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


Common Connections

AVBA scholarship

Alumni discount program

Sustaining Alumni program

Alumni making headlines

Faculty spotlight


Vanderbilt travel blog

Chapter education events

Campus news

Class notes


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


Alumni eXclusive feature

Common Connections reignite passions, reconnect friends
Staying in touch after graduation isn't as easy as it sounds. New jobs, graduate study, weddings and children all compete with finding time to keep up with college friends and the campus. The new Common Connections program at Vanderbilt helps alumni reignite those friendships and connections.

"What we've found is that alumni want to connect with the people they spent the most time with during their undergraduate experience," Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni Relations James Stofan said. "That's at the heart of Common Connections. These are groups of people who lived together freshman year, were in the same fraternity or sorority, participated in the same sport, or who worked alongside one another in the same student organization."

Just ask Mark Barrett, a 1980 graduate of the College of Arts and Science. He walked onto campus in the fall of 1976 and immediately became close friends with a few other Reinke residents. They remained good friends throughout college. Every year since their 1980 graduation, Barrett has reunited with old friends Dave Moore, Fred Mills, Kurt Regulski, Pete Slaiby and John MacDorman. Read more »

Leadership corner

James E. StofanI am pleased to announce a new comprehensive discount program for Vanderbilt alumni.

The Vanderbilt Alumni Association chose to partner with Abenity because of their ability to package and deliver discounts to our alumni. You may redeem discounts in stores, online or via mobile coupons. In addition, our alumni can also offer discounts to other Vanderbilt alumni or Abenity members through the program. We get many requests from alumni for just this type of program.

Once you register, you will have immediate access to local and national discounts from thousands of hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, retailers, florists, car dealers, theme parks, national attractions, concerts and events—more than 100,000 discounts. I hope you will find something meaningful to you or your family.

Some of you will receive a Sustaining Alumni piece in the mail this month. We appreciate your continued support, as your gifts to the Sustaining Alumni program make programs like this possible. In addition, we will soon add job postings to our online community and increase our career services programs to help alumni with job searches and networking opportunities. We are able to improve alumni services because of the support you provide through Sustaining Alumni gifts.

Thank you for staying connected to Vanderbilt. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.

James E. Stofan
Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations

John Hindle Dear fellow alumni,

Our engagement with students passed another milestone in August when I was invited to address the Class of 2014 at the Founders Walk ceremonies on behalf of the Alumni Association.

Interaction with alumni is a critical part of our students' experience and strengthens their lifelong commitment to Vanderbilt. We've developed a number of programs to foster those connections, including:

  • CoRPs, the Commodore Recruitment Program, which enables prospective students to speak with alumni as part of the admission process.
  • Student Alumni Board, which builds meaningful connections through targeted student/alumni events each year by class.
  • Common Connections, which brings together students and alumni with common Vanderbilt experiences (Hustler, ROTC, Greek, athletic, etc.).
  • Opening Dores, which hosts students and alumni over dinners for career advice.
  • Alumni Fellows, a program we're piloting in which alumni "adopt" houses in The Commons.

Read more »

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

Vanderbilt Alumni Association news

New alumni discount program
Get access to more than 100,000 discounts from local and national vendors including hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, retailers, florists, car dealers, theme parks, national attractions and much more. Discounts are redeemable in stores and through online and mobile coupons. Register today. If you would like to offer a discount to Vanderbilt alumni through this program, make the request online.

Career Moves workshops held in Atlanta, Houston and Memphis
Vanderbilt for life -- Career MovesThe Vanderbilt Alumni Association continued its popular Career Moves series this fall with intensive career coaching workshops in Atlanta and Houston. Be on the lookout for more alumni career programs in your city, including Memphis this winter. Network any time on VUconnect, Vanderbilt's online community for alumni and students.

Vanderbilt for life -- Sustaining AlumniSustaining Alumni program update
The Vanderbilt Alumni Association has renamed its voluntary gift program Sustaining Alumni. Learn more about the purpose and key benefits of the program through our mailing this month or by visiting the website. You can give online any time at

Help recruit future Commodores
Last year, 1,500 alumni and current parents assisted the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 76 college fairs and interviewed more than 3,000 applicants for the Class of 2014. The admissions office still needs alumni to represent Vanderbilt at college fairs and to interview applicants in the U.S. and abroad. Enroll online today or contact Dustin Lynn at (615) 343-8286.

