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Summer 2015

Readers’ Letters, Summer 2015

Jul. 31, 2015—GayNelle Doll, an editor of Vanderbilt publications for nearly 30 years—the last eight as editor of Vanderbilt Magazine—retired at the end of March. In response to her final Editor’s Letter in the Spring 2015 issue, many readers wrote to wish her well. Here’s a sampling.

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Women’s Tennis Wins NCAA Championship

Jul. 31, 2015—The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team claimed its first-ever national title by defeating UCLA 4–2 in the NCAA Championship match May 19. The victory marked only the third time in school history that Vanderbilt has won an NCAA national championship.

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Zeppos Discusses Funding, Regulation in D.C.

Jul. 31, 2015—Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos visited with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., June 8–9 to encourage members to reach a budget agreement that allows for additional discretionary funding for important priorities such as research and education.

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Godspeed

Jul. 31, 2015—The Commencement ceremony capped two days of activities for graduates and their guests, including the Senior Day speech by Walter Isaacson, author and former chairman and CEO of CNN. In all, the university awarded 1,644 undergraduate and 2,212 graduate and professional degrees this year.

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Grant to Help Improve Flu Vaccines

Jul. 31, 2015—Vanderbilt researchers have received a five-year, $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to design more effective flu vaccines and novel antibody therapies.

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How to Build a First-Year Class

Jul. 31, 2015—Vanderbilt’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions is communicating with as many as 1 million students, ranging from ninth grade (some even younger) through 12th grade. Knowing how and when to target the largest possible set of high-potential applicants—using a full range of interactions—to build the best first-year class possible takes strategic planning and smart execution.

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Look, Ma—I’m In

Jul. 31, 2015—Incoming Vanderbilt students still get the thrill of ripping open a thick packet telling them they’ve been admitted. Only now, in the era of all things digital, the vast majority of applicants first learn about the decision through their own personalized Vanderbilt Admissions website.

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Beasley Named Dean of Ingram Commons

Jul. 31, 2015—Vanessa Beasley, BA’88, an expert in race, gender and diversity in U.S. political rhetoric, has been named the next dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt.

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Obituary: Oscar Touster, Revolutionary Biochemist

Jul. 31, 2015—Oscar Touster, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, emeritus, and first chair of the Department of Molecular Biology in Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science, died Feb. 27, 2015. He was 93. Reared in a multicultural New York City neighborhood, Touster earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees before his scientific career was redirected by the onset...

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New Cross-Disciplinary Projects Win Funding

Jul. 31, 2015—Seventeen cross-disciplinary projects involving 153 faculty from all 10 Vanderbilt colleges and schools have been selected for the initial set of awards from the new Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) initiative.

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Obituary: William L. Garrison, BS’46, MA’47, Transportation Innovator

Jul. 31, 2015—William L. Garrison was known early in his career for revitalizing the field of geography through greater scientific thinking and methods, which led to increased use of computerized statistical techniques in geographical research. He died Feb. 1, 2015, in Lafayette, California, at the age of 90. He was the son of Sidney Clarence Garrison, who...

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Obituary: Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., MD’70, Soldier for Diversity

Jul. 31, 2015—Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., a renowned Baltimore cardiac surgeon, champion of racial equality and diversity, and the first African American to be admitted to and graduate from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM), died April 11, 2015, from complications after suffering a stroke. He was 70. When Watkins walked through the doors of VUSM in...

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