Vanderbilt Alumni Association -- Alumni eXclusive -- An e-newsletter exclusively for Vanderbilt Alumni


Common Connections

AVBA planning session

Alumni discount program

Faculty spotlight


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Chapter news

Campus news

Class notes


Career services

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Alumni eXclusive feature

Vanderbilt alumni enjoy learning for life
According to our last alumni survey, 77 percent of alumni respondents were interested in continuing education opportunities. In addition to networking events, tailgates and happy hours, local chapters of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association collaborate with faculty, university administrators and noteworthy alumni on lectures and educational programming of interest to their local alumni. Check out these recent events.

Can't make it to a chapter educational event in your area?
Listen to a podcast or watch a video available through the Vanderbilt University website at iTunesU. Special lecture topics include:

Politics, Economics and Social Issues

Science and Technology

Arts and Culture

Thinking out of the Lunchbox

For additional video lectures, go to Vanderbilt University's YouTube Channel and select the "featured lectures" playlist.

Leadership corner

James E. StofanI recently returned from a Private Colleges and University Alumni Directors (PCUAD) conference. The agenda included topics such as working with alumni boards, new trends for reunions, alumni affinity groups, lifelong learning and social media.

A speaker on the impact of social media pointed out that we, the alumni associations, are no longer the convener in terms of engaging alumni. Rather, in many ways the alumni themselves are the conveners, choosing which social media tools they want to use to engage with their university.

Read more »

James E. Stofan
Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations

John Hindle In early February, the Alumni Association Board met to review and approve the operating plan for the coming 2011–2012 year. The draft plan was presented by the Alumni Relations staff, and the directors, along with other staff, student and alumni committee volunteers, offered additional suggestions and guidance to strengthen and extend our core Alumni Relations mission:

To engage alumni in the life of Vanderbilt University and its students, and to encourage lifelong connections among alumni and support of the university's goals. Read more »

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

Vanderbilt Alumni Association news

Alumni Board adds winter meeting
The Alumni Association Board of Directors added a third meeting on Feb. 4–5 to its annual calendar. The agenda included a presentation of the 2012 operating plan, recommendations from the awards committee and a panel on motivating volunteers. To see a full list of key speakers during the meeting, visit the website.

Tax-season savings available for all alumni
Want to stretch your money further? Register for the Vanderbilt Alumni Discount Program and receive 15 percent off TurboTax's online federal or state products or 25 percent off H&R Block's online federal TaxCut. For this and thousands of other discounts, register today.


TurboTax Deluxe helps you take advantage of deductions for home ownership, education or medical expenses, childcare expenses and more to ensure you get the biggest tax refund possible.

H&R Block

H&R Block's federal TaxCut provides step-by-step guidance, guaranteed accuracy checks and help maximizing your mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

Vanderbilt Career Center offers web-based services to alumni
Alumni have access to a variety of web-based career services including resume writing, interviewing and researching companies through the Vanderbilt Career Center website.

Optimal Resume allows users to create resumes and cover letters quickly using samples and templates and to practice interviewing by selecting specific questions, the type of interview and whether it is a panel or individual interviewer. A link is provided to store or share the finished product.

CareerSearch is a research database of nearly 2 million U.S. employers and approximately 60 industries. Information includes company profiles, contact information and business information resources. Use "vandy04" as client code to create your free account.

Mr. C travels the world
Mr. C found his way to King's Park in Perth, Australia, courtesy of Jim Cordner, BE'74. Find out how you can help Mr. C travel the world.

  Vanderbilt faculty spotlight

David E. Cliffel
Vanderbilt's David E. Cliffel earns $100,000 Scialog grant from Research Corporation for Science Advancement

    Campus news

Vanderbilt places No. 17 in the U.S. News & World Report ranking


Alumni making headlines

College of Arts and Science
Clarissa Adams Fletcher, BA'86, MA'90, named American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages' National Teacher of the Year
Anne Arney, BA'79, adds health care expertise to Bone McAllester Norton
Gordon Earle Nichols, BA'76, named 2011 Nashville Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers
Sydney Frances Houston Hall, A'58, dies peacefully at her home
Wes Burnett, BA'72, publishes book on the basics of budgeting and investing
George W.P. Atkins, BA'60, completes term as chairman of the American Cancer Society
Hugh Moore, BA'66, represents Lawyers Without Borders in Colombia
Dan Gritti, BA'95, named Rhodes College's new head football coach
Jerry Southwood, BA'67, inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Chris Lowry, BA'95, makes use of student marketing plan competition for Allium restaurant
Katie Edge, BA'67; Mandy Young, BS'89; Lawrence Ahern III, BA'69, JD'72; selected in Nashville's 101 Top Lawyers list
Blair School of Music
Leslie Cours Mather, BMus.'92, releases new CD with half of proceeds going to childhood leukemia
News from McGugin CenterGet ON BOARD with the NCC!

