Editor’s Letter

  • Vanderbilt University

    History Lessons: Editor’s Letter, Summer 2017

    As the campus buzzes with the arrival of new students (and the university made sure they were outfitted with solar eclipse glasses), I think about the spectrum of history embodied in an institution like Vanderbilt. What school traditions or past stories will ignite the imaginations of these newest Commodores? Read More

    Sep. 7, 2017

  • Vanderbilt University

    The Care and Keeping of Commodores: Editor’s Letter, Spring 2017

    When I think of Vanderbilt, my mind immediately goes to my friends and classmates. But what about alumni from the graduate and professional schools, staff and faculty members, sports fans, even prospective students? Each one of these individuals helps make the Vanderbilt community a special place filled with smart, capable people willing to lend a hand when needed. Read More

    May. 29, 2017

  • Vanderbilt University

    Heavy Mettle: Editor’s Letter, Winter 2017

    Our fair institution has always prided itself on academic rigor, deservedly so. And while the battle wounds inflicted on me by a well-armed set of microeconomic curves 20 years ago haven’t fully healed, more and more I appreciate the demands that were placed on us at Vanderbilt. Read More

    Mar. 7, 2017

  • Vanderbilt University

    Transformative Times: Editor’s Letter, Fall 2016

    Like most readers of Vanderbilt Magazine, I often flip to the Class Notes section first. After scouring the Class of ’96 for any juicy nuggets, I branch out to overlapping years, searching for names that ring a faint bell. Read More

    Nov. 20, 2016

  • Vanderbilt University

    House of Commodores

    Whatever your political leanings, the acidic divisiveness between—and among—parties in this election cycle has left little for anyone to love. Luckily, I got a break from the daily shouting matches about finger lengths, email servers and Bernie Bros by digging into some of the fascinating, reasoned research around presidential politics being produced by members of Vanderbilt’s esteemed political science department for this issue’s cover story. Read More

    Aug. 10, 2016

  • Vanderbilt University

    Lessons Learned

    In the fall of 1902, Dr. Charles Wardell Stiles, a zoologist with the U.S. Public Health Service, got a hunch that parasites were causing large swaths of the South’s rural poor to suffer an array of debilitating symptoms. Read More

    May. 12, 2016

  • Vanderbilt University

    Creating a Masterpiece

    Picasso continually pushed against prevailing artistic conventions, even his own previous work, to forge new creative paths that somehow remained unmistakably his own. That same idea of building upon the past to push further into the future runs deeply through this issue of Vanderbilt Magazine. Read More

    Feb. 29, 2016

  • That Vanderbilt Connection

    That Vanderbilt Connection

    About a week after my first issue as editor of Vanderbilt Magazine came off the press, a wondrous, forgotten little device on my desk started to ring … and ring … and ring some more. In a world brimming with text messages, email and social media posts, I hadn’t fielded so many phone calls in perhaps a decade. Read More

    Oct. 23, 2015

  • Photo of record player

    Cue the Bob Dylan

    To quote the great Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changing. When I graduated in 1996, Vanderbilt’s admittance rate sat a shade below 60 percent. For this year’s incoming class, it was 11.6 percent. Read More

    Jul. 31, 2015

  • photo of Vanderbilt's campus

    Sensible Shoes

    For nearly 30 years now, Vanderbilt has enriched my life immeasurably. I am retiring this spring—in the same year that Vanderbilt Magazine celebrates its first 100 years of publication. Read More

    Mar. 23, 2015

  • Aerial photo of campus

    Local Color

    Our Amy Grant story is one of several in this issue with a Nashville flavor. Ann Marie Deer Owens’ cover story, “Beloved Community,” showcases Vanderbilt Divinity School graduates who’ve played a significant role in developing and leading local nonprofit organizations that have an impact on the quality of life for all Nashvillians. Read More

    Dec. 23, 2014

  • Illustration of book atop a pedestal

    World’s Best Issue Ever!

    Our appetite for “world’s greatest” data has only grown through the centuries, stoked in recent years by electronic media, instant feedback and infographics. Read More

    Sep. 26, 2014

  • Vanderbilt University

    Our Fathers, Ourselves

    “I just met Sidney DeLair, BA’75, who told this wonderful story of his time living in Kissam,” began an email I received from Donna Sir Johnson, MS’79, last spring. Read More

    Jun. 18, 2014

  • Vanderbilt University

    Kindred Spirits

    In the Vanderbilt Magazine office, we frequently receive phone calls from parents of recent graduates. Usually they’re moms calling because their child (most often a son) hasn’t gotten around to notifying us about a change of address, so the parents are still getting Vanderbilt Magazine at home. Of course we’ll update the address, we assure them. Often there’s a pause, and then, almost shyly, another request: Could Mom and Dad keep receiving a copy of the magazine, too? Read More

    Mar. 10, 2014

  • Vanderbilt University

    All Roads Lead to Vanderbilt

    I seldom venture anywhere without some Vanderbilt link popping up. For this issue of the magazine, it was a 50-cent copy of Deliverance at a Pasadena flea market and a conversation with a stranger about James Dickey. Read More

    Dec. 2, 2013

  • Vanderbilt University

    Editor’s Letter

    This Purple Heart medal was awarded to Vanderbilt student John Manchester, who served during World War II. My grandfather never talked much. But every once in a while, as a kid, I could wheedle him into telling me fascinating, hours-long stories about his time in the Army during World… Read More

    Aug. 12, 2013

  • Vanderbilt University

    Editor’s Letter

    This Purple Heart medal was awarded to Vanderbilt student John Manchester, who served during World War II. My grandfather never talked much. But every once in a while, as a kid, I could wheedle him into telling me fascinating, hours-long stories about his time in the Army during World… Read More

    May. 7, 2013