April 7, 2011

New endowed chair holders recognized

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L. Jackson Roberts II, M.D., left, is congratulated by Richard McCarty, Ph.D., and Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., at Tuesday’s event honoring 11 faculty members recently named to hold endowed chairs. (photo by Steve Green)

New endowed chair holders recognized

Eleven Vanderbilt faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs were praised for their outstanding academic achievements during a celebration Tuesday at the Student Life Center.

“We are a place that values discovery, creativity, great patient care and service in support of our society,” said Richard McCarty, Ph.D., Provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “And it’s also the transfer of the passion of your academic scholarship that benefits our students as well as the larger society.”

McCarty expressed gratitude for the chair holders’ work as leaders on campus, in their various fields and in the broader society.

The ceremony was the second in a series of events to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of new chair holders at Vanderbilt.

“This is one of those very special times in the life of a university when we recognize the people that truly make us great, and those are the people who have risen to a point in their academic life where the university gives them an endowed chair,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

The University's initiative to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers with the new chairs was announced by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos last August.

The newly honored chairs are:

Jonathan Haines, Ph.D., Louise B. McGavock Chair;

David Harrison, M.D., Betty and Jack Bailey Chair in Cardiology;

Steven Hollon, Ph.D., Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Psychology;

Owen Jones, J.D., New York Alumni Chancellor's Chair in Law;

Michael Kreyling, Ph.D., Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in English;

L. Jackson Roberts II, M.D., William Stokes Chair in Experimental Therapeutics;

Sandra Rosenthal, Ph.D., Jack and Pamela Egan Chair in Chemistry;

Mitchell Seligson, Ph.D., Centennial Chair in Political Science;

David Wood, Ph.D., W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy;

Christopher Wright, D.Phil., Louise B. McGavock Chair; and

Mary Zutter, M.D., Louise B. McGavock Chair.

Balser and McCarty gave thanks to the generous donors who have made it possible to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers on campus.

They noted that the gifts range from one chair given late last calendar year to others that date back to members of the Vanderbilt family.

“We can never acknowledge too frequently the power of those gifts when magnified over time and what they have made possible at Vanderbilt,” McCarty said.

Approximately 200 colleagues, friends and family members of the honorees turned out for the ceremony and reception.