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Mission and History


Mission: The Vanderbilt Center of Nashville Studies sits at the intersection of Nashville’s need for timely, community-initiated research and Vanderbilt's ability to serve as a resource in the form of expert faculty and students in any number of fields. The center's most unique contribution - both on and off campus - is facilitating concrete outcomes of importance to Nashville and to the region while ensuring meaningful means of engagement for the Vanderbilt community.

This mission is carried out through research projects, university-community partnerships, conversations and collaborations. 

History: Founded in 2007 with funding from the James Stephen Turner Charitable Foundation, the Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies was created to cultivate social scientific and historical research on Nashville among the university’s faculty and doctoral students.

Beginning in 2010, the center’s focus shifted to one with an emphasis on city and community leaders and an emphasis on serving as both a connector to resources and a clearinghouse for resources about community engagement in higher education.

Today the center is a jointly supported endeavor between the offices of the provost and academic affairs and the vice chancellor for public affairs.