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A few words from our president

kimballHomecoming (noun, /ˈhōm-kəm-NG/): : an instance of returning home
Reunion (noun, /ree-yoon-yuhn/): a gathering of relatives, friends, or associates at regular intervals or after separation

Fall is in the air in Nashville, and it’s a glorious time to “return home” to Vanderbilt, our college alma mater, and to reunite with friends and faculty. For four years in the early 1980s, Vandy was my home away from home. Returning for Homecoming and Reunion rewards me with unique and memorable experiences each and every year. This year I will seek out friends with whom I shared a common bond but don’t see often, and I will visit with faculty who (believe it or not) are still around! I will tour our beautiful campus, ensuring I see our best-in-class Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt, current construction on the new Kissam College Hall, the brand new turf on the baseball field, and our Alumni Hall renovations. I will wear black and gold to the tailgate and will root the Commodores on to victory against UMass—without donning my old cheerleading skirt, of course!

Whatever your interests and passions, there are a wide variety of activities from which to choose. You may want to join me in attending a discussion about “Networking Tips,” sit in a John Lachs lecture on being “Good Enough,” or hear John Geer convince us that there really is a silver lining in attack advertising during political campaigns. You may want to attend a Mini Reunion for the AVBA, the Alumni Band, for past participants of Alternative Spring Break, or one of the many others. If dancing is more your thing, kick up your heels at the All-Class Party. Be sure to check out all of the available activities at

Please join us for Vanderbilt’s special Homecoming and Reunion events on October 25–27. And, THANK YOU, to the hundreds of alumni and Vanderbilt staff who are working diligently to make Vanderbilt’s 2012 Homecoming and Reunion a memorable experience for us all.

Carroll Kimball, BA'84
President, Vanderbilt Alumni Association

  Reunion | Homecoming

reunionlogoReunion is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and your alma mater. Class parties and football are yearly staples, but there’s much more, including:


Reunion Volunteer Spotlight


Laura Chauvin, BS’87, describes herself as having a “natural enthusiasm and inclination” when it comes to volunteering for reunions—and it must be true. In all, she figures that she’s helped out with more than 30 high school and university events. Currently she is serving as the weekend chair for the Class of 1987 and has helped recruit more than 100 volunteers.

“Volunteering for Reunion is such a worthwhile experience because you’re connecting with people who are part of the place where everything was possible,” Chauvin says. “For me, Reunion reawakens the sense of endless possibilities that I felt when I walked off campus. It reminds me that it’s never too late to pursue important goals and to learn and grow as a person.”

For 15 years, Chauvin directed the alumni association at Washington University in St. Louis. In that capacity, she saw firsthand the importance of reunions and the money they raise.

“If I can help make a Vanderbilt education possible for someone, then volunteering is a worthwhile and meaningful way to give back to Vanderbilt,” she says.

Chauvin will be here with her family to celebrate her 25th Reunion and is already planning her first stop at San Antonio Taco Co.

“I just can’t wait to laugh until I can’t laugh anymore and to be inspired by what my classmates have achieved.”



Homecoming unites students, alumni and the greater Vanderbilt community.

  • Commodore Quake featuring J. Cole and Childish Gambino—learn more
  • Homecoming Tailgate—enjoy a Southern buffet before the game—register online
  • Vanderbilt Commodores vs. University of Massachusetts Minutemen—come cheer the 'Dores on to victory!
  • Educational programs

  The Vanderbilt Connection

Optimal Resumé

Optimal Resumé offers a free, on-demand suite of career tools—use them to:

  • create impactful resumes
  • write effective communications (for cover letters, negotiations, interviews, follow-up)
  • build interviewing skills and confidence
  • develop a personal portfolio or website to market your skills

Put Optimal Resumé to work for you today.

’Dores Across Nashville

’Dores Across Nashville dinners connect students to alumni with shared interests by gathering for meals at alumni homes. Past dinners have included students and alumni with ROTC, various sports, student communications and other organizations.

For more information, please email Bethany Glass in the Office of Alumni Relations.

Commodore Career Intensive begins November 6

The Vanderbilt University Alumni Association has partnered with career coach Hallie Crawford, BS’95, to create a dynamic intensive coaching group that combines the benefits of individual coaching with group support. The four one-hour sessions are set for November 6, 13, 27 and December 4 at noon Central. Sign up now, space is limited!

Win an iPad

Sign up to become an Alumni Career Adviser on VUconnect by November 1 and automatically be entered to win an iPad mini. Make a big impact without a big time commitment by offering to email with students or fellow alumni about your career path. Your efforts strengthen our worldwide alumni community.

Travel with Vanderbilt in 2013

With more than 20 trips to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your schedule, interests and budget. Highlights of 2013 include Cuba Libre with Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History; Israel: The Heritage and the Hope, with Barbara Tsakirgis, associate professor of classics and history of art; and Classical China with Yangzi Cruise (co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Medical School Alumni Association).

Other destinations include South America, Europe, Africa and the U.S. Read about all our 2013 offerings and pick the one that’s perfect for you.


Commodore Recruitment Program (CoRPs)

Through Commodore Recruitment Programs (CoRPs), the alumni association and the undergraduate admissions offices invite alumni around the globe to participate in vital recruitment efforts such as the alumni interviewing program, college fair activities, contacting admitted students, and “Vanderbilt and You” receptions.