Reunion 2010, there's an app for that
Alumni who gathered at Reunion could find their way and stay informed about events and happenings around campus over Reunion weekend with a new iPhone app. More than 3,500 alumni downloaded the application. Learn more »

Alumni Association board meeting held during Reunion Weekend
The Alumni Association Board of Directors convened over Reunion weekend for its annual fall meeting. The awards and strategic planning committees gave updates, and the operating plan was approved. Speakers included Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Board of Trust members H. Rodes Hart and Karen Fesmire, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Doug Christiansen, Career Center Director Cindy Funk, Frank Wcislo, dean of The Commons, and Charlie Melichar, associate vice chancellor of communications for development and alumni relations.

  Vanderbilt faculty spotlight

Jim Lovensheimer makes serious study of the American musical
Jim LovensheimerJim Lovensheimer, assistant professor of musicology, has loved American musicals since his childhood babysitter introduced him to "Some Enchanted Evening" and the rest of the South Pacific soundtrack.

But he sees much more in the classic musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more than snappy numbers combined with love stories. He thinks we can learn a lot about ourselves as Americans by looking closely at the entertainment we choose.

"These are our myths," Lovensheimer said. "This is us telling our own myths to ourselves, and we're telling those myths in increasingly different and interesting ways." Read more »

    Common Connections

AVBA creates endowed scholarship
At the 25th anniversary celebration of the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, AVBA leaders and members realized they wanted to leave a lasting impact on Vanderbilt. The AVBA Scholarship was born. The scholarship is part of the Opportunity Vanderbilt initiative to raise $100 million in support of the expanded financial aid program which meets undergraduate students' demonstrated financial need with scholarships and grants, AVBAnot loans.

Read more »


Alumni making headlines

College of Arts and Science
Alyce Spruell, BA'80, becomes first woman president of Alabama State Bar
Hudson Baird, BA'10, given gift of Mt. Kilimanjaro climb from father
Joseph Williams, BA'09, profiled in inside look at changing public schools
Debangshu Roychoudhury, BS'08, and Lauren Gardner, BA'08, hope hip-hop psychology will strike a chord
Blair School of Music
Amanda Earnest, BMus'03, gains once-in-a-lifetime experience teaching in Afghanistan
School of Engineering
Brad Jaeger, BE'07, drives prizewinning fuel-efficient car
News from McGugin Center

Will Wolford, BA'87; Ernest "Bucky" Curtis, BA'51; Heidi Gillingham Jackson, BA'94; Jeff Peeples, A'73; Ann Hutcheson Price, BA'71, MD'78, HO'79; Chris Groer, BA'96; Frank Lorge, BE'72, JD'80, MS'82; Grantland Rice, BA 1901; and basketball assistant coach Ed Martin inducted into Vanderbilt Hall of Fame class

The back story on Vanderbilt Hall of Fame swimmer, Frank Lorge, BE'72, JD'80, MS'82

Follow the 'Dores daily on

  Graduate School
Erin M. Eaton, PhD'03, conducts cancer research with new $1.3 million award
Professor Neal Lester, MA'83, PhD'88, appointed dean of humanities at Arizona State
Law School
Jane Stranch, BA'75, JD'78, confirmed as a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Cornelia A. Clark, BA'71, JD'79, becomes second woman to serve as Tennessee Supreme Court chief justice
Elliott Ozment, JD'75, fights for protection of immigrants
Lucian T. Pera, JD'85, named treasurer-elect of American Bar Association
Frederick Work, JD'59, one of first African Americans to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School, dies at 75
School of Medicine
Jacqueline S. Landess, MD'10, theme issue editor of August issue of American Medical Association online journal
School of Nursing
Elizabeth Rudolph, BSN'82, MSN'85, JD'89, trains nurses to be medical witnesses in lawsuits
Clare Thomson-Smith, MSN'98, JD'03, named assistant dean for faculty
Owen Graduate School of Management
Moses Akpanudo, MBM'75, EdD'77, creates education for sustainable development in Nigeria
Brian Fox, MBA'01, and Doug Hudson, MBA'94, listed on 2010 Inc. 500
Peabody College
J. Carey Thompson, MEd'86, leads new division at Rhodes College

Athletics events for Vanderbilt alumni

Alumni and friends attend tailgates on the road
More than 200 alumni and friends gathered in Hartford, Conn., on October 2 before the Commodores took on the Huskies at the University of Connecticut. The tailgate was one of three stops on the Commodore Tailgate Tour, which also included Ole Miss and Georgia. A weekend package was also available for alumni and friends to travel to Hartford, stay at the team hotel and take an exclusive tour of ESPN.


