Alumni look forward to special opportunities to reconnect—seeing classmates at Reunion, cheering on the Commodores at a home game, attending an alumni chapter event. I always enjoy seeing campus come to life during the last weeks of August when students return.
Those traditions undeniably look different this year. Yet it’s also true that many of the regular rhythms of student life look the same. This fall, 7,057 undergraduates and 6,480 professional and graduate students are enrolled, and many of them returned to campus. Despite the safety protocols that are in place, each one still looks for the student experiences of connection, community and discovery that have distinguished a Vanderbilt education for decades.
While many alumni events have taken new shape this year, our tradition of giving in support of the student experience continues.
Now more than ever, alumni gifts of all sizes combine to make meaningful differences for our students. While many families feel the financial pinch of the pandemic, alumni giving supports scholarships. For some students, joining campus organizations also may be out of reach financially, but alumni gifts to Experience Vanderbilt help bring opportunities to all students. When our innovative spirit is truly put to the test, alumni gifts support the introduction of new programs dedicated to student growth.
Last year, gifts of $100 or less to the university accounted for nearly $1.18 million. This support has both immediate and lasting impact. In addition to directly supporting students, alumni giving instills the responsibility to care for the generations that follow.
Peggy Stall Glascoff, BA’74, says she chooses to give because “Vanderbilt believed in me and I believe in Vanderbilt and its mission to educate the whole person. At Vandy I grew not only academically, but also personally.”
I, too, share Peggy’s sentiment, and extend a hearty thank-you to Peggy and to all alumni who choose to give back to support today’s students. I wish all the students a successful semester—one they are sure to remember. Anchor Down!
—Tim Warnock, BA’84