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BCCAC – Spruell Driver


Spruell Driver serves as a Contract Officer in Vanderbilt University’s Sponsored Programs Administration office, where his responsibilities include handling research contract negotiations and related compliance issues.  He enjoys assisting Vanderbilt’s faculty/principal investigators, staff and students with a diverse portfolio of innovative sponsored research endeavors that benefit society.  His work at Vanderbilt allows him to utilize his prior experience as a transactional attorney and technical background.  His professional areas of interest include university-industry research partnerships and intellectual property.

Born and raised in Nashville, Driver earned his B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was named a Torchbearer, UT’s highest student honor.  He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University Law School.  Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Driver’s professional experience included working as corporate in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 chemical company with primary responsibility for negotiating procurement contracts for commercial goods and construction services, engaging in private practice as a business transactions and commercial real estate attorney with three of Tennessee’s largest and most respected law firms, and serving as a legislative attorney and Special Counsel for the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Driver draws inspiration from the Biblical instruction “to whom much is given much is required”.  It is a lesson that was always impressed upon him by his brother, the late Francis Guess, Vanderbilt MBM ’74.   Driver’s professional and community service and honors have included:  University of Tennessee Board of Trustees; President of the UT National Alumni Association; Leadership Nashville; Equal Justice Campaign Cabinet Member for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands; President of the Napier-Looby Bar Association; Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation; Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation; Nashville Bar Association Board of Directors; Nashville Bar Foundation Board of Trustees; Rotary Club of Nashville; Room in the Inn; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and Lee Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Driver appreciates the professional satisfaction and intellectual stimulation afforded from being a member of the Vanderbilt community.  He has been enriched by many programs sponsored by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and is pleased to serve in support of the Black Cultural Center’s mission.

Driver is married to Elaine (Willis) Driver, and they have two children, Elise (Vanderbilt Class of 2021) and Spruell III.