Alumnus Heads NBC Sports Group
Mark Lazarus, BA’86, formerly president of NBC Sports Cable Group, was named the new chairman of NBC Sports Group in May. Lazarus replaces Dick Ebersol, one of the most powerful figures in television sports. Lazarus is a 19-year cable industry veteran. As former Turner Entertainment Group president, he led the network’s acquisition of the rights to the NBA, NASCAR, MLB playoffs, Wimbledon and the British Open.
Fields Medalist Joins Vanderbilt
One of the world’s foremost mathematicians, Vaughan F.R. Jones, has accepted a position as distinguished professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt beginning this fall. Jones, who is coming from the University of California at Berkeley, holds the Fields Medal, which is awarded once every four years to mathematicians not more than 40 years old for outstanding discoveries in mathematics. The honor is generally considered to be the Nobel Prize of mathematics.
Jones received the Fields Medal in 1990 for his discovery of an unexpected link between the mathematical study of knots—a field that dates back to the 19th century—and statistical mechanics, a form of mathematics used to study complex systems with large numbers of components. In addition to its impact on physics, his work is also being used by molecular biologists studying DNA.
Kirkland Descendant Visits Campus
The great-grandson of longtime Vanderbilt Chancellor James H. Kirkland, Kirk Meritt, and his wife, Marilyn, paid their first visit to Vanderbilt on April 20. The Meritts, who live in Rochester, N.Y., toured Kirkland Hall April 20 before taking a stroll around campus with Lyle Lankford, senior university historian and protocol officer. Kirk Meritt’s grandmother Elizabeth Kirkland Meritt was the daughter of James H. Kirkland, chancellor from 1893 to 1937.