“On my word and honor as a gentleman, I have neither given nor received help on this examination.”
Such was the pledge, bestowed upon all students in 1875, that officially began the time-honored tradition of the Vanderbilt University Honor System. The pledge was introduced with the administration of the first final exams at Vanderbilt. Since its founding, the system has been modified and expanded to meet the developing needs of a modern university, but it remains one of the most highly respected honor systems in the nation.
Despite its many modifications throughout the years, the purpose of the Honor System has remained the same: to foster and maintain personal integrity within each student in order to maintain the high level of integrity for which Vanderbilt University has been known and respected since its founding.
Academic Integrity at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt University students pursue all academic endeavors with integrity. They conduct themselves honorably, professionally, and respectfully in all realms of their studies in order to promote and secure an atmosphere of dignity and trust. The keystone of our honor system is self regulation, which requires cooperation and support from each member of the University community.
To learn more about the ideals of academic integrity, explore the Academic Integrity website of the university.
The Honor Council
In order to properly administer the newly established Honor System, the Honor Council was founded in 1900, and the first constitution and bylaws were written in 1905. Since then, the Council has had a three-fold purpose: to secure justice for any student under suspicion of dishonesty, to vindicate his or her name if innocent, and if guilty, to protect the honor and standing of the remaining students by his or her punishment. Perhaps the finest feature of our Honor System is that the Council is comprised entirely of students, demonstrating our philosophy that your friends and fellow students here at Vanderbilt are the people most concerned with the preservation of your integrity and that of the University.
For more detailed information regarding the Undergraduate Honor Council and Academic Integrity violations, please visit the Undergraduate Honor Council’s website.