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Former Chancellor Heard Dies

Posted by on Friday, September 11, 2009 in Digest, Fall 2009.


Chancellor Heard
Alexander Heard

Alexander Heard, who served as Vanderbilt’s fifth chancellor, and guided the university from 1963 to 1982, died July 24 after a long illness. The chancellor emeritus was 92.

Under Heard’s leadership, Vanderbilt grew and prospered, adding three schools to the seven it already contained, constructing three dozen new or enlarged buildings, conducting two highly successful fundraising campaigns, doubling its enrollment and increasing its annual budget tenfold. The university also recruited distinguished faculty, who achieved new levels of quality in both teaching and research.

Since 1982 Vanderbilt has awarded annually the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award to a faculty member for contributions to the understanding of problems of contemporary society. Frank L. Parker, Distinguished Professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and professor of engineering management, and Karl B. Schnelle Jr., professor of chemical and environmental engineering, emeritus, are two past recipients of the award.

By arrangement with the university, Heard’s ashes will be interred at Benton Chapel. Donations in his honor may be made to the Alexander Heard Memorial Fund at Vanderbilt.

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