You are invited to join other Vanderbilt alumni who already have registered to help in the recruitment process. Through these interviews, alumni personalize the admissions process and give prospective students an inside glimpse of life at Vanderbilt.

Sign up now to be a CoRPs volunteer.

  Chapter News

On tour with the provost and CFO

Provost Richard McCarty and CFO/Vice Chancellor of Finance Brett Sweet are visiting several chapters this fall and presenting a university update. Upcoming dates and locations are:

Contact for more information.

Commodore Tailgate Tour


The Commodore Tailgate Tour dropped anchor at three away games this year. We kicked off the season Sept. 8 with more than 850 fans before the Northwestern game. On Sept. 22 we headed south to Athens and were joined by an enthusiastic group of Commodore fans. The tour wrapped up Oct. 6 with Vanderbilt’s first trip to Columbia, MO. See more photos.

Summer Send-off parties

Every year, incoming students are treated to Summer Send-off parties hosted by local Vanderbilt Chapters. This year, 3391 students attended parties in 45 cities, including international venues such as London and Seoul. View photos.

  Oak Leaf Society recognizes donor loyalty

Each year more than 26,000 members of the Vanderbilt community demonstrate loyalty to the university by renewing their annual gifts. To recognize this loyalty and honor committed donors, Vanderbilt established the Oak Leaf Society.

oakleaf Gifts of any amount to any area of the university given for two or more consecutive fiscal years count toward Oak Leaf Society participation. Various durations of loyalty are recognized—from Founder participants who are just starting a tradition of giving annually to Capstone participants who have shown commitment to the university through annual giving for 20 years or more. Participation is sustained as long as gifts are made to Vanderbilt every fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) without interruption.

Oak Leaf Society participants are dedicated to shaping the future of Vanderbilt and making a difference in informed and creative teaching, student scholarships, cutting-edge research, patient care, and service to the community and society at large. Your annual gifts have a powerful impact on Vanderbilt’s ability to meet new opportunities and emerging needs while also honoring the timeless tradition of giving to Vanderbilt.

For more information on the Oak Leaf Society, visit or call (800) 288-0028.

  Alumni in the News

Tyson Rear Adm. Nora Tyson to receive Distinguished Alumna Award

Rear Adm. Nora Tyson (BA’79), the vice director of the Joint Staff and first female commander of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group, is the recipient of the highest honor for a member of the Vanderbilt alumni community: the Distinguished Alumna Award.

school of medicine
Ann Reilley, HS’83, elected president of Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons

Dipen J. Parekh, FE’99, HS’98, named chairman of the Miller School’s Department of Urology, University of Miami

Aaron Dawes, MD’11, selected 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar

college of arts and science
Katrina Markoff, BA’95, builds chocolate empire with Vosges

Alistair Clark, BA’01, named as catalyst for “Top 99 under 33 Foreign Policy Leader” list

Steve Buchanan, BS’80 MBA’85, is the executive producer for new ABC show Nashville

Willie Geist, BA’97, named co-host of third hour of Today Show

divinity school
Anthea Butler, MA'00, PhD'01 , set to deliver the Cole Lectures October 25 and 26

Mark Forrester, MDiv’83, named university chaplain, director of religious life at Vanderbilt

Shelli Yoder, MDiv'02, won the Democratic nomination for the Indiana 9th District seat

Kathy Chambers, MDiv'99, wins Tennessee Alliance for Progress Long Haul award

The Rev. Kelly Ayer, MDiv'04, has been named Hometown Military Hero by the Rochester, N.Y., Red Cross

law school
Kenneth M. Bryant, BA’82, joins Stites & Harbison

Darrin Williams, JD’93, named Arkansas speaker of the house

Robert Louis Strayer II, JD’00, is Senator Bob Corker’s legislative director and general counsel

W. Paul Phillips, JD’75, retires as 8th Judicial District attorney general

Diedre Johnston Gray, JD’03, has been named SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary of Post Holdings Inc.

Paul Geier, JD’71, awarded Presidential Rank Award of the Distinguished Executive

Richard Dean Apple, JD’12, MBA’12, promoted to investment chief

school of nursing
Stephanie Burnett, BSN’81, named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year

Anna-Gene Chalfant O'Neal, BSN ’88, MSN’92/MBA’92, joins Alive Hospice as CEO/president

Amy Hull, MSN’94, wins Rodney Appell Continence Care Champion Award

Frances M. Edwards, BSN’53, MSN’76, receives Lifetime Achievement award

Christopher S. Castle, MSN’03, organized MitoAction Energy Walk & 5K

Kacy Jones, MSN’05, ACNP, launches my Heart Help

Kristin Sohn, MSN’97, received honorable mention for Gold Foundation essay

owen graduate school of management
Rick Apple, MBA’12, JD’12, named director of Council & Enhanced Tennessee Fund

school of engineering
Former Vanderbilt fullback, Bara Cola, BE’02, MS’04, named 2012 PECASE recipient by President Obama

Morgan B. Abney, BE’03, receives 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama

Stephen Lane, BE’78 & ME’91, inducted to American Council of Engineering Companies College of Fellows

peabody college
Edward Salanga, BS’95, recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2013

Gary Burns, BS’82, named director of athletics at Rockhust University in Kanas City

Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, EDD’06, named Tennessee Economic Council on Women executive director

Madeline Martin, MEd ’12, awarded Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship

blair school of music
Chris Mann, BMus ’04, signs record deal


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