As Vanderbilt students finished up their last full week of spring semester classes through online and alternative learning, a few familiar faces dropped in on some classes to show their support and share advice.
On April 15, students in political science professor David Lewis’ public administration class were in the middle of a discussion on public communication when Willie Geist, host of NBC’s The Today Show Sunday and co-host of Morning Joe and The Today Show weekdays, popped up on their screens.
Geist, BA’97, who studied political science while a Vanderbilt undergrad, wanted to share his advice to the students during this unprecedented time in history.
“The best part of the classes you are in right now are the practical implications,” Geist said.
“You can apply what you’re learning from Professor Lewis today to what you hear in the president’s press conference four or five hours from now. That’s the most exciting thing—here’s all this cool new information, here’s some new context for it, and now I get to go apply it,” he said.
On April 16, Vanderbilt head men’s basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse virtually met with Adjunct Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology Brittany Chase, BA’11, to talk about the role that music, and more specifically hip hop, played in his life and career. Chase teaches a survey of American hip-hop course at the Blair School of Music and shared a video recording of the discussion with her students.
Chase, who majored in American studies and was a four-year member of the Spirit of Gold Marching Band, also asked Stackhouse to share his advice for students.
Stackhouse spoke about finding something you love, whether in the music industry, sports or another field, and putting in the effort that leads to success.
“You’ve got to dig deep inside of you and say, ‘OK, I love this. I want to do this even when I’m not feeling good, when I’m sick or when I don’t feel the best. Am I going to stop today? No, I love this enough that I still want to get up and do it,’” he said.
As they wrapped up their virtual chat, Stackhouse reminded students of the importance that music has in each one of our lives.
“No matter what is going on, music finds a way to connect us all,” he said.
On April 17, head baseball coach Tim Corbin sent a special congratulatory message to Peabody College seniors who were about to give their Human and Organizational Development capstone demonstrations. In his message, Corbin spoke about how his daughter had gone through the same program and recognized the importance of Demonstration Day to HOD students.
“I want to take a moment to congratulate you on behalf of Vanderbilt Athletics and the baseball staff on all of your investment this semester,” Corbin said.
“I realize the last part of your journeys have been unconventional in so many different ways, but your perseverance and dedication to what you’re doing proves to be very fulfilling for you all at the end,” Corbin said. “You’re all great representatives of the HOD department and our university as a whole. Congratulations again, and Anchor Down!”
Classes for the spring semester ended April 20. Reading days and final exams are scheduled for April 21–30.