Student-alumni programs

MurphyNews from Vanderbilt Student Government president
It's been quite the start to yet another transformative year here at Vanderbilt. The year began with 1,400 upperclassmen returning to campus early to welcome the exceptional Class of 2014 to their new home on The Commons. Move Crew went off without a hitch and first-year students and families benefited from a strong presence of the alumni and parents associations making them feel at home in the broader Vanderbilt community right from the start. Read more »

Lori Murphy
2010–11 VSG president



Chapters across the country host education events
Alumni and friends in Nashville attend Cocktails and Constellations (right) at Dyer Observatory.

The Philadelphia chapter welcomed Associate Professor Barbara Tsakirgis to provide an in-depth understanding of the world of Cleopatra at The Franklin Institute on September 25 to alumni, parents and friends.

Alumni, parents and friends in the Houston chapter gathered on October 13 to hear Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, BA'82, discuss critical issues that face his state.

The Washington, D.C., chapter hosted a panel of six political alumni on October 14 to share Vanderbilt experiences and insider perspectives with seniors eager to learn about living and working in D.C.

Read more and view upcoming events »

More than 40 Vanderbilt alumni, friends, and parents gathered with Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development Camilla P. Benbow for a reception in Nassau, Bahamas. The event was hosted John and Alexandra Mosko, parents of Stella, a senior at Peabody. Click here to see a larger version of the photo to the left.


Come back, Give back, Reunion 2010

Reunion/Homecoming 2010 recap

More than 4,000 alumni, family and friends came back to campus for Reunion 2010 Oct. 21–23. Check out the Reunion 2010 website for a video with highlights from the weekend, a Reunion 2010 slide show and a Homecoming Tailgate photo gallery.

Save the date for Reunion 2011
October 20–22, 2011


Vanderbilt Travel Program

Check out the Vanderbilt travel blog to read the experiences of syndicated wine columnist Frank Sutherland, BA'70, from the recent Wines of Argentina and Chile trip.

Plan your winter getaway
The Vanderbilt Travel Program is offering two winter getaways for alumni and friends to beat the cold weather. Travel to Naples, Fla., February 6–12 to explore the seldom-visited Everglades National Park for a unique educational experience. If sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean are more your style, join Vanderbilt alumni and friends aboard an exclusive, all-business class private jet for a winter escape to St. Kitts. Nonstop travel from Chicago to St. Kitts is included. For more information on these and other 2011 trips visit our website.

Family-friendly adventures departing summer 2011
Give the holiday gift that will last from years to come—a special summer vacation. Pack up everyone for the family trip of a lifetime to Peru or the Canadian Rockies. In Peru, discover the Incan empire and Machu Picchu. In Canada, travel to Banff and Yoho national parks in the Canadian Rockies. Explore nature and create family memories for years to come. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit our website.


Campus news

Nursing students help take expired drugs off the streets

Vanderbilt senior starts apparel company to help reconcile former offenders to society through employment and job-training

Campus changes announced for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Class Notes

Thank you to the following alumni for sending Alumni eXclusive an update. To submit your news, visit VUconnect, Vanderbilt's online network of alumni, students and friends worldwide.

Read about them in Class Notes.


Lonnie Brown, JD'89
Jenifer Kay Ward, PhD'92


David Pearson, MD'02
Ben Quayle, JD'02


Joshua Helton, JD'05
Emily Rolling, BS'07

Support the Alumni Association

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


quicklinks | Alumni Association | Reunion | chapters | athletics | news | calendar | giving | class notes

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
Phone: (615) 322-2929 • Editors: Beth Dodd, BA'88, MBA'91, and Emily Hoener