Skip to Content

Commencement

Home > Commencement Week > Senior Day Speaker

Senior Day Speaker

Open Seating - Tickets are not required.

In 2006, Vanderbilt Law School graduate Ed Nichols and his wife, Janice, in honor of Edward Carmack and Lucile Hamby Nichols, created and endowed The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal. The medal includes a cash award and is one of the university’s highest honors. It is given to individuals who define the 21st century and exemplify the best qualities of the human spirit.

Our 2015 Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal recipient and Senior Day speaker will be Walter Isaacson

Senior Day – Thursday, May 7, 2015
Location – Memorial Gym
Time – 11 a.m. – Noon
Senior Day Topic – "Timeless Leadership" 

Walter IsaacsonWalter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson’s new book, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (October 2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of our time and will be a must-read from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Main Street.

He is the author of Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

Isaacson was born in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times- Picayune/States-Item. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of new media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held until 2012. He is vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private group tasked with forging ties between the United States and the Muslim world. He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University and the Overseers of Harvard University. From 2005-2007, after Hurricane Katrina, he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

Watch live streaming video of Senior Day beginning at 10 a.m. Central Time at www.vanderbilt.edu

About Memorial Gym

  • The main gym where Senior Day will be held is NOT air conditioned. Wear comfortable clothes in the event of unusually warm weather.
  • Holding seats is not permitted inside Memorial Gym as seating is limited.
  • Senior Day will be streamed live on the Vanderbilt homepage and will also be available to watch after the event.
  • Attendees with special needs:
    • Those with special needs and requiring the use of a wheelchair will have priority seating on the East side of the gym. Guests with wheelchairs must enter gym at the pickup location (below). The East side entrance is not handicapped-accessible and there is no access to the gym floor.
    • Wheelchair pickup will be located on the corner of Jess Neely Drive and 25th Ave. South (same corner as the baseball field and across from 25th Ave. Garage).
    • More information available here.

View Past Senior Day Speakers »


Back Home   


Future Commencement Dates

 2016  -  May 11, 12, 13
 2017  -  May 10, 11, 12
 2018  -  May 9, 10, 11
 2019  -  May 8, 9, 10

Sign up for Text Alerts!

Text Alerts

Vanderbilt offers a complimentary early alert system for all Commencement attendees. The system is designed to inform you, via text message, if any of the main ceremonies have been moved or canceled due to weather or any unexpected circumstance.