Spring 2008

  • Collective Impulses

    Collective Impulses

    Scott Schoenherr, “Times Totem,” Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, Arizona State University Photo by Craig Smith Sandy Besser, BA’58, has enjoyed a successful career in investment management, while earning national recognition as an art collector. Both pursuits took root almost simultaneously at Vanderbilt. “I don’t recall taking art courses… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • An Accent on Fiction

    An Accent on Fiction

    Photo by John Rosenthal If you’re having a conversation with Elizabeth Spencer, MA’43, the first thing you’ll notice is her accent. It’s one that is increasingly–and sadly–rare these days. To say that it’s Southern is merely scratching the surface. It is old-fashioned, to be sure. Sophisticated. Educated. And… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • The Art of Accompaniment

    The Art of Accompaniment

    Photo by John Russell To many musicians the piano accompanist is the equivalent of a second-string player, a backup to the real star. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Accompanying provides the definitive service to musicianship. It is an art form unto itself. Daphne Nicar… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Students Dance in First-Ever Residency

    Students Dance in First-Ever Residency

    Rehearsing and performing with the José Limón Dance Company was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Vanderbilt Dance Program students. Photo by Steve Green For a university that doesn’t offer a dance major or minor, Vanderbilt attracts its fair share of dancers. In fact, more than 800 dancers from the Vanderbilt… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Where Leadership Counts More Than SAT Scores

    Where Leadership Counts More Than SAT Scores

    Fifteen years ago Michael Ainslie, then president and CEO of Sotheby’s Holdings, learned about an effort to help inner-city kids succeed in college. “It was so simple and so beautiful and so obvious,” he remembers thinking. “Young people coming from some of the worst high schools to some of… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Middle College High Schools Offer a Second Chance

    Middle College High Schools Offer a Second Chance

    Terry Grier, superintendent of 71,000-student Guilford County, N.C., Schools (which serves Greensboro/High Point), doesn’t claim to have solved the dropout problem, but he is making headway–and earning national attention for his efforts. Grier, EdD’83, has made keeping students in school his top priority, instituting a number of innovative dropout-prevention… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • One-Room Schoolhouse on Wheels

    One-Room Schoolhouse on Wheels

    Billy Hudson is living testament to the power of teachers. Hudson, who once seemed destined to spend his life working in the cotton fields of Arkansas, is an internationally known scientist who helped discover the molecular underpinnings of autoimmune and hereditary kidney diseases. Now 66, the Elliot V. Newman… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • At YES, Failure Is Not an Option

    At YES, Failure Is Not an Option

    Never underestimate the power of a good dose of outrage. About 12 years ago Chris Barbic got angry–really angry. In 1992 Barbic had graduated from Vanderbilt and signed on through Teach for America as a sixth-grade math teacher in the Houston inner-city schools. Finding the experience rewarding, he decided… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Leveling the Playing Field

    Leveling the Playing Field

    Photo by Steve Green For children ages 1 to 4, the Susan Gray School provides intimate classes where typically developing children learn, play and grow alongside children with special needs. The education and environment at SGS are acceptance-based and allow children at all levels of physical and social development… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Best Laid Plans

    Best Laid Plans

    I was born in Trinidad, educated in England, and moved to Nashville in 2002 to teach history at Vanderbilt. My research focuses on African Americans in the Atlantic world of the 19th century. Wherever I live, I also try to do a bit of research into local history. My… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Long Day’s Journey into Night

    Long Day’s Journey into Night

    Elyn Saks feels right at home on the University of Southern California campus. There is something about the leafy-green trees and ivy-covered walls, the slate-roofed buildings, and the perpetual warmth of the California climate that has put her at ease almost from the start. But even here in… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Meet Mr. Wright

    Meet Mr. Wright

    Few people have a greater impact on Vanderbilt than the person who manages the university’s $3.5 billion endowment. Last summer Philadelphia native Matthew Wright, then just 39, left his position as director of investments at Emory University to become vice chancellor for investments at Vanderbilt, succeeding Bill Spitz, who… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Small Wonder

    Small Wonder

    Illustrations by Hal Mayforth In 1959 renowned Caltech physicist Richard Feynman pondered the possibilities of just how small technology could get in his seminal lecture, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” He foresaw a world of extremely small machines manufactured at the atomic scale–from the bottom up–by direct… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008

  • Lost in America

    Lost in America

    Call them “the disappeared.” Last year 1.2 million American students dropped out of high school without receiving their diplomas. Only they didn’t really disappear. According to “The Silent Epidemic,” a recent study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, many of them joined the ranks of the unemployed… Read More

    Mar 11, 2008