Scholarship students show the impact of Opportunity Vanderbilt

Sabre Rucker grew up just a few miles from the Vanderbilt campus in East Nashville. Despite her successes in high school, her dreams of “black and gold” seemed out of reach. But Opportunity Vanderbilt made her dreams real. Her story is featured in a new video on Opportunity Vanderbilt, the university’s initiative to replace all need-based undergraduate student loans with scholarship and grant assistance.

Sabre is joined in the video by Norman, Okla., native Brooks Cain, a student leader in service projects. Both students share the excitement of when they received their Vanderbilt acceptance letters—and the world of opportunities opened by the scholarships they received.

Opportunity Vanderbilt scholarship donor, Tooty Bradford BA’63, and Provost Richard McCarty also share their perspectives on why this initiative is important—both to the students and to the university community.

Alumni, parents and other supporters have contributed more than $165 million in gifts and pledges to Opportunity Vanderbilt since October 2008. Opportunity Vanderbilt is an ongoing initiative and Vanderbilt is still far from securing the endowment needed to meet the full financial aid needs of all of our talented undergraduates.

“We’ve come a long way, and the need for support continues. Opportunity Vanderbilt depends on the generosity of others,” said Randy Smith, executive associate vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations. “The video helps us share how the initiative has changed students’ lives—and our university—for the better.”

To learn more about Opportunity Vanderbilt, visit or email Randy Smith.