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Endowed Faculty Chairs

Vanderbilt Law School has thrived for the past 60 years thanks to a dedicated cadre of faculty leaders. In the early 1950s, Dean John Wade reinvigorated Vanderbilt's academic life, solidified its reputation, and set it on course to become a top-tier law school with national reach. Faculty recruitment and retention were the key elements of Dean Wade's success. He understood that his investment in excellent teachers who were also innovative, outstanding scholars would pay big dividends by attracting bright, highly motivated students from throughout the nation. These talented students would become leaders in the legal profession and essential supporters of Vanderbilt Law School.

Why endow a faculty chair?

  • A top-tier faculty creates and sustains a top-tier law school.

Vanderbilt now ranks among the top law schools in the U.S., a fact that not only reflects Dean Wade's foresight, but also the dedication of his successors, who continued to build on his tradition of hiring world-class teachers and scholars. Today, we owe a lasting debt to generations of dedicated faculty who have worked with students and alumni to create and sustain Vanderbilt's unique combination of intellectual community now draws top students from the U.S. and abroad, and also attracts promising young teachers who seek out our stimulating and supportive atmosphere. Endowed chairs enable Vanderbilt to reward and retain the accomplished faculty on who teaching, mentoring and scholarly accomplishments our school's success depends.

  • Chairs reward faculty at the pinnacle of their careers.

Endowed chairs are only awarded to teachers who are acknowledged leaders in their areas of expertise. Appropriately, many chairs are endowed by and honor those whose careers reflect similarly significant achievements.

  • Vanderbilt's future success depends on new endowed chairs.

Our future depends heavily on our ability to attract world-class teachers, as they in turn attract each new class of outstanding students. Endowing a faculty chair is one of the most important contributions you can make to assure Vanderbilt's long-term future as a leading law school.

  • Chairs help underwrite the cost of a great Vanderbilt faculty.

Excellence is expensive. Vanderbilt currently depends on tuition income for approximately two-thirds of its operating expenses, and on alumni contributions and endowment income for most of the remainder. By endowing a chair now, you have a unique opportunity: (1) to permanently underwrite a significant portion of the cost of an outstanding teacher and scholar for future generations of Vanderbilt law students, and (2) to generate sustainable support for the caliber of teaching and scholarship that makes a lasting contribution to the legal profession.

  • Join an elite group of alumni and friends.

When you endow a faculty chair, you join an elite group of alumni and friends who have made an enduring investment in the future of Vanderbilt Law School.