New Commons residence halls named for former vice chancellor, BOT member  printer 

Construction on The Commons continues, with the naming of two new residence halls, Stambaugh House and Hank Ingram House.

by Princine Lewis

Two new residence halls under construction as part of The Commons, which will serve as the home for all first-year students at Vanderbilt beginning in 2008, have been named for a former vice chancellor of the university and one of its former Board of Trust members.

Stambaugh House, named for John H. Stambaugh, former vice chancellor for business affairs at Vanderbilt, will open to students in August 2007. Hank Ingram House, named for Orrin Henry Ingram, a civic leader, philanthropist and former vice president of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust, will open in August 2008.

After a career in business and government that included service in the Eisenhower administration, Stambaugh was appointed vice chancellor for business affairs at Vanderbilt and served in this role from 1956 to 1962. In 1964, he persuaded Bronson Ingram, the son of his friend Hank Ingram, to invest with him in a small business called Tennessee Book Company, which eventually led to the establishment of Ingram Book Group, a division of Ingram Industries Inc.

In 1952, Hank Ingram was elected to the Vanderbilt Board of Trust on which he served as vice president until his death in 1963. His passion for the university inspired his children and their families to build upon his legacy and play key roles in Vanderbilt’s future.

Hank Ingram’s son, Bronson, served on the board from 1967 until his death in 1995. He chaired the board the last four years of his life. In 1995, Martha Ingram, Bronson’s wife, was elected to the Board of Trust, then elected its chairman in 1999 – a position she currently holds. Two of Bronson and Martha’s four children also currently serve on the board – John R. Ingram and Orrin H. Ingram III. Their two other children, David B. Ingram and Robin I. Patton, also are active supporters of Vanderbilt.

By fall 2008, The Commons will be a community of 10 residence halls, to be known as “houses,” and a new dining/recreation facility. Five existing residence halls have been renovated, two new residence halls have been constructed and three residence halls and the dining center are under construction. History professor Frank Wcislo, dean of The Commons, will live in the first-year student community along with 10 faculty members who will manage each house with help from staff from the dean of students office.

Until The Commons is complete and ready to open in fall 2008, sophomore students will live in Stambaugh House. Hank Ingram House will open to students when the first-year student community officially opens in fall 2008.  Stambaugh House and Hank Ingram House join Crawford House and Sutherland House, which were named in May. Sophomore students currently live in Crawford and Sutherland and were assigned to the new residence halls through the university’s housing lottery held in the spring.

Crawford House is named for Frank Armstrong Crawford, who is credited with moving her husband, financier Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, toward his only major philanthropy – giving a million dollars in 1873 to build and endow Vanderbilt University.

Sutherland House is named for Earl W. Sutherland Jr., a Nobel Prize winner and professor of physiology at Vanderbilt from 1963 until his death in 1974. He received the Nobel Prize in 1971 for his discoveries concerning the mechanisms of the actions of hormones. His work has helped researchers today understand how various hormones exert important functions within organisms.

The Commons is the first phase of College Halls at Vanderbilt, a residential college system designed to create the most vibrant living and learning environment in higher education. It is Vanderbilt’s largest construction project on the Peabody College campus since the university merged with the formerly independent teacher’s college in 1979.

Posted 12/04/06

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