Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver honored faculty from across the university at an endowed chair investiture ceremony on campus Feb. 24, conferring the university’s highest scholastic rank on those who had received the designation during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
“As a milestone in their careers, this event is both a culmination and a new beginning,” Diermeier said in remarks at the event, held at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center. “The honor that we confer today bears new, important responsibility and great potential to create lasting impact in our world.”
A total of 26 distinguished scholars from seven colleges and schools were recognized and presented by the deans of their college or school with a specially designed medallion that symbolizes their attainment of this position and will become part of their official academic regalia. The cohort includes scholars working in diverse areas—from election analysis and lung cancer research to the intersection of religion, social change and political ethics. Also in attendance were numerous benefactors for whom many of the endowed chairs are named.
“Your vital work will continue to expand upward and outward in its significance and impact as you transform your respective fields of scholarly inquiry,” Raver told the chair recipients. “You will continue to develop and test new theories, inform new policies, and make meaning through new forms of creative expression.”
The new investiture ceremony expands upon the university’s traditional format, reflecting the deep commitment to scholarly excellence by the faculty members being honored and support of those efforts by Vanderbilt donors. An investiture is a tradition dating across centuries that is used across academia and beyond to install individuals in key roles with accompanying tradition, symbols and ceremony—including, in this case, the wearing of regalia and the new medallions.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Tracey George served as emcee of the ceremony and presented the newly endowed chair holders.
Vanderbilt faculty hold 448 endowed chairs across the university and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In recognition of the significance of endowed chair designations, all current chairholders also will receive the new medallions.
Additional endowed chair honorees from 2020 and 2021, including Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos and Provost Raver, will be honored at a second investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Mar. 30.
The following faculty members were among the endowed chair honorees celebrated on Feb. 24:
- Vandana Abramson, M.D., Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer
- Brian O. Bachmann, Ph.D., Stevenson Chair
- David K. Cortez, Ph.D., Richard N. Armstrong, Ph.D. Chair for Innovation in Biochemistry
- Jennifer Fay, Ph.D., Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair
- Brian T. Fitzpatrick, J.D., Milton R. Underwood Chair in Free Enterprise
- Jason A. Grissom, Ph.D., Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair
- Natasha B. Halasa, M.D., M.P.H., Craig-Weaver Chair in Pediatrics
- Nancy Lea Hyer, Ph.D., James A. Speyer Professorship of Production Management
- David E. Lewis, Ph.D., Rebecca Webb Wilson University Chair
- David Kosson, Ph.D., Gass Family Chair in Energy and the Environment
- Bradley A. Malin, Ph.D., Accenture Chair
- René Marois, Ph.D., Winkelried Family Chair in Neuroscience
- Maury Nation, Ph.D., Bob Innes Chair in Human and Organizational Development
- Lucius T. Outlaw Jr., Ph.D., W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy
- Ben Park, Ph.D., Cornelius Abernathy Craig Chair
- Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D., Hugh J. Morgan Chair in Medicine
- Daniel J. Sharfstein, J.D., Dick and Martha Lansden Chair in Law
- Julia Sheffield, Ph.D., Jack Martin M.D. Research Professorship in Psychopharmacology
- Phillis Isabella Sheppard, Ph.D., E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair
- John Sides, Ph.D., William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair at the College of Arts and Science
- Ganesh Sitaraman, Ph.D., New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair
- C. Melissa Snarr, Ph.D., E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair
- Arleen Marcia Tuchman, Ph.D., Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Chair in History
- Lorraine B. Ware, M.D., Ralph and Lulu Owen Chair in Medicine
- John C. Wellons III, M.D., M.S.P.H., Cal Turner Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery
Watch the Feb. 24 endowed chair investiture ceremony: