Eleven Vanderbilt University faculty members named to endowed chairs were recognized for their exemplary achievements during a celebration Sept. 6 at the Student Life Center.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente noted in her opening remarks that awarding an endowed chair—a tradition that began at least as early as 1502 at the University of Cambridge in England—is the highest honor that a university can bestow upon its professors.
“More than 500 years later and more than 4,000 miles away, we celebrate 11 extraordinary faculty members who have made substantial contributions to their fields,” Wente said. “These range from schizophrenia to the women’s suffrage movement to Christian social ethics to public policies that address homelessness. We also celebrate our supporters who have invested in the power of education by establishing an endowed chair.”
Wente then recognized Vanderbilt alumnus Rodes Hart, a Board of Trust emeritus member who was present for the celebration of the Patricia and Rodes Hart chairs at Peabody College and the School of Medicine.
Deans Lauren Benton, Emilie Townes, Philippe Fauchet, Camilla Benbow and Jeff Balser described the accomplishments of the chair holders in their respective schools: the College of Arts and Science, Divinity, Engineering, Peabody College and the School of Medicine.
The following faculty members were honored:
· James R. Booth, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair, Peabody College;
· Katherine B. Crawford, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, College of Arts and Science;
· Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair, Divinity School;
· Judy Garber, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, Peabody College;
· Young Jun Kim, Barry and Amy Baker Chair in Laryngeal, Head and Neck Research, School of Medicine;
· Clare M. McCabe, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, School of Engineering;
· Holly J. McCammon, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, College of Arts and Science;
· Robert F. Miller, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Medicine, School of Medicine;
· Moses E. Ochonu, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, College of Arts and Science;
· Marybeth Shinn, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, Peabody College;
· Neil David Woodward, Bixler-Johnson-Mayes Chair, School of Medicine.
Wente concluded the ceremony by thanking the family and friends of the honorees for supporting and encouraging them throughout their distinguished careers.
The celebration marked the 22nd event to honor faculty members named to endowed chairs. A total of 220 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.