Founded in 1873 with a USD 1 million gift from “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt to establish an institution that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country,” Vanderbilt today is a globally renowned research university. Its 10 schools reside on a park like campus set in the urban heart of Nashville, Tennessee, providing a collaborative atmosphere of discovery that drives positive change in the world.
Top-ranked in both academics and financial aid, Vanderbilt offers an immersive living–learning undergraduate experience, with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development. The university also is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate schools of law, education, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and offers robust graduate-degree programs across a range of disciplines.
Vanderbilt University is committed to inclusive excellence, drawing the world's brightest students, faculty and distinguished visitors from across all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The university's prominent alumni base includes Nobel Prize winners, members of Congress, governors, ambassadors, judges, admirals, CEOs, university presidents, physicians and attorneys, as well as professional sports figures playing in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGA and LPGA.
Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.
Located a mile and a half southwest of downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt is home to more than 300 tree and shrub varieties and was designated an arboretum in 1988. The campus is spread over 334 acres consisting of 178 buildings. The oldest building on the original campus was constructed around 1859. The Peabody College section of campus has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark since 1966. Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, located about nine miles from campus, also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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