Nashville businessman Rodes Hart has been named chair of Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future campaign. Hart, who graduated from Vanderbilt in 1954, succeeds Monroe Carell Jr., BE’59, who led the ongoing campaign to raise $1.75 billion until his death on June 20.
Hart joined the Vanderbilt Board of Trust upon the merger of Peabody and Vanderbilt in 1979 and has served in numerous capacities, including chairing Peabody College’s fundraising efforts in the Shape the Future campaign. Last year he became an emeritus trustee.
“Chairing the balance of the Shape the Future campaign for Vanderbilt is a humbling privilege, a great opportunity and a serious challenge,” says Hart, noting that the goal for the campaign has significantly increased from an original goal of $1.25 billion. “It will be accomplished as a result of the resolute committee so successfully chaired by Monroe Carell Jr. since the campaign’s inception and as the result of the many, many contributors who have exceeded the original goal well ahead of schedule.”
During a 51-year business career, Hart was chief executive officer of Franklin Industries, a Tennessee-based company involved in brick distribution and chemical limestone mining, processing and marketing. In 2006 he sold Franklin Industries to a Belgian conglomerate and retired from active business to pursue various interests, including his support of Vanderbilt.
He received his secondary school education at Phillips Exeter Academy and completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. Hart and his wife of 50 years, Patricia Ingram Hart, BA’57, have three grown children and nine grandchildren.