September 29, 2011

Vanderbilt endowed chair holders honored at event

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Beth Malow, M.D., was among those honored at Monday’s event for holders of newly endowed chairs. Here she is joined by Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Michael Burry, M.D., who funded the chair held by Malow and who is renowned for his insights into the nation’s financial challenges. (Photo by Tommy Lawson)

Vanderbilt endowed chair holders honored at event

Ten Vanderbilt University faculty members named to endowed chairs were praised for outstanding leadership in their academic fields and also on campus during a ceremony this week at the Student Life Center.

“This is a fantastic celebration of accomplishment on the part of our honorees today,” said Richard McCarty, Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “These chair holders play a critical role through their work with students, fellows and faculty colleagues in making Vanderbilt a great university. They also have vital roles to play in the translation of discoveries to the bedside.”

The Sept. 26 celebration marked the fourth in a series to honor the contributions of Vanderbilt chair holders.

Jeff Balser, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, noted that the endowed chairs have achieved a step beyond the ranking of full professor. He and McCarty called each of the honorees to the stage to be recognized for their impressive achievements.

The new chairs are:

• Larry M. Bartels, Ph.D., May Werthan Shayne Chair in Public Policy and Social Science
• Timothy S. Blackwell, Ralph and Lulu Owen Chair in Medicine
• Richard M. Caprioli, Ph.D., Stanford Moore Chair in Biochemistry
• Benoit M. Dawant, Ph.D., Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Engineering
• Mark R. Denison, M.D., Craig-Weaver Chair in Pediatrics
• Marilyn Friedman, Ph.D., W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy
• Beth A. Malow, M.D., Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development
• Robert J. Matusik, Ph.D., William L. Bray Chair in Urology
• Larry May, Ph.D. J.D., W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy
• Bruce T. Morrill, Edward A. Malloy Chair in Roman Catholic Studies

Balser and McCarty thanked the generous donors for their support. Among those in attendance was Michael J. Burry, M.D., a 1997 graduate of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He and his wife, Anh-Thi, established the Burry Chair in Cognitive Development in the Department of Pediatrics.

“The chairs we celebrate today represent both new investments, meaning donations in just the past few years, as well as gifts from many years ago,” McCarty said.

He credited Matthew Wright, the university’s chief investment officer, with playing an important role in Vanderbilt’s success in establishing chairs with major gifts, in some cases made decades ago.