A View from Kirkland Hall
As I prepare this column, the 2007–2008 academic year is coming to a close. Rites of Spring has just concluded, exams are approaching, and soon the campus will be transformed for Commencement and the graduation of the Class of 2008. What an amazing year this has been! The selection of Vanderbilt’s eighth chancellor, Nicholas Zeppos, was announced on March 1, 2008. Offers of admission have been mailed to a highly select group of applicants, who will make up the Class of 2012. Applications for admission to Vanderbilt increased by more than 30 percent this year, to just under 17,000, and standard metrics of diversity, test scores, high school grades and contributions to society reached all-time highs. I can’t wait until August to meet the newest members of the Vanderbilt community in the spectacular setting of The Commons. Finally, we have experienced great success this year in recruiting a talented new group of faculty members to the College of Arts and Science who will be actively involved in teaching and discovery.
I am confident that you will enjoy reading our new alumni publication, simply titled Arts and Science, which replaces our previous newsletter, Cornerstone. This magazine contains an expanded number of features, more art, and greater attention given to the accomplishments of the Arts and Science community, our alumni, students, faculty and staff. Be prepared to be informed, educated, challenged, entertained and inspired.
On the informative side, this first issue includes a feature on our medicine, health and society major. This program is growing so fast in popularity that the number of students selecting it as their major increased significantly while the article was being written. For inspiration, an undergraduate writes of his eventful time serving the people of Tibet and Nepal. Other stories include a look at the international impact of the College of Arts and Science, an exploration of the first-year experience for students, and profiles of several of our fascinating alumni, including a 29-year-old economics grad who co-developed an iconic food brand.
This issue introduces sections that we hope will become regular reading for you: “Forum,” “In Place,” “Back in the Day,” and more. Faculty profiles reveal unexpected information (in this case, about my colleague, Associate Dean Fräncille Bergquist) and “Arts and Science Notebook” delivers the latest news. Visually, Arts and Science presents designs, images and pictures that delight the eye and express the uniqueness and comprehensive approach of our college.
On an environmental note, this magazine is printed with vegetable/soy based ink on 100 percent post-consumer recycled material. The paper is manufactured with 100 percent clean, renewable electric power by a mill that uses a certified environmental management process and recycles waste created in the manufacturing process. I thank the student members of SPEAR (Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Recycling) for leading the charge for the use of eco-friendly materials on campus. We agree with SPEAR that, as individuals and as educators of future generations, we need to be good stewards of the environment.
I am very proud to be part of the Arts and Science community at Vanderbilt. My hope is that this new publication strengthens your connection to, and love for, this great university. We have a bright future ahead as we build upon a strong foundation of academic excellence.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer.
Richard McCarty, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Photo by Daniel Dubois.