WATCH: Vanderbilt’s role in American sports comes to life in new video

A new video celebrates Vanderbilt’s unique contributions to college athletics and American sports, with a special focus on the university’s leadership in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. “Leading by Example: An Illustrated History of Vanderbilt’s Essential Role in American Sports” features watercolor illustrations and a distinctive time-lapse animation style.

The video was written and produced by Andrew Maraniss, special projects coordinator for Vanderbilt Athletics and the award-winning author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.

“Vanderbilt has been a leader not just in college athletics, but in American sports overall in so many ways dating back to the 1800s,” Maraniss said. “As we celebrate an important milestone in the university’s history, it’s an opportune time to remind ourselves of that history of leadership and to share the story with the world in a unique way.

“The truth is that you can’t tell the story of sports in America without Vanderbilt, and we should all be very proud of that,” he said.

“Leading by Example” was illustrated by Molly Crabapple, directed by Jim Batt and Kim Boekbinder, and produced by Sharp As Knives. Josh Foster, director of external affairs for the Vanderbilt baseball program, serves as narrator. Maraniss said he first took notice of the work of Crabapple and the Sharp As Knives team when visiting the website of the Equal Justice Initiative prior to a Vanderbilt Athletics trip to the initiative’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.

The project was supported by a Vanderbilt Sesquicentennial Grant, part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration. Sesquicentennial Grants support activities and projects that engage with the university’s history, look ahead to its future, and explore what makes Vanderbilt distinctive and unique. The Sesquicentennial grant proposal was submitted by Maraniss along with Candice Storey Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director.

To learn more about Vanderbilt’s Sesquicentennial celebration, visit Use #VU150 to join the celebration online.