150 years

University History

Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt made a generous gift that led to a journey of global impact

From its founding in 1873 Vanderbilt University has forged a tradition of academic excellence infused with a unique spirit of collaboration and collegiality.

University History by the numbers

  • $1M Gift that made it all possible
  • 9 Chancellors
  • 177K+ Degrees awarded

Celebrating 150 Years

As part of the ongoing Sesquicentennial celebration, the university created and published a  commemorative V150 coffee table book.

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Vanderbilt's Founding Letter

A special message from Vanderbilt University students, staff, faculty, and Chancellor Diermeier commemorating Vanderbilt University’s 150th anniversary.

Martha Ingram statue

Stewardship and Service


Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust has guided the university through change and challenge.

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The Founders


The vision of Vanderbilt University was made possible by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and his wife Frank’s generous financial support

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Chancellor Daniel Diermeier

The Leaders


Nine chancellors have guided Vanderbilt from local beginnings to global impact

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Vanderbilt Band

Conquer and Prevail


Vanderbilt’s school songs parallel its history

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