Tracey George is the new Tarkington professor of Teaching Excellence
Endowed by Carlton Tarkington ’63 (BA’59), the three-year chair recognizes outstanding teaching.
For the past five years, students entering Vanderbilt Law School have taken their first class—The Life of the Law—during Orientation Week. “The class is designed to give students the tools, techniques and background they need to succeed in their first year of law school,” George said. She developed the one-week course with colleague Suzanna Sherry, the Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, and the two co-authored the course textbook, What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know: An Introduction to the Study of Law (Aspen, 2009).
George’s genuine commitment to helping brand-new law students hit the ground running stems from her experience teaching first-year Contracts. She has won four teaching prizes for that course and literally wrote the book for it. George co-authored a casebook and statutory supplement for Contracts, K: A Common Law Approach to Contract Law (Aspen, 2012), with UCLA Law Professor Russell Korobkin. “Tracey is an outstanding teacher even among a faculty of outstanding teachers,” said Lisa Bressman, associate dean for academic affairs and the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law. “Her students speak of her dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching long after they leave her classroom.”
George is the fourth member of Vanderbilt’s law faculty to hold the three-year chair. She appreciates the honor because it recognizes teaching excellence. “I am grateful to the Tarkingtons and so honored to hold the chair previously held by my colleagues Mike Vandenbergh, Richard Nagareda and Tom McCoy,” George said. “I owe any teaching success I have enjoyed to our gifted students and to my colleagues, who are truly devoted to our teaching mission.”
Tarkington, who was the law school’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus, endowed the chair in 1998. He had retired from a long and successful career as an executive with West Publishing and then founded Edinburgh Investments, an investment banking firm, in 1996. He has since founded two banks, the Bank of Bellevue and PrimeTrust Bank, which merged with Bank of the South in 2006. Tarkington also endowed the law school’s Tarkington Suite, which includes the library’s reading room, a computer lab and a computer room.