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A message to Vanderbilt alumni and friends on the economy from Chancellor Zeppos

Posted Friday, November 14, 2008.

Dear Vanderbilt Alumni and Friends:

Earlier this week, I wrote to the Vanderbilt community of more than 12,000 faculty, staff and students to report on our university’s sound financial position in the midst of these days of volatile markets and concern over the health of our local, national and global economy.

I assured them — as I assure you — that Vanderbilt is strong and sound, and that our progress will continue. In fact, a number of leading analysts have noted in public reports that, among our nation’s great universities, Vanderbilt has set the standard for managing with clarity and speed the potential impact of unforeseen gyrations in the stock and credit markets.

Our priorities for Vanderbilt will not change. For example, we will go forward with our recently announced plans to expand financial aid by replacing need-based undergraduate student loans with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance. I hope you share our pride that, in what will be a challenging economy for many, Vanderbilt is able to step forward with a helping hand to deserving students and families with financial need. We remain focused on our mission and committed to the priority we place on investing in people.

My confidence in Vanderbilt’s excellence does not diminish the disruptions and hardships that have accompanied the current financial challenges. Rather, it reminds us that we have faced challenges before, managed through them, and continued to make great progress. To have knowledge and surety that the future is bright is to acknowledge the special nature of Vanderbilt as a timeless institution.

I am providing this link to my letter to the Vanderbilt community, which I am happy to share with you. I add my sincere thanks to you, our alumni and friends, for your ongoing dedication to and support of Vanderbilt.

Sincerely,

Nicholas S. Zeppos

Chancellor