‘Strong Foundations’ reports Vanderbilt’s rise as a top U.S. research university

2018-19 Annual Report: Strong Foundations. A year of impact at Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt’s continued ascent as one of America’s leading research universities is chronicled in the university’s 2018-19 annual report, Strong Foundations, released today by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.

Strong Foundations highlights a year of impact at Vanderbilt, from the launch of innovative new programs designed to create positive change in the world and leadership changes that will propel the university’s momentum to the incredible success of the reigning College World Series champions, the Vandy Boys.

Vanderbilt’s progress is highlighted across seven areas:

  • Excellence, including the university’s No. 14 U.S. News & World Report ranking
  • Diversity, noting the school’s significant commitment to diversity and inclusion and admittance of one of the most diverse classes in the university’s history
  • Campus Planning, which is based in the FutureVU holistic planning vision
  • Community, recognizing the university’s connection with and impact on the Nashville area through economic impact and local engagement, such as speaker series
  • Philanthropy, including the nearly $200 million in gifts raised by the university in FY 2018-19
  • Academics, citing the launch of leading-edge programs such as Immersion Vanderbilt and the Public Voices Fellowship
  • Athletics, showcasing the storybook season of Vanderbilt baseball and the SEC success of Vanderbilt women’s soccer

    Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos
    Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt University)

In the annual report, Zeppos credits the entire Vanderbilt community with creating a strong legacy for the university. “Together, we have made strides that are as far-reaching as they are cumulative,” said Zeppos. “These accomplishments build upon each other, layer by layer, to strengthen—and perfect—our foundation for the future.”

Strong Foundations focuses on the final full academic year during which Zeppos served as chancellor. He announced in April he would be stepping down from Vanderbilt’s top leadership spot at the end of the summer.

headshot of Provost Susan R. Wente
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente, who will step into the interim chancellor role on Aug. 16, praised the collective impact of the efforts outlined in Strong Foundations.

“The shared commitment to work as One Vanderbilt has inspired truly groundbreaking results across every facet of our community,” Wente said. “Together, we are creating the knowledge, ideas and future leaders that will drive positive change in the world.”

The 2018-19 Vanderbilt annual report, Strong Foundations, is available online at