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Student & Faculty Support

Thank you for your interest in making a lasting impact on the College of Arts and Science through an endowed fund. Currently, the minimum gift to name an endowed fund is $100,000. Read more bout Vanderbilt’s endowment, including frequently asked questions.


Vanderbilt has taken a bold step to expand its financial aid program by creating Opportunity Vanderbilt—an initiative focused on raising endowment support for need-based undergraduate scholarships. This commitment reflects our belief that access to a Vanderbilt education should be based on ability to perform academically, not ability to pay.

Gifts through the Opportunity Vanderbilt initiative are an investment in the belief that Vanderbilt has a vital role in educating the most talented leaders for the next generation. We hope you will partner with us in building a community of young men and women distinguished in achievement; committed to hard work; eager to learn and lead; and diverse in background, experience, and perspective.


Immersion is a Vanderbilt-wide program that provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to pursue their passions and cultivate intellectual interests through experiential learning. It takes place both in and beyond the classroom and culminates in the creation of a final project under the supervision of a faculty adviser. As part of their Immersion experience, students may complete original scientific research, study abroad, produce original works of art, engage in community service, and more.

Your gift in this area helps fund Immersion experiences in the College of Arts and Science. Since students may complete Immersion at any of the Vanderbilt schools, regardless of their major, this program is an opportunity to extend the exceptional expertise and resources within Arts and Science to students from other academic backgrounds. Your gift also helps to expand Immersion options for students with fewer financial resources, who might otherwise be unable to take advantage of opportunities such as unpaid internships or study abroad.


Study abroad experiences enrich our students’ education in deep and meaningful ways—sparking their curiosity, widening their perspectives, and inspiring them to become lifelong learners. These lessons are at the heart of a liberal arts education and are critical to our students’ development as global citizens. Study abroad can also fulfill students’ Immersion requirement.

With 65 percent of undergraduate students receiving some form of financial assistance, Vanderbilt has a growing need to provide support for global education opportunities so that students of all financial backgrounds can have these life-changing experiences.


Faculty are at the heart of our school. They are the backbone of the educational experience we provide our students. They produce, create, and explore, constantly forging new paths and changing the way we view and understand the world. When we have world-class faculty, we have highly effective teachers, groundbreaking researchers, and collaborative and interdisciplinary scholars willing to tackle society’s biggest problems.

Supporting our faculty is supporting the College of Arts and Science. As an outstanding research university, we will use your gift to provide our students with unique learning experiences and to discover new solutions to challenges facing the world.


Because of the essential role faculty play at any institution, competition to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers is intense and only increasing. Endowed chairs are a critical and effective tool for recruiting and retaining the world’s best faculty. Endowed chairs are also vital to recruiting distinguished senior faculty who have served for many years at another institution. Endowed chairs signal scholarly achievement and ground-breaking research. 

At Vanderbilt, named chairs signal scholarly achievement, distinction, and the promise of future discovery through exceptional teaching and research. While some universities include many named chair holders on their faculties, many of those distinguished scholars have no contact with undergraduate students. At Vanderbilt, we work very hard to build a faculty of renowned scholars and researchers who also teach undergraduates. Vanderbilt undergraduates have access to the most exciting and talented scholars and teachers, and Vanderbilt’s commitment to a tradition of excellence in teaching remains a core value.

Endowed, named chairs are established through generous gifts from donors who recognize the importance of lasting support for outstanding faculty. The original endowment gift for a named chair is never spent. Instead, the funds are invested, and a portion of the earnings is used each year to support the research and teaching of the chair holder.

Those with an interest in ensuring faculty quality through an endowed chair have different options:

Type of Chair Gift Level Description
Endowed University Chair $2,500,000 Used to support a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar whose work influences multiple fields of study; formally appointed to two or more school faculties of the University
Endowed Chair $2,000,000 Used to recruit or retain a scholar whose achievements have earned distinction



The Dean’s Faculty Fellows program supports untenured faculty who show great promise to make an impact in their field. While working towards tenure, fellows receive funding for their research, scholarship, and creative expression. They are selected from a highly competitive pool and hold the title for two years.

Your gift to the Dean’s Faculty Fellows program helps us to retain highly desirable junior faculty who may receive offers from other schools. It also is a successful recruiting tool when hiring new rising stars to A&S.


As a leading research university, Vanderbilt is at the forefront of discovery. Faculty research funds act as venture capital, spearheading the kind of innovative work that leads to groundbreaking discovery.

Because federal grants are typically awarded to already-proven ideas, this philanthropic seed funding is critical to helping rising faculty collect the data needed to apply for these larger grants; thus, amplifying the donor’s original investment.


Immersion Scholar Grants  provide two years of funding for full-time tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty members to create Immersion experiences for undergraduate students. Support for Immersion Scholar Grants allows faculty to develop creative, immersive experiences that otherwise wouldn't have been available.


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General Inquiries:  (615) 343-3118 or 

Strategic Giving: Please contact Jonathan Petty at