The Cal Turner Program was originally conceived by Cal Turner, Jr., then Chairman and CEO of Dollar General Corporation, and Joseph Hough, Dean, Emeritus, of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Together, they envisioned a program that would intellectually probe the dimensions of moral leadership to the end of producing better leaders who represent both high achievement in their own professional spheres and leadership through their professions for the common good. Cal Turner, Jr. endowed the program in 1994 in the name of his father, Cal Turner, co-founder of Dollar General Stores Corporation.
Vanderbilt University's Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions' mission is to develop the leadership and ethical capacities of those serving in the professions.
The program is motivated by two important convictions.
First, that professionals — doctors, lawyers, ministers, nurses, educators, managers, etc — are not just experts but custodians of our central social institutions, and need to take an active role in their development. CTP strives to foster within Vanderbilt's students and its broader constituents a deep sense of vocation, encouraging professionals to remember the deeper purposes that motivate their work.
Second, many of the most significant social challenges require collaboration across the professions. Poverty, homelessness or healthcare, for instance, are not the property of any one professional group. Effective solutions will require partnering across the professional divides, and the CTP seeks to serve as a bridge, bringing professionals from a range of disciplines together to address some of these challenges.
CTP seeks to foster professional purpose and partnership.