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Celebration honors 11 endowed chair holders

L-r: Provost Susan R. Wente, Amy-Jill Levine, Sharon Weiss, Cynthia Reinhart-King, Michael King, Douglas Schmidt, Gautam Biswas, Dale Andrews, Joy Calico, Elizabeth Zechmeister, Rizwan Hamid and Alan Wiseman. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

The extraordinary academic achievements of 11 Vanderbilt University faculty members named to endowed chairs were recognized during a celebration April 27 at the Student Life Center.

Susan R. Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted in her opening remarks that eight of the 11 honorees were receiving Cornelius Vanderbilt chairs.

“These chairs are named after Vanderbilt’s founder and remind us of how we are choosing to invest in our faculty,” Wente said. “For more than 140 years, the university has stewarded the Commodore’s original endowment gift, which helped grow a small regional university into one of the world’s leading research universities.”

Deans Philippe Fauchet, Emilie Townes and Mark Wait described the accomplishments of the chair holders in their respective schools, Engineering, Divinity and Blair. The accomplishments of chair holders in the College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine were highlighted by Wente.

The following faculty members were honored:

Wente thanked all of the donors who have established endowed chairs for their generous support.

“Today we honor Cornelius Vanderbilt’s foresight and vision for all of our supporters—those who have endowed other chairs, initiatives and programs at our university,” she said. “We’re deeply grateful to have such dedicated partners for helping us fulfill our university mission of discovery and learning.”

This was the 21st celebration to honor faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs. A total of 209 chair holders have been honored since the initiative to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers was announced by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in August 2010.