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Student-Athlete Development

We prepare student-athletes to become leaders and champions in life by placing the highest values on integrity, character, sportsmanship and victory.

Balancing academic success, athletic competition, and personal growth along with student life can be very challenging for the student-athlete. The Student-Athlete Development Program represents the comprehensive commitment by the Vanderbilt Athletic Department to foster the total growth and development of our student-athletes.

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Personal and Leadership Development
A Commitment to Personal Development ensures that each student athlete will be provided with opportunities to focus on personal growth issues such as identity exploration, goal setting, and financial literacy. Each component will be focused toward developing a healthy lifestyle. We aim to assist our student-athletes in all facets of their lives, and support affinity groups like the Black Student-Athlete Group, founded in 2020.
A Commitment to Leadership Development is evident in our partnership with Growing Leaders. We provide research-based and customizable sports leadership training which uses distinct images, conversations and experiences to teach timeless life and sports leadership skills in an engaging, memorable way for the student-athletes that participate in the Be an Anchor Leadership Program. The Growing Leaders curriculum introduces powerful leadership habits and principles rooted in real life. The unique and transformative encounters are a part of an ongoing process that builds leadership habits and attitudes. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is another leadership opportunity available to student-athletes.

Career Development
A Commitment to Career Development places a priority on preparing for life after intercollegiate sports. We collaborate with the Vanderbilt Career Center to help student-athletes develop a career path. This is accomplished by offering a variety of services and educational programs that help them assess career options, learn job skills, gain career-related experience, and connect with employers. This includes the Student-Athlete Summer Internship program, which pairs student-athletes with employers in their areas of interest. The program includes a variety of workshops and activities designed to enhance career and personal development

Community Service
A Commitment to Community Service is our challenge to our student athletes to give back to the community and to individuals who are in need through a clearly defined program of service. Our student athletes will be given opportunities to develop the foundation for a lifelong commitment to volunteerism.
Vanderbilt Athletics’ community outreach activities are far-reaching and encompass numerous areas within the Vanderbilt community and beyond, including the Office of Active Citizenship & Service (OACS), the Greek community and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Our biggest initiative to date, ‘Dancing Dores, fundraises for Dance Marathon and provides opportunities for children that have been impacted by a serious health condition to interact with our student-athletes.

Golden Dores Banquet
SAAC hosts an annual awards banquet in April for all of the teams. At this event, student athletes are recognized for their athletic, academic, and service contributions to Vanderbilt and the Nashville community.
Contact Alison Wenzel, Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development, with any questions at: alison.wenzel@vanderbilt.edu or 615-343-5463.