Personal Development

Personal Development


 Commitment to Personal Development ensures that each student-athlete participating in Vanderbilt Athletics will be provided with opportunities to focus on personal growth issues such as defining  values, setting goals, and learning fiscal responsibility. Each component will be focused toward developing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Student-Athlete Orientation

Each first-year student-athlete will engage in a resource opportunity to understand what resources and information is available to them. Over the course of their time as Vanderbilt Student-Athletes they will engage with resources such as:

Engaging Wellness

Vanderbilt Athletics approaches the student-athlete experience wholistically which necessitates collaboration between the different departments that make up our athletic department. Vanderbilt student-athlete development staff work closely in programming efforts with Mental Health and Performance, Nutrition, and Student Services teams. 

Project Safe

The mission of the Project Safe Center is to provide information, support, referrals, and education about sexual and intimate partner violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), as well as consent, healthy relationships, and healthy sexuality to the Vanderbilt University community. Project Safe holds weekly office hours in McGugin as a resource for staff and student-athletes. 24-Hour Crisis/Support Hotline: (615) 322-7233 (SAFE).

Real Response

Vanderbilt student-athletes can access a platform where they can anonymously share feedback with administrators on issues impacting their student-athlete experience. Feedback may range from positive shout outs about people or aspects benefitting your experience, as well as compliance issues, gambling, hazing, drugs/alcohol, discrimination, sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, health/wellness issues, and locker room maintenance. 

I Am More Than

Sam DeFabrizio, Vanderbilt Men’s Cross Country Alum (2017) stated, ““It starts with asking, what do I do outside of my sport, and what do I care about?” DeFabrizio said. “So many of us define ourselves by being passionate about our sport, but ultimately it’s important to get away from that, too. Many student-athletes do amazing things at Vanderbilt athletics, from a focus on service to artists to people who are passionate about their country. It’s good to celebrate those who do things outside of their sport.”

DeFabrizio and many VU athletes understand themselves as more than a student-athlete. At a highly competitive institution, it is unsurprising that Vanderbilt student-athletes often are known for their academic accolades. And at a Division 1, SEC premier college, athletic pursuits are forefront in the college journey. The “I am More…” campaign highlights student-athletes’ array of accomplishments in addition to their respective sports.

Events & Workshops

Nashville Cultural Experience
We are lucky enough to partner with amazing community partners to host a day of immersion for student-athletes each summer. This experience allows student-athletes to see Nashville outside of the lens of the college-bubble and dive into the good work that is happening all around them when they move here. Interested in being a part of the Nashville Cultural Experience? Contact Student-Athlete Development here.

Senior Student-Athlete Workshop Series
Senior student-athletes have the opportunity to take advantage of their resources and time before they graduate to solidify networking experiences, job planning, budgeting, and other key topical areas to create a successful journey post grad.

Golden Dores

Golden Dores is an annual tradition where student-athletes gather to celebrate each others’ achievements, both on and off the field. 

Awards Include:

Commodores of the Year

Awarded to a graduating senior student-athletes who best represents their team, the student-athlete body, and the campus community.

2022-23 Golden Dores Award Winners

Female Newcomer of the Year:
Hannah McLaughlin, women’s soccer

Male Newcomer of the Year:
Ezra Manjon, men’s basketball

Female Comeback Player of the Year:
Anna Ross, women’s tennis

Male Comeback Player of the Year:
Liam Robbins, men’s basketball

Female Player of the Year:
Anessa Lee, women’s tennis

Male Player of the Year:
Gordon Sargent, men’s golf

Godfrey Dillard Award:
De’Rickey Wright, football

James A. Robins Award:
Mabel Cummins, bowling

Dr. Jerry Reves Award:
Max Beck, men’s cross country

Social Impact Award:
Kaira Brown, track & field

Perry Wallace Award:
Vanderbilt Athlete Ally

Play of the Year:
The buzzer beater shot with Vanderbilt men’s basketball against Tennessee (Tyrin Lawrence)

Miss Commodore:
Taylor Ward, swimming

Mr. Commodore:
Quentin Millora-Brown, men’s basketball

Staff Appreciation Award:
Josh Willhite