Come on board!
Alumni can play a bigger part in the Commodore tradition of excellence in academics and athletics through the new Commodores on Board membership program. Help reach the goal of recruiting 1,000 new National Commodore Club members by May 31. If you're not already an NCC member, you'll need to come on board yourself to participate.

Submit your nomination by March 11 for the 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame

VUCast Extra: Football "war room" on Signing Day
Watch new Head Football Coach James Franklin as he leads his first Vanderbilt signing day and new recruits send in their letters of intent—one fax at a time.

Follow the 'Dores daily on

  Divinity School
Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, MDiv'96, releases book focusing on the feelings of faith and its innovative integration into congregational life
Rev. Becca Stevens, MDiv'90, first woman and youngest recipient of Sewanee's top alumni honor, for nonprofit work in Nashville and beyond
Professor Robin Jensen featured on Muslim-Christian panel discussing the Biblical Mary
School of Engineering
Vanderbilt alumni committed to growing scholarship in memory of Kyser Miree, BE'09
Andre Churchwell, BS'75; W. Hibbett Neel Jr., BE'63; and J. Roy Wauford Jr., BE'52, honored with Distinguished Alumni Award
Law School
Carlton Tarkington, BA'59, JD'63, named 2011 Distinguished Alumnus; Curt Welling, JD'75, to receive 2011 Distinguished Service Award
James F. Neal, JD'57, honored in Nashville Bar Journal
School of Nursing
Barbara Ketchum, BSN'55, wins 2010 EVE Award for volunteer service
Owen Graduate School of Management
John Wetenhall, EMBA'99, named president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Peabody College
Jeremy Kane, MPP'06, Kristin McGraner, EdD'08, led to charter schools movement
Deborah Barnhart, EdD'94, takes job as director of U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville
Rep. Beth Harwell, MS'79, PhD'80, first woman elected Tennessee State House speaker

Student-alumni programs

MurphyAlumni provide advice to students
The alumni association, in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Career Center, held five Opening Dores events in February. Specific areas of focus included education, health care, entrepreneurship, eco-friendly jobs and first-year students. Opening Dores are informal on-campus dinners where alumni offer advice to students on careers and transitioning to life after graduation.

Life After VanderbiltGrad Fair prepares seniors for graduation
On March 30 and 31, Grad Fair will offer a one-stop shop to seniors for their pre-graduation needs. Seniors can find out more information about chapters in their postgraduate cities, vote for the Young Alumni Trustee, buy a class ring and find career advice from the Vanderbilt Career Center. Copies of Life After Vanderbilt, an annual guide providing valuable advice from young alumni, will also be available.

Panel on nonprofit careers offered to students
Alumni in the Field continued with a Feb. 24 panel offering advice from alumni in the nonprofit field. The panel featured Red Cross CEO Linda Mathes, BA'72; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee Director of Community Engagement Tiffany Patton, BA'03; Volunteer Tennessee Executive Director Jim Snell, BS'93; and Baptist Healing Trust Vice President Kristen Keely-Dinger, BS'98. For more information or to participate in future student-alumni events, visit the website.




Nashville chapter honors 47th Chancellor's Cup recipient
Ron Schrimpf, Orrin Henry Ingram Professor of Engineering and faculty head of Memorial House, was the 2010 recipient of the Chancellor's Cup, awarded to the faculty member with "the greatest contribution outside the classroom to undergraduate student-faculty relationships." The cup was presented to Schrimpf by the chancellor and Nashville chapter president during Homecoming. The Nashville chapter established the cup in 1963. Learn more about the history and list of recipients of this award here.

Left photo: (L-R) Kim Bundy, Nashville Chapter liaison; Marguerite Glennon, BA'89, Nashville Chapter president; Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos
Right photo: Professor Ron Schrimpf; Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos


Alumni unite with students for Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) sends more than 400 students across the U.S. and world each March to serve the local communities. This year, alumni in approximately 14 chapter cities are stepping up to volunteer their time alongside students participating in local ASB projects. To find opportunities near you, visit your chapter webpage.

