Vanderbilt University Overview
Vanderbilt University is a private university in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the South. The Commodore hoped that his gift and the greater work of the university would help to heal the sectional wounds inflicted by the Civil War.
Today, Vanderbilt comprises four undergraduate and six graduate schools, enrolling approximately 11,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and over 90 foreign countries. In its 2009 ranking of universities, U.S. News & World Report placed Vanderbilt 18th among national universities, and the schools of education, law, medicine, and nursing were ranked among the top 20 in the country.
The university’s undergraduate programs are highly selective: in 2008, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions accepted 23% of applicants. In its most recent annual comparison of admissions selectivity, The Princeton Review gave Vanderbilt a rating of 98 out of 99. The freshmen in the Class of 2012 had standardized test scores that were well above average: the interquartile range (25th percentile-75th percentile) of SAT scores was 1380-1540 under the old scale, while the interquartile range of ACT scores was 31-34.
With the exception of the off-campus observatory, all of Vanderbilt’s facilities are situated on a 330-acre plot in the heart of Nashville, only 1.5 miles from downtown. Despite its urban surroundings, the campus itself is a national arboretum and features over 300 species of trees and shrubs.
Greeks are an active part of the social scene on and off campus, and the university is home to 21 fraternities and 14 sororities. As of 2006–2007, 35% of men were members of fraternities and 49% of women were members of sororities, or 42% of the total undergraduate population.
Vanderbilt is a charter member of the Southeastern Conference and is the conference’s only private school. With fewer than 6,600 undergraduates, the school is also the smallest in the conference; the SEC’s next-smallest school, the University of Mississippi, has nearly twice as many undergraduate students.
Men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s basketball are traditionally Vanderbilt’s strongest sports, with the more recently founded women’s lacrosse and bowling programs as well as the long-standing men’s baseball program experiencing moderate national success. After enjoying success in the first half of the 20th century, the football program has struggled in more recent times. However, they began the 2008 season 5-0 and went on to play in their first Bowl game in over 20 years. content via wikipedia