January 19, 2007

Levitt to hold newly created Eskind Chair

Featured Image

On hand at the announcement of the new Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair were, from left, Harry Jacobson, M.D., Annette Eskind, Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D., and the chair’s holder, Pat Levitt, Ph.D.
Photo by Tommy Lawson

Levitt to hold newly created Eskind Chair

Longtime Vanderbilt University Medical Center supporter Annette Eskind recently endowed the Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair.

It will be held by Pat Levitt, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

“There is one true thing to be said of Annette Eskind — she is involved,” Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, said. “Her leadership in advocating for strong cultural and human relations is admirable.

“Annette and her late husband, Irwin, have become synonymous with generosity, not only to Vanderbilt, but throughout this community.”

Levitt’s contributions make him the perfect choice to hold the chair, Jacobson said.

“Under Pat’s leadership, the already sterling reputation of the Kennedy Center has grown to national and international scope. Its researchers are recognized as thought leaders around the world, and its integrated approach to service for the whole family establishes a new paradigm in care,” Jacobson said.

Levitt said holding the chair is a high honor.

“The Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair has great meaning for me, personally, because of the unparalleled dedication and generosity that Annette and her family have exhibited to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and to the University at large,” Levitt said.

Eskind has played an active role in supporting public and special education throughout Middle Tennessee. The Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair represents her commitment as the founding chair and a longstanding member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Council and as an advocate for children with special needs.

A graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work, Eskind worked for many years as casework supervisor for Jewish Family Service in Nashville. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Throughout her career, she has been involved in dozens of civic activities. Eskind served on the Nashville Board of Education for nine years and founded the Nashville Public Education Foundation. She is the recipient of the Human Relations Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Alexis deTocqueville Award of the United Way, and the Academy of Women of Achievement Award of the YWCA.

Eskind and her late husband have been generous supporters of VUMC for decades. Two facilities on the Medical Center campus bear the family's name — the Eskind Biomedical Library and the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Clinic.