NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt University today announced that the ongoing Vandy United campaign achieved its initial $300 million fundraising goal. This first phase represents the largest campaign in the history of Vanderbilt athletics and ushers in a new era of historic investment in student-athletes and the athletics experience.
“I’m so grateful to Commodore Nation for giving us the opportunity to begin a new chapter of the Vandy United story through the university’s Dare to Grow campaign,” said Candice Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. “Two years ago, we asked for our community’s trust. We asked alumni and supporters to trust a vision for the future—a vision not just of new facilities but of hope, optimism and what is possible for Vanderbilt Athletics. Commodore Nation willingly extended us that faith. Thanks to the generosity of so many, we reached the campaign’s bold initial goal. Now it’s time to double down. As the university launches the comprehensive and transformational Dare to Grow campaign, I’m excited for Athletics to keep leading the way. Even as we see the future begin to take shape around us, the next chapter of Vandy United only strengthens our commitment to creating the best student-athlete and fan experience in college sports.”
An integral part of Vanderbilt’s recently launched $3.2 billion Dare to Grow campaign, the largest in the university’s 150-year history, Vandy United’s next phase looks to build on its foundation with more facilities and operational enhancements. These include a major announcement coming soon about enhancements to Hawkins Field, home of Coach Tim Corbin’s two-time national champion VandyBoys.
“Vandy United’s successful first phase illustrated what is possible when our global Vanderbilt community joins together in common purpose, and I look forward to the next chapter as we come together to reach the goals of our Dare to Grow campaign,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “As we witnessed most recently when our bowling team won the national championship for the third time, athletics and the pursuit of competitive excellence has a rare ability to unite and inspire communities. By fostering this spirit of One Vanderbilt, bringing together the best and brightest to make each other better, Vandy United and the Dare to Grow campaign empower our student-athletes and university to rise to the challenges of a new century.”
Launched a little more than two years ago with an initial $100 million commitment from the university and a $10 million lead gift from Board of Trust member John R. Ingram, MBA’86, Vandy United is a transformational pledge to the student-athlete and fan experiences. Further fueled by historic giving from alumni and supporters across the Vanderbilt community, the largest undertaking of its kind in Vanderbilt Athletics’ history is rapidly transforming the Athletics footprint—including the dedication of the Frist Athletics Village to honor the support of Board of Trust member Jennifer R. Frist, BS’93, and William R. (Billy) Frist.
Work has already begun on multiple cornerstone Vandy United projects.
Basketball operations center and north end zone at FirstBank Stadium: Vanderbilt broke ground on the state-of-the-art men’s and women’s basketball practice facility in February. North end zone renovations will introduce new premium seating experiences, a videoboard and a north concourse expansion at FirstBank Stadium.
South end zone at FirstBank Stadium: Construction is underway to replace the south end zone seating bowl, add premium seating experiences, renovate the concourse and add a new videoboard and stadium acoustics. Additionally, a new multi-story building will be home to the football game day locker room and a significantly expanded training table for all Vanderbilt student-athletes.
Football operations and McGugin Center: The McGugin Center will see its square footage significantly expanded, with amenities to serve the needs of all student-athletes. Additionally, funded with part of Vandy United’s lead gift and housed within the McGugin Center, the Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success takes a restructured approach to how Vanderbilt Athletics supports support academic, personal and career development.
Indoor football practice facility: Offering a 120-yard artificial turf field and encompassing more than 100,000 square feet, the indoor facility enhances year-round training opportunities.
Launched as Vanderbilt begins the yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding, the Dare to Grow campaign is designed to drive bold new levels of growth and to shape the next 150 years. Vandy United’s next phase represents a pillar of one of the Dare to Grow campaign’s three principal pathways for giving: One Vanderbilt. Rooted deeply in the university mission, the idea of One Vanderbilt holds that through radical collaboration, every corner of campus comes together to make each other better.
The Dare to Grow phase of Vandy United reflects Athletics’ unique ability to unite the community, while also providing student-athletes with the tools and experiences to grow. Vanderbilt supporters kicked off the new phase with gifts to Athletics totaling more than $7 million on Giving Day, more than double any other school or area during a hugely successful day across the university.
Investments in the new phase of Vandy United include:
Vanderbilt Legends Club: Former Vanderbilt student-athletes and Hall of Fame inductees Toby Wilt, BE’66, Brandt Snedeker, BA’03, and Lew Conner, BA’60, JD’63, along with their wives, Lucianne Wilt, Mandy Snedeker, BA’02, and Ashley Conner, BA’60, made seed gifts with the goal of inspiring and facilitating gifts from other alumni and supporters. Work is underway on enhancements to team facilities that reimagine the future of Vanderbilt golf and reaffirm Vanderbilt’s long-standing commitment to the home that has helped Commodores grow into SEC and NCAA champions.
Lummis Family Tennis Center: Fred and Claudia Lummis, both BA’76, and their sons—Fred III, Dan, BA’05, and Ben, BA’08—have made the lead gift with the goal of inspiring and facilitating gifts from other alumni and donors to champion state-of-the-art tennis facilities to benefit both the Vanderbilt and greater Nashville communities.
Volleyball’s return: Enabled by Vandy United, Vanderbilt’s 17th varsity sport will begin competition in the 2025–26 academic year. Under the direction of head coach Anders Nelson, one of the fastest-growing youth sports in Tennessee will return to Vanderbilt for the first time since the 1979–80 season.
Vanderbilt invites supporters to stay tuned for additional announcements about the Dare to Grow phase of Vandy United, including a major baseball announcement later this spring.
To learn more about the Vandy United Fund and find out how to get involved, including naming opportunities for golf and tennis initiatives, visit vucommodores.com/vandyunited.