The President’s Corner

Billy Ray Caldwell

Billy Ray Caldwell

Commencement is a high point of each year for the Vanderbilt community, and our 2009 ceremonies May 8 were especially joyous. The skies above Memorial Gymnasium were overcast, but the gathering inside was warm and ebullient. Chancellor Zeppos handed diplomas to the 3,380 graduates of the Class of 2009, welcoming them as the newest members of our alumni family.

This year’s Commencement had special meaning for me as I joined members of the Class of 1959 who marched in the procession to mark their 50th anniversary as Vandy alumni. After the ceremony we had lunch at Hillwood Country Club with more than 400 distinguished Quinqs—Vanderbilt alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. This event has become an important Commencement tradition, and the same university pride we saw in Memorial Gym was abundant at the Quinqs luncheon. It speaks volumes about Vanderbilt spirit that our Commencement is an occasion to come full circle by celebrating the achievements of our graduates and honoring the loyalty and support of our most senior alumni.

Speaking of alumni spirit, I am pleased to invite you to join our new online community, VUconnect. This innovation gives us an opportunity to offer a new array of career services and other alumni program enhancements. Find out more about VUconnect here.

I hope you will stay further connected to the university through VUconnect, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Billy Ray Caldwell, BA’85
President, Vanderbilt Alumni Association

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