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Community Relations


Community Engagement


The Office of Community Relations develops and sustains relationships and creates opportunities to support Vanderbilt's mission of teaching, research and public service in cities and counties across the state. Specific community engagement programs include:

Speakers Bureau:  The Vanderbilt Speakers Bureau assists in finding speakers for a variety of venues.

Inside Out of the Lunchbox
Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center present Inside Out of the Lunchbox, a series of lunchtime presentations and discussions about the performing arts.

Summer Programs at Vanderbilt
Summer Programs at Vanderbilt is an online directory that consists of summer camps, programs, and activities for children grades K-12.

Food for Thought
Vanderbilt University presents Food for Thought, a community lunchtime program.



County Engagement

Identify and cultivate partnerships with community groups, nonprofits, for-profits, businesses, and governmental associates, in Nashville and the 10-county region to increase the effectiveness of Vanderbilt’s outreach. Focus on Vanderbilt’s Mission and Vision and how we align the University’s expertise, talent, and resources to help achieve the government’s and community’s priorities and needs in our growing and changing region.

Board Affiliations – 

Vice Chair - Metro Historical Commission
Cumberland Region Tomorrow
Leadership Middle TN
TN Preservation Trust
TN Local Food Summit
Women’s Political Collaborative
Williamson County Business Advocacy Council
Historic Nashville - Nashville Nine Awards Committee
Friends of Fort Negley Park 
Nashville City Cemetery Association 
Graduate of Leadership Middle TN, Leadership Franklin, Vanderbilt Leadership Academy


County Engagement Staff



Lynn Maddox

Special Projects Director and Community Liaison


(615) 322-6384

Community Impact Fund 

Vanderbilt University is dedicated to participating in the life of the local community in meaningful ways.  Through charitable donations, the university seeks to promote the strengths and resources of our area nonprofits – to foster social impact and improve the well-being of our community.

The Community Impact Fund (CI Fund) works strategically to contribute to and partner with local organizations that are making a difference in our neighborhoods. In program areas ranging from arts and culture to education to public health to social services, Vanderbilt is committed to the support of and outreach to the diverse Nashville community. 

The CI Fund makes financial and in-kind contributions for special programs and events and provides seed funding for important community and neighborhood projects.

Your organization must be a 501(c)3 to apply for Community Impact Fund support.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but organizations are strongly encouraged to apply early. 

NEW APPLICANTS:  For additional information and to submit an application please email,  




Community Impact Staff


Community Impact Fund Monthly Spotlight 


Midori Lockett

Chief Community Impact Officer for Community Relations


(615) 322-4493

Local Government and Community Relations 

The Office of Community Relations works with neighbors, students, merchants, and interested citizens proactively and responsively to build strong communities around the campus for collaborative responses to neighborhood concerns

Some of these neighborhoods include  Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood (HWEN) Belcourt Theatre Belmont-Hillsboro Neighborhood (BHN) Planning Department’s Neighborhood Profiles, and the  Organized Neighbors of Edgehill.

Some of the commercial areas include  Hillsboro Village, and  Nashville’s Independent Restaurant Association, and the West End Business Association.

Other resources










 Office Operations




Luisa Braden

Office Administrator
Office of Community Relations


(615) 343-7014


Carole Mackey

Financial Unit Manager
Office of Community Relations


(615) 343-0552

OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Vanderbilt University is an inclusive group that strives to organize and present to the greater Nashville community stimulating intellectual and cultural noncredit courses, programs, and trips for adults over 50 of all educational backgrounds. OLLI focuses on the joy of learning. Interesting topics are explored with thought-provoking and engaging instructors, who are primarily active or retired Vanderbilt faculty, as well as other community experts.  In a relaxed atmosphere, with no homework, tests, or grades, you have the opportunity to ask questions, contribute ideas, and interact with people who share similar interests.  OLLI participants exercise their minds while making new friends, not only in the classroom but through other educational activities, special events and community engagement. 

To visit the OLLI website, click HERE.

OLLI Staff


Norma Clippard

               Chandra Allison

Norma Clippard

OLLI at Vanderbilt


(615) 322-6659


Chandra Allison

Program Coordinator
OLLI at Vanderbilt


(615) 322-6511

 OLLI Monthly Update

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

Crowning one of Nashville’s tallest peaks, Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory is a Tennessee treasure. Surrounded by scenic Radnor Lake State Park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dyer’s telescopes have pointed toward the sky since 1953. In order to inspire student and public interest in science, technology, engineering, math, and astronomy, the observatory offers many activities such as summer camps, teacher workshops, Telescope Nights, tours, special lectures with world-class scientists.