Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is a private, R1 classified university renowned for its transformative education and research that offers internationally recognized programs and an immersive undergraduate experience. The university enrolls 13,710 students in ten schools and colleges that span a parklike campus in the heart of Nashville, the capitol of Tennessee. With research and development expenditures exceeding $1 billion in 2021, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center rank in the top 10 among private universities and in the top 25 overall on the most recent NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey.

A university of its hometown

Known for its dedication to higher education, Nashville holds the nickname “Athens of the South”  and has over 17 colleges or universities within the city limits. Vanderbilt enjoys strong ties to its hometown and views the city’s growth and flourishing as mutually beneficial to the university’s mission. Over the past 30 years, Nashville, has seen an influx of new residents from other states and other countries and has a current population of 1.3 million. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s data indicates that Nashville grew by 35, 624 people in 2022 or roughly 98 new residents a day.

Embracing radical collaboration

Vanderbilt University is committed to radical collaboration and seeks opportunities for further civic and community connectivity through partnerships with the greater Nashville community. The phrase “Radical Collaboration” is the simplest expression of Vanderbilt’s core identity and isn’t intended to be a tagline. Instead, it serves as an internal North Star to guide all of Vanderbilt’s actions and communication efforts.

This radical collaborative spirit imbues every facet of university life: from its residential college model that empowers students to learn from classmates and friends with different backgrounds, to its fully integrated approach to Commodore athletics, which sees athletics competition and teamwork as vital means of fostering student-athletes’ lifelong learning and growth.

Connecting campus to community

Vanderbilt University values positive, ethical, and sustainable relationships and partnerships with Nashville’s nonprofit and civic institutions. Faculty, staff, and students serve on community boards, volunteer extensively with local organizations, offer and host research opportunities for Nashville residents, and hold convening programs and spaces for the benefit of their home community.

The Community Relations team serves as a facilitator, connector and convener for local external partners and Vanderbilt University students, staff, faculty, and resources. The team supports nonprofit organizations financially and in partnership through the Community Impact Fund; convenes campus partners through the Vanderbilt University Community Engagement Collaborative; facilitates collaborative programming with nonprofit and neighborhood partners; and encourages radical collaboration between cross-departmental entities on campus and community partners through various funding opportunities.

Schools, offices, centers, and initiatives that work to advance civic and community engagement and the anchor mission at Vanderbilt University include:

Radical collaboration sets Vanderbilt apart, enabling faculty, staff, and students to transcend boundaries and have greater impact in everything they do.

Join us in welcoming Vanderbilt University to the CUMU membership.