September 28, 2016

Celebration honors nine endowed chair recipients

Nine faculty members who hold endowed chairs were honored and donors were thanked during a festive celebration Sept. 26 at the Student Life Center.

(Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
(Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

The extraordinary academic achievements of nine Vanderbilt University faculty members who hold endowed chairs were recognized during a celebration Sept. 26 at the Student Life Center.

Susan R. Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted in her opening remarks that an endowed chair is the highest honor bestowed by a university.

“From how a cell malfunctions to how children with intellectual disabilities learn how to read, these faculty are pushing the boundaries of knowledge into exciting and important places,” Wente said.

Wente also thanked all of the donors who have generously established these endowed chairs. “We are deeply grateful to have such amazing partners who believe in our missions of discovery, education and service,” she said.

Faculty members who were honored are listed below with their academic appointments:

· David M. Aronoff, Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine;

· Jefferson R. Cowie, James G. Stahlman Chair in American History;

· Douglas H. Fuchs, Nicholas Hobbs Chair;

· Lynn S. Fuchs, Dunn Family Chair in Psychoeducational Assessment;

· Jeffrey C. Rathmell, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Immunobiology;

· W. Kimryn Rathmell, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Chair;

· Joerg M. Rieger, Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies;

· Choon-Leong Seow, Vanderbilt, Buffington, Cupples Chair in Divinity; and

· Keivan G. Stassun, Stevenson Chair in Physics.

A new tradition added to the Sept. 26 ceremony was the role of Vanderbilt’s deans to highlight the accomplishments for each of his or her endowed chair holders. Participating deans were Lauren A. Benton, dean of the College of Arts and Science and the Nelson O. Tyrone Professor of History; Emilie M. Townes, dean of the Divinity School and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society; Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Peabody College; and Jeff Balser, dean of the School of Medicine and president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

This was the 19th celebration to honor faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs. A total of 187 chair holders have been honored since the initiative to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers was announced in August 2010 by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.