Message from the Dean

Laura BentonI arrived at Vanderbilt on July 1 with great excitement, eager to begin my work as dean of the College of Arts and Science. The days since have flown by as we prepare for the return of students in a few short weeks.

I feel a special affinity with our first-year students. Like them, I’m starting a new, exhilarating chapter in my life; like them, I’m honored and thrilled to be joining a diverse and vibrant community at one of the world’s great universities.

In the days ahead, I want to engage that community—alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students—in building on our existing strengths and exploring new initiatives in learning, teaching, research and creative expression. Together we will forge an even more dynamic College of Arts and Science.

One of the reasons I was drawn to Vanderbilt is its reputation for collegiality, world-class research and exceptional students. Already in the short time I have been here, I have seen those traits illustrated.

During the academic year, you will hear from me monthly through our newsletter, Ampersand. Each edition of the newsletter will contain links to just a few representative endeavors and accomplishments. I would like our conversation to be interactive, so I welcome your comments.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months.


Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Chair in History