Nestled close to downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University has stood as a stronghold of higher education in the southeastern United States since its founding in 1873 by a gift from railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. In recent years Vanderbilt has become one of the nation’s most engaging, lively, and balanced undergraduate institutions.
Characterized by a unique balance of academic rigor and social activity, the school has always attracted the nation’s top students. These students come to learn in an intimate and diverse academic setting; many of them have multiple majors or do research with their professors. Because it is comprised of four undergraduate schools and several renowned graduate programs, unique opportunities for academic exploration are provided. Students from all fifty states and ninety countries also bring to campus a buzz of activity. Their wide variety of extracurricular passions range from the more traditional (Division I sports, community service, and student government) to the more obscure (hot air ballooning, bowling, and disc golf). Students traditionally exhibit a thirst for service to the world around them, and over half of the student body also participates in volunteer activities. Every year many students travel to destinations ranging from South Dakota to New York City through the Alternative Spring Break program, which was founded in 1986.
A walk around Vanderbilt reveals one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. A national arboretum, its 330 acres are densely populated with leafy limbs under which students (and squirrels) habitually nap, snack, or study. The student body lives amidst the various species of trees and classic red brick buildings of the campus. Students find a fantastic community through residence life, starting with the commons, a new residential community dedicated to enhancing the first year experience.
A challenging and energetic university, Vanderbilt continues to seek students who hope to engage in four years of both academic and social learning. These students will play a vital role not only in contributing to Vanderbilt intellectually and socially, but also in shaping the direction of the university.