Vanderbilt & You 2011 Program
Vanderbilt & You, a program for prospective students who have been accepted to Vanderbilt but have not yet committed, will be held in more than 40 U.S. and international cities in April. During the program, accepted students and their families will meet other accepted students and ask questions to alumni and an admissions representative before making a final college decision. This program is hosted by the Vanderbilt Alumni Association chapter cities and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Washington, D.C. chapter races for the cure
Seven alumni from the Washington, D.C. Vanderbilt Chapter participated in the 2010 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as members of "Team Vandy" and raised $1,100 for the breast cancer research organization, $350 more than the previous year. For upcoming Washington, D.C., chapter events, visit the website.

Houston chapter hosts dinner for eight
About 76 alumni from across the Houston area gathered at local alumni homes on Feb. 24 for the chapter's fourth annual Dinner for Eight. This program broadens participant's personal networks by introducing them to other members of the Vanderbilt community. For upcoming Houston chapter events, visit the website.


Vanderbilt Reunion -- October 20-22, 2011 -- Come back, give back
Reunion leaders begin planning
The Reunion Leadership Conference brought more than 80 alumni leaders to campus Feb. 25–26 to begin planning events and setting goals for Reunion/Homecoming 2011.

Watch Reunion highlights from October 2010 and add your name to this year's planning to attend list.


Vanderbilt Travel Program

Save on travel to Scotland
Make your reservation by April 5 to save $350 a person on travel to Scotland. Travel with Vanderbilt's Roger Moore through Perth, Edinburgh, Stirling, Inverness and Loch Ness to discover the unique and storied culture of the breathtaking Highlands, enchanting islands and pastoral Lowlands, all steeped in Celtic mystery and lore. Visit our website for more information.

Travel to Aix-en-Provence for the Vanderbilt-in-France 50th Anniversary
Celebrate the Vanderbilt-in-France's 50th year as a leading study abroad program. Virginia Scott, professor of French, will lead an exciting expedition to relive experiences and retell stories of alumni's time in Aix-en-Provence. Participants will reunite with old friends and former teachers, visit favorite sites and practice a little survival français with Scott's "Brush up on your French I." Space is limited, so make your reservation today.


Common Connections -- Alumni with shared interests
AVBA holds strategic planning session, plans new goals and mission
In January, the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni (AVBA) held a strategic planning session to discuss a new focus and direction that benefits the organization and the African American community at Vanderbilt. A focus group led by a third-party moderator informed a draft of a new mission statement, which will be shared with general members. AVBA hopes to complete its new strategic plan by Homecoming 2011.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrated at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt celebrated the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Jan. 17 holiday. The Office of the Dean of Students invited students, alumni and faculty to share their thoughts and experiences of the day through "Vandy Reflections: MLK Day 2011". Celebrations included a freedom march, roundtable discussions, a freedom ride, and lecture from civil rights leader and former NAACP chairman Julian Bond.


Class Notes
Thank you to the following alumni for sending Alumni eXclusive an update. You may also submit class notes for use in other publications at

Read about these fellow alumni in Class Notes.

Greg Fischer, BA'80
Jane Thurston, MBA'81
Jeffrey Lehtman, BA'97
Joshua B. Sterling, BA'98
Michael C. Wilde, BS'99
Alexis Van Dyke Plauché, BA'04
Stephen A. Plauché II, MBA'04
Jill Kristine Jensen, JD'04
Laura Breslin, BA'06


Reconnect with friends from your undergraduate organizations
Reconnect with friends from your former student organization or alumni who share your current interests through Common Connections. Groups including Greek, service, sports, study abroad, ethnic, cultural, religious and lifestyle are active. Now is a great time to begin planning a Mini Reunion at Homecoming 2011. Contact Chris Griffin.

Dores Across Nashville continues to bring alumni and students together
Dores Across Nashville allows alumni and students with shared interests to network, share advice and experiences. Recent events include Vanderbilt Student Government, Voices of Praise, Dodecaphonics, and women's tennis. Courtney Williams, BA'09, said, "Both parties were happy to make acquaintances, and this provides an avenue for alumni to become reinvolved with the organization." Contact Chris Griffin.

Vanderbilt for life -- Sustaining Alumni

Alumni eXclusive and all Vanderbilt Alumni Association programs mentioned in this publication are made possible in part by your donations to the Sustaining Alumni program. Thank you for your support.


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Alumni eXclusive is published quarterly by Vanderbilt University Office of Alumni Relations
PMB 407735 • 2301 Vanderbilt Place • Nashville, TN 37240-7735
Phone: (615) 322-2929 • Editors: Beth Dodd, BA'88, MBA'91, and Emily Hoener