March 1, 2008

Dear Vanderbilt Colleagues,

Martha Ingram photoI am delighted to report that today, March 1, 2008, the Board of Trust unanimously and enthusiastically elected Nicholas S. Zeppos to be the eighth Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, effective immediately.

Over his two decades as a scholar, teacher and executive at Vanderbilt, Chancellor Zeppos has contributed his talents in many different capacities: as a Professor of Law and a beloved and honored presence in the classroom; as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; as the university's chief development officer, responsible for leading the most successful campaign in Vanderbilt's history; and, since last August, as Interim Chancellor. He has seen Vanderbilt through important moments in our history, and has led our evolution into a truly global university.

Chancellor Zeppos possesses a deep familiarity both with Vanderbilt's powerful strengths and with areas where growth and change are essential. His keen strategic mind seeks always the greatest benefit for this university, as does his deep concern for students. As Provost, Nick has overseen and guided the integration of development, student life, and academic strategy. His vision for faculty recruitment and his recognition of the critical importance of our graduate and professional schools, and our great medical center, have powered Vanderbilt's ascent to the highest levels among the ranks of the world's universities.

Nick has helped establish Vanderbilt as a renowned and respected research institution while nurturing the undergraduate experience as central to the vitality of campus life. He has a unique and graceful ability to work with every member of the extended Vanderbilt community - students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. He has been instrumental in aligning all aspects of Vanderbilt's life so that the university operates as a true intellectual community with a great social heart and a commitment to the Nashville community in which he has lived for more than 20 years.

The appointment of a new Chancellor is a most exciting moment, for it opens the way to the next phase of our growth. The search for a new Chancellor can never be undertaken lightly; it has to be exactingly thorough and comprehensive, for Vanderbilt means so much to so many. Our university belongs not only to the present, but to the generations of students, faculty and staff who will follow us, who are the future of this institution. Today's decision honors our past and shapes our future. It is a decision that ensures Vanderbilt will have the foundation for its best possible future laid by a Chancellor devoted to our university, who wants us to fully realize our mission, and to fulfill our highest potential.

As you may know, Vanderbilt is on a well-deserved spring break this week. I invite members of the Vanderbilt community to join us for a special celebration with the new Chancellor Monday, March 10, at 11 a.m. at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center. Check www.vanderbilt.edu for more details next week. And, visit these sites to read more about our new Chancellor and this important decision: www.vanderbilt.edu/chancellor and www.vanderbilt.edu/news.

Please join me in embracing Chancellor Zeppos, his wife Lydia Howarth, and their sons Benjamin and Nicholas in their new relationship to our beloved Vanderbilt family!

Martha Rivers Ingram
Chairman, Vanderbilt Board of Trust