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A View from Kirkland Hall

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I write to you today in a call to community and a call to community action. We, the members of the Arts and Science community, can be so proud of and grateful for the opportunities Vanderbilt University has placed before us.

If you are an alumnus or an alumna of the College of Arts and Science, you have had the benefit of a world-class liberal-arts education with remarkable professors and spirited classmates on this gorgeous 330-acre campus we call home.

For the Arts and Science families out there, you have entrusted us to educate your young people, and we have accepted that trust as a calling. We strive each day to be rigorous, clear, caring and fair in order to make your students the very best new graduates in the world each May.

For the Arts and Science faculty and staff reading this magazine, you come to work every day with the charge to do better, to be better, than the day before. In your labs, offices and libraries, you work to create new knowledge in partnership with the best and brightest graduate and undergraduate students. You are great researchers, great teachers and great colleagues.

The readers of Arts and Science are a diverse community, intersecting our school in many different ways, and from many different life perspectives. What brings us together, however, is this great College of Arts and Science itself: our shared commitment to education, to great teaching and to the discovery of new knowledge—an inherently optimistic belief in a future better than today. It is inspiring to me to welcome a new class of undergraduate and graduate students to campus each fall, knowing that these young men and women will carry our mission forward far into the future.

It is in this spirit, then, that I ask you to join forces with several remarkable alumni who have come forward in support of those students who are just now coming out of the gate. Thanks to Dan Lovinger, BA’87, we now have a Vandy on Madison Avenue summer internship program that placed 17 students in positions in Manhattan for summer 2010. Because of Chad Gervich, BA’96, and Rich Hull, BA’92, our Vandy in Hollywood summer internship program has just completed its fourth year, bigger and better than ever, and with a remarkable record of job placement for its students.

We owe these industrious alumni a debt of gratitude for reaching out a hand to their fellow Commodores. The generosity of Dan, Chad and Rich leads me to ask: how can we turn our collective resources even more effectively to the support of our students? Do you work in an industry that hires interns? Do you have a great story that might help to support or inspire someone behind you on the path? Are you willing to serve as a mentor, an example or even a boss to someone who is just starting out?

If so, please raise your hand and let us know your thoughts and willingness to help. You can reach my office directly via email at aandsdeanspartnership@vanderbilt.edu or with a note or letter to me at A&S Dean’s Office, 301 Kirkland Hall, Nashville, TN 37240. I look forward to your suggestions and hearing from you on this important initiative.

Carolyn Dever

photo credit: Daniel DuBois

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