Vanderbilt University held 52 Commodore Launch events this summer to welcome members of the Class of 2026, transfer students and their families. Hosted by Vanderbilt alumni and parents, the annual gatherings are an opportunity to introduce incoming undergraduate students and families to the university’s supportive community.
Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver joined other university leaders at several of the events, where they greeted families and offered encouraging words to students.
“You will reap the educational benefits of this collaborative culture, and you will experience moments when our community thrives by working together toward a shared purpose and to a drumbeat of mutual support,” Diermeier told incoming students at the Atlanta Commodore Launch event. “But as much as we excel through our ability to act as one, we equally excel through our refusal to think as one. As a Vanderbilt student, you will meet those with perspectives different from your own, and with an open mind and an appetite to learn, you will grow—not just as a scholar, but as a person.”
Commodore Launch events happened in cities around the globe, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tokyo and Seoul. In all, more than 2,800 guests attended the gatherings.
“Being able to welcome students to Vanderbilt before they even set foot on campus is such a rewarding experience,” said Lauren Obersteadt, BA’98, senior executive director of alumni engagement and annual giving. “This unique collaboration between the university, families and alumni is one that fully aligns with our global Vanderbilt community values and spirit.”
Among the hosts this year were parents Kristen and Bill Krizner, whose daughter Katerina is a member of the Class of 2026. The Krizners hosted their Commodore Launch event at their home in Tallahassee, Florida.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to host a Commodore Launch at our home and join in an evening of fellowship with Vanderbilt representatives, alumni and students. We would happily host the event again next summer,” Kristen said.