Vanderbilt Alumni Association -- Alumni eXclusive -- An e-newsletter exclusively for Vanderbilt Alumni
Stay connected VAA on Facebook VAA on Twitter VAA on LinkedIn

Chapters  |   Travel  |   Volunteer  |   Shared Interest Groups  |   Reunion  |   VUconnect

To ensure delivery of this newsletter to your inbox, please add to your email address book.

 Alumni eXclusive feature

Local chapters offer a variety of events
Even if you're not in Nashville, you can meet up with fellow Commodores at local chapter events in 40 cities across the U.S. and overseas. Chapters organize career networking events, host visiting professors through the Commodores in the Classroom program and arrange community service opportunities and social gatherings.

Recent career networking events included a "Headshots and Happy Hour" party in Atlanta and a well-attended panel discussion of alumni working in the finance sector in New York City.

A San Diego Commodores in the Classroom event featured Stephen Buckles, senior lecturer in economics. In Washington, D.C., Professor of Philosophy Lucius Outlaw lectured on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Social gatherings always draw a crowd. More than 100 'Dores gathered in San Francisco for a February tailgate before a Vanderbilt vs. Stanford baseball game. A recent wine tasting in Nashville drew 75 people. Over the past year, other chapters have worked for Habitat for Humanity and volunteered in their area schools.

Visit our chapter page to find your local group. Contact to find out more information.

 Leadership corner

James E. StofanDear alumni,

When one thinks of Vanderbilt, public service immediately comes to mind. As the place where the concept of Alternative Spring Break began, I am happy that the Office of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association are working to collaborate with current student leaders to engage alumni in the programs. We are also planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first ASB class this fall as part of the Homecoming/Reunion activities.

For the first time, we're offering two special summer trips for ASB alumni. Please look at the information later in this newsletter and let us know if you would like to be part of these volunteer activities. Read more »

James E. Stofan
Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations

John HindleDear fellow alumni,

As the days lengthen, banishing the dark of winter, and as the parks, squares and gardens of London don their bright spring colors, I'm reminded of the beauty of the Vanderbilt campus and the way its annual rhythm of renewal underscores Vanderbilt's enduring mission of developing new knowledge and preparing future leaders and citizens for service in the wider world.

Renewal has been the dominant focus of my term as president of your Alumni Association. Following the adoption of our new bylaws in 2009 and building on the work of my predecessors, we've transformed our volunteer leadership structure and governance model and recruited our most talented alumni to serve on the board. Read more »

John Hindle, BA'68, PhD'81
President, Vanderbilt Alumni Association

 Vanderbilt Alumni Association news

Mark Abkowitz wins 2012 Alumni Education Award
Mark Abkowitz, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of engineering management, received the Vanderbilt University Alumni Association Education Award on May 2. The award, chosen by the Vanderbilt University Alumni Association Board of Directors, is given annually to a full-time Vanderbilt faculty member who has contributed substantially to Alumni Association education programs. Abkowitz presented a talk to members of the San Francisco chapter and also gave a presentation during Reunion. Both were well-attended and well-received. Abkowitz received $2,500 and an engraved bowl. Read more »

Summer trips for ASB alumni
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Vanderbilt Alternative Spring Break is offering two weeklong ASB alumni trips this summer—one to Huntsville, Ala., and the other to Washington, D.C. The trips will highlight what makes ASB so important: full immersion in a new community, education on pressing social issues, a diversity of service as well as personal reflection and road trips. Applications, available on the ASB website, are due May 4. Read more »

Travel insurance
Whether you're traveling with Vanderbilt or on your own, the Vanderbilt Alumni Association now offers travel insurance. Learn more about the many plans and options today.

Are you LinkedIn?
LinkedInThe Vanderbilt Alumni LinkedIn group enhances networking opportunities for alumni and current through workshops, special events and social interaction. You'll also find networking tools and job postings. The group is open to alumni, current students, faculty and staff members (past or present). Join the more than 10,000 members today and expand your networking potential.

Reunion Leadership Conference
The Reunion Leadership Conference brought more than 100 alumni leaders to campus February 25–26 to plan events and set goals for Reunion/Homecoming 2012. If your class ends with a 2 or 7, this is your year. Let us know if you're planning to attend Reunion on October 25–27.

New shared interest groups formed
Two new alumni shared interest groups were recently formed—the Asian American Alumni Association and the Vanderbilt LGBTI alumni group. Are you interested in starting a shared interest group or joining one of our already existing groups? Please fill out our survey. For more information, email Shared Interest Liaison Chris Griffin or call (615) 322-4405.

AVBAAVBA Scholarship receptions
The Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni has scheduled receptions in Washington, D.C., and Chicago to benefit the AVBA endowed scholarship campaign. The receptions are set for May 17 and May 18, respectively. Visit our website for more information or to make a charitable gift to the scholarship campaign.


 Check out the new Alumni Association website

Alumni Association websiteThe Alumni Association website has been revamped and updated with improved navigation and expanded career and travel sections. Google maps in the travel section help readers pinpoint locations of Vanderbilt Travel excursions. An option to change font sizes makes the travel pages easier to read. Podcasts enhance the career section, and your complete Alumni Association team is listed in the contacts.

    Vanderbilt faculty spotlight

Engineering dean invited to White House
Dean GallowayEngineering Dean Kenneth F. Galloway attended a White House event February 8 to celebrate the efforts of engineering deans for their commitment to retain and graduate more students in the field of engineering. Read more »


 Alumni in the news

College of Arts and Science
Nancy E. Soderberg, BA'80, receives White House appointment

Mark Kendall, BA'05, MA'08, screens documentary at SXSW

Ann Jeanette Schuelke Colwell, BA'09, joins HealthLeaders-InterStudy

Eric Ehrnschwender, BA'10, exhibits ceramics on campus

Brent Bowman, BA'97, named partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis

Bradley Fouraker, BA'78, wins community service award

Alan Kirshner, BA'57, receives philanthropy award

Courtney Dial, BA'07, MEd'09, writes 'Push Up Pops'

Blair School of Music
Chris Mann, BMus'04, competes on NBC's The Voice

Law School
Mark Ison, JD'04, named member of Sherrard & Roe


Vanderbilt Reunion -- October 25-27, 2012 -- Come back, give back
Save the date for Reunion 2012: October 25–27
If your graduating class year ends in 2 or 7, make plans now to attend Reunion 2012, set for October 25–27. For the latest information, visit

Help plan your Reunion
Help make your Reunion a success by volunteering for the attendance, fundraising or party committees for your class. Visit the Reunion website to learn more about the various opportunities related to your Reunion and sign up today. If you have questions or would like to volunteer, call (615) 322-6034 or email


Miranda Kelley, JD'02, receives promotion at Waller Lansden

School of Medicine
Kimberly Vinson, MD'03, named Vanderbilt School of Medicine assistant dean for diversity

E. Kathryn Miller, MPH'06, leads infant HRV study

Josh Denny, BS'98, MD'03, MS'07, conducts new hypothyroidism study

School of Nursing
Sharon Karp, MSN'99, PhD'08, fights childhood obesity

Owen Graduate School of Management
Andrew Sartoris, MBA'11, joins Deloitte Consulting

Reon Curry, MSF'11, joins Ernst & Young

Peabody College
Connie Dowell, MLS'79, earns gold for green renovation

Sharon Shaw-McEwen, EdD'90, nominated for 2012 ATHENA Award

Kelly Wendel, MEd'04, makes history with Next Step Graduates

  Major league alumni

Carolyn PeckCarolyn Peck, BA'88, No. 21 on Vanderbilt's all-time scoring list and current ESPN women's basketball analyst, was recently honored at the 2012 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament as an SEC Great.

Brandt SnedekerBrandt Snedeker, BA'03, won his third PGA Tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, N.C. Snedeker entered the top 20 after his win.


 Vanderbilt Travel Program

Around the world in 80 days? Not when you travel with Vanderbilt! In January, 10 alumni and friends, plus Jonathan Lamb, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, flew by private jet from Orlando, Fla., to South America, Australia, Cambodia, India, Egypt, Tanzania, Morocco and back in 21 days. During that time, new friends and lasting memories of exhilarating experiences were formed. If you'd like to be a world traveler, contact Cary Allyn at (615) 322-3673 to reserve your seat for our 2013 edition.

Italian getaway
Italian getawayA group of 25 alumni and friends recently returned from a one-week trip to Florence accompanied by Robert Mode, associate professor of the history of art. Travelers explored on their own and also enjoyed a private tour of the Michelangelo's David, the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo. Day trips were offered to Siena, Chianti (with a food and wine tasting) and San Gimignano. If you are looking for a getaway for a great price, look for these one-city/one-week trips in 2013.

Visit the Vanderbilt Travel Program online.


 Student/alumni programs

Get ConnectedGet Connected panel
The Vanderbilt Alumni Association and Vanderbilt Career Center co-sponsored an alumni panel called Get Connected that focused on networking advice for students.

Life After Vanderbilt 2012Grad Fair prepares seniors for graduation
Grad Fair, held March 27–28, offered seniors a one-stop shop. Seniors learned about chapters in their postgraduate cities, voted for the Young Alumni Trustee, bought class rings and received advice from the Vanderbilt Career Center. They also picked up copies of Life After Vanderbilt, an annual guide providing valuable advice from young alumni.

Charlie Kesslering, BA'11, is an aspiring screenwriter writing about getting his first job in movies.

Alternative Spring BreakAlternative Spring Break
Chapters in New Orleans and the Twin Cities hosted events with Vanderbilt students participating in Alternative Spring Break. The New Orleans chapter volunteered with students at Success Preparatory Academy. Dorothy, BA'80, and Miles Snowden of the Twin Cities chapter hosted a dinner for students volunteering in their area.

Vanderbilt and You 2012
The offices of Alumni Relations and Undergraduate Admissions hosted more than 40 U.S. and international receptions this month for newly accepted students and their families. These events gave students a chance to meet other accepted students in their hometowns as well as speak with alumni and current parents. Admissions counselors were on hand to handle last-minute questions from students. These events were coordinated with the help of Vanderbilt alumni chapters and alumni all over the world.


  Campus news

Peabody College of education and human development maintained its No. 1 national ranking in U.S. News & World Report for the fourth consecutive year. Peabody has topped the rankings, selected through expert opinions and statistical indicators, since 2009. Its administration/supervision and special education programs were also ranked No. 1 in the country, special education in a tie with its peer program at University of Kansas.

Muhammad Yunus visits campus
Muhammad YunusNobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, PhD'71, challenged more than 250 Vanderbilt alumni, students and faculty to create businesses in which helping people—not making a profit—is the ultimate goal during a visit to campus April 2. Yunus developed the concept of microcredit and founded the Grameen Bank in his native Bangladesh. Since its founding in 1976, the Grameen Bank has made small loans totaling more than $8.5 billion to more than 7 million borrowers, of which $7.59 billion has been repaid.

Yunus received Vanderbilt's first Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996 and the Nichols-Chancellor's Medal in 2007. Watch his inspirational message.


quicklinks | Alumni Association | Reunion | chapters | athletics | calendar | giving

Have something to say about what you read here? Send us an email.

Alumni eXclusive is published quarterly by Vanderbilt University Office of Alumni Relations
PMB 407735 • 2301 Vanderbilt Place • Nashville, TN 37240-7735 • (615) 322-2929