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Vanderbilt’s Peabody College honors Volunteer State Community College founder

May. 9, 2003, 11:30 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College honored alumnus Hal R. Ramer, of Nashville, with its Lifetime Service Award at the College’s commencement ceremony Friday, May 9. He is the first recipient of the award.

Ramer has long been known as one of Middle Tennessee’s most dedicated leaders in higher education. From 1970 until earlier this year, he served as the president of Volunteer State Community College, in Gallatin, Tenn., an institution he also founded.

Volunteer State began its first semester of classes in 1970 with almost 600 students enrolled. Today the college enrolls nearly 7,000 students. The college offers associates degrees in more than 40 areas, as well as, technical certificates in allied health and business.

“Hal Ramer’s retirement earlier this year ended long service to an institution which has improved higher education in our region, benefited upwards of 90,000 people in their careers and strengthened our regional economy. It is fitting that Peabody acknowledge his contributions through this award,” said Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Peabody College.

A World War II veteran, Ramer earned his bachelor’s degree from Peabody in 1947. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate from Ohio State University. From 1963 until 1970 he was assistant state commissioner for higher education for the Tennessee State Department of Education.

Ramer is a past president of the Peabody Alumni Association. He also served on the Peabody Board of Trustees, before the College merged with Vanderbilt in 1979. Ramer is the 1996 recipient of the Peabody Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Media contact: Princine Lewis, 615-322-NEWS,