From:                              Vanderbilt Parents & Family Programs and The Ingram Commons <>

Sent:                               Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:34 PM

To:                                   Thomas, Anna

Subject:                          Parents--Welcome to The Ingram Commons!


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Parent PreVU -- Especially for parents of incoming first-year students


   MAY 2012

The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons

Parents & Family Programs



Parents—Welcome to The Ingram Commons!

Together with Suzanne Thigpen, the director of Parents and Family Programs, I write to welcome you to a summertime series of the "PreVU" email newsletter, especially for parents of incoming first-year students. We will send these to you regularly throughout the summer and hope you will find them useful. This project is the result of collaboration over the last several years between the faculty and staff of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt and the Parents and Family Association advisory board. Our planned topics are listed below. Remember, we'd love to hear from you.


Frank Wcislo


Suzanne Thigpen

Frank Wcislo
Dean, The Ingram Commons

Suzanne Thigpen
Director, Parents and Family Programs

Parent helpline: (877) 887-2736
New student hotline: (615) 343-5180

Summer PreVU topics

  • The Ingram Commons first-year experience
  • Academic resources and services
  • Student organizations and social life at Vanderbilt
  • Student health and wellness
  • Housing and moving in
  • CommonVU (orientation) and VUcept groups



A welcome letter from Dean Wcislo

On behalf of the faculty, staff and students who live and learn here, welcome to The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt. This is a special place. Ten of Vanderbilt's best professors, each a distinguished scholar and teacher, live on The Ingram Commons as faculty heads of house, making their home in faculty apartments in each house. They are mentors of the living-learning communities that your students will create in their houses. Resident advisers and head residents live on the floors of the houses, serving as peer mentors and providing support and experience about social and academic life at Vanderbilt, as well as the community norms that govern it.

Upperclass students are part of the community as well—some alumni of The Ingram Commons, others as Move Crew volunteers, and still others as leaders and members of the more than 400 campus student organizations. Some 180 faculty and student VUceptors lead Vanderbilt Visions small groups, designed to help first-year students make connections outside their houses and discuss the roller-coaster transition to university life that they'll experience this fall.

At its core, the first year focuses on academic classes led by the faculty members of Arts and Science, Blair, Engineering and Peabody. Their teaching and mentoring allow students, when actively engaged, to discover ideas and talents not yet imagined.

We want you to know that we believe in the future of your sons and daughters. Vanderbilt wants to help them reach their goals. We saw in each of them something that we want to make a part of Vanderbilt. Their intellectual strengths, social interests, ethical perspectives and cultural experiences are the pieces of the mosaic that we will assemble this year across the living-learning communities of The Ingram Commons. We will provide your students with intellectual and academic challenges, strong undergraduate support services and a rich social life. We also assure you that they will encounter all the dilemmas we associate with coming of age. We ask you to join us in an educational partnership and begin talking with your sons and daughters now about their lives as independent adults.

I ask you to urge your students to:

  • visit professors during their office hours
  • challenge an interpretation in class
  • chat with their faculty head
  • help their RA create a house event
  • understand somebody different than them
  • get involved in student governance
  • make music
  • help a friend
  • get to know their VUceptor
  • think why they want to join a Greek organization
  • volunteer their service
  • cheer for the 'Dores
  • discover Nashville
  • care for themselves, their home and their classmates
  • take charge of their education
  • feel empowered

And finally, join my wife, Jane Wcislo, and me at least once this coming year at an evening in the Dean's Residence. Our living room and dining room are places where good food, lively company, smart people and great ideas mix for some memorable evenings.

See you on Move-in Day, August 18.
Frank Wcislo
Frank Wcislo
Dean of The Ingram Commons
Associate Professor of History and European Studies

The Road to Vanderbilt

The Road to Vanderbilt, a small spiral-bound book, was mailed to your student in early May. Inside The Road is a checklist of tasks that need to be completed before students arrive on campus. Additionally, you can find information on campus services and resources. Be sure to discuss this publication with your student.
The Road to Vanderbilt
A PDF of this publication can be found here.

Upcoming dates and deadlines

June 1
Housing application due

June 4–22
Class registration period

June 15
Deadline for roommate requests

June 22
Deadline for uploading Commodore Card photo

Important links

Road to Vanderbilt

The Ingram Commons

Common Place Class of 2016

Parents and Family Programs



Commodore Card

Student Health

Student Accounts

"like" us on Facebook



Information to expect from Vanderbilt
May 1–August 18



  • Receipt of the matriculation fee, Undergraduate Student Account Agreement, and request to submit photo for your Commodore Card (mail)
  • Materials and instructions for class registration (mail or email, depending on school)


  • Mailed copy of The Ingram Commons reading: Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Information about health insurance (mail)
  • Postcard about meal plan (mail)


  • Directory of Dining Services (mail)
  • Information from the bookstore about ordering textbooks and course materials (email)
  • Letter from VUceptors (mail or email)

Early August

  • Notification of housing and room assignment, roommate information, mail box number and Vanderbilt address, shipping instructions, move-in instructions (mail)



  • Parent calendar (mail)


  • Welcome letter from the board chairs of the Parents and Family Association and the Parents Leadership Committee (mail)
  • OverVU parent newsletter (mail)
  • Welcome phone call from a Vanderbilt staff member during phone-a-thon


  • Family Weekend brochure (mail)



Move-in Day—August 18

A full move-in and orientation schedule will be mailed to your student and emailed to you through this email series later this summer. Below is a tentative list of activities during this busy weekend. Parents are welcome at events unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, Aug. 18

  • Move into house
  • Meet faculty head of house and house residential staff
  • Resource and information fair
  • Parent/student meetings with school deans
  • Various information sessions
  • House dinners
  • Dean of The Ingram Commons reception
  • Mandatory floor meetings (students only)

Sunday, Aug. 19

  • Breakfast send-off and departure of parents and families
  • Students continue orientation activities after parents depart (students only)


Have something to say about what you read here? Send us an email.

Parents & Family Programs
PMB 401627  |  2301 Vanderbilt Place  |  Nashville, TN 37240-1627
Parent Helpline: (877) 887-2736

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