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Chancellor Zeppos honored with national diversity award

Feb. 5, 2016, 4:01 PM

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos has been honored by Insight Into Diversity magazine for his commitment to diversity and inclusion with its national Giving Back award.

“This is the only national award that honors college presidents and chancellors for their commitment to diversity by giving back to their campus and community,” the magazine said in notifying the chancellor of the honor. “This award is a tribute to your passion, dedication and philanthropy, along with your demonstration of outstanding social responsibility throughout your campus and community.”

Zeppos will be included in a special section of the April issue of the magazine, the oldest and largest diversity and inclusion magazine and website in higher education.

Zeppos, the son of Greek Americans, has credited his grandparents’ experience of sponsoring other families as a strong influence on his commitment to diversity and empowering others. Zeppos has led numerous efforts to increase diversity and inclusion throughout his quarter-century at Vanderbilt. During his fall faculty assembly in August 2015, he said Vanderbilt would fail as an institution if it did not address issues of diversity, inclusion and culture.

Since that proclamation, Zeppos has intensified his efforts. They include creating three faculty chairs to honor diversity efforts, establishing a Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee, naming pre-eminent biomedical researcher and diversity advocate George Hill as vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, creating faculty and staff awards recognizing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and hosting town halls and other sessions with faculty, staff and students to discuss diversity issues.

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