recently to bring to Vanderbilt a new awareness of the honor code, in part by reproducing and distributing "Ye Old Book," a booklet which was distributed to incoming freshmen in 1929. It contains a number of speeches given by notable professors and administrators at that time, as well as a copy of the honor code as it was stated in that year.


Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 5,900 undergraduates and 4,300 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education and human development, engineering and music, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the News and Public Affairs home page on the Internet at

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Document updated August 31, 1998.