Information you can use for your soon-to-be Vanderbilt University student
Information you can use for your soon-to-be Vanderbilt University student
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Vanderbilt University
Commodore Connection | August 2023

A Message from Natalee Erb, Director of the First-Year Experience

My name is Natalee Erb, and I serve as the director of the first-year experience for Residential Colleges. I coordinate and oversee initiatives across The Ingram Commons, including student leadership development, learning outcomes, first-year seminars and orientation programming for incoming undergraduates. 
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PAFA Perspectives

Introducing a monthly feature for parents by parents, written by PAFA Board Chairs Roseann and Jeff Gapusan.
In a few short days, our students will be moving to campus, and we will welcome in a new school year! The years at Vanderbilt fly by, so this is the year to start participating with the Parents and Family Association and/or other Vanderbilt events. 
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Preparing for Move-In Day

First-year student move-in is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19. Students will be provided with a specific move-in time, between 7 a.m. and noon, with their room assignment information. 
First-year international students should plan to move in on Wednesday, Aug. 16. 
Room assignment information was emailed to all incoming first-year students on or before Aug. 1. The Office of Housing and Residential Experience looks forward to welcoming your student to their campus home! 
For a hub of all information relating to preparing your student for their first days on campus, visit the new student welcome website.
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Move-In Photo Booth

At Move-In, commemorate your first day as a Commodore with a photo sponsored by Student Affairs and the Parents and Family Programs office. Meet new people, grab a souvenir and have a chance to win some Vandy swag! 
The photo booth will be on Amphitheater Lawn. 

Parents and Family Orientation

Parents and families are invited to participate in an orientation session that includes remarks from Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, a panel discussion on health, safety and wellness, and a panel discussion on academics, immersion and professional development. The session will be livestreamed and recorded. Parking is available in the 25th Avenue Garage. If you have questions, email

Saturday, Aug. 19, 5:30–7:30 p.m.  
Langford Auditorium   

Parents and Family Reception

After orientation, join Dean of Residential Colleges & Residential Education Melissa Gresalfi, panelists and other families for light refreshments.  
Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30–8:30 p.m.  
Langford Auditorium Lobby  

International Parents and Family Reception

Parents and families of new international students are invited to enjoy refreshments while being welcomed by university departments including Residential Colleges, Parent and Family Programs, International Student & Scholar Services and more.
RSVP here by Aug. 11. Questions can be directed to  
Thursday, Aug. 17, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m.
Student Life Center Board of Trust (BOT) Room  

Eating on campus

Vanderbilt’s dining halls are a key part of campus life, and our meal plans are designed to enhance students’ residential college experience. 
Your student’s meal plan can be used in a variety of on-campus locations, including residential dining halls, retail locations, cafes and our popular Munchie Marts.  
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Transportation around campus and Nashville 

Vanderbilt offers a variety of transportation options for travel around campus and Nashville for students, including bike racks around campus for personal use, free rides on Nashville’s bus system using your Commodore Card, the VandyRide nighttime shuttle service around campus, designated ridehail pick-up and drop-off locations, and more. 
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VandySafe app

The VandySafe app, available for iPhone and Android, integrates with the university’s safety and security systems to provide students with added safety on campus. With VandySafe, users can contact VUPD by phone or in a real-time chat, trigger a mobile Bluelight that shares their location instantly with VUPD, initiate a “Virtual Walkhome” where VUPD can monitor their walk and many more features.  
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Multicultural Parent and Family Welcome 

Student Center for Social Justice and Identity would like to welcome all of the Latin American and Hispanic, Native and Indigenous, and APIDA-identifying students and families and support systems to Vanderbilt. Come and learn about the SCSJI and local community resources. All are welcome to attend. For any questions and additional information about accessibility or accommodations, please email
  • Date: Aug. 19 
  • Time: 2:30–3:30 p.m. 
  • Location: Multicultural Lounge (Sarratt Student Center 335), 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240 
RSVP by Aug. 11

Family Weekend Registration opens Aug. 22!

Join the Vanderbilt community on Oct. 13–15 for fun activities that will connect families to Vanderbilt traditions and Nashville, their student’s new home! The whole family will have a blast at this year’s Family Weekend with exciting new additions in and around educational panels, fun campus tours and cheering on the ’Dores.  
This year, families get to help choose the Family Weekend giveaway T-shirts. Cast your vote for your favorite design, and make sure you register on Aug. 22—only Family Weekend participants will find out which shirt won! Families can also go on “Cornelius’ Quest,” a scavenger hunt over the weekend in celebration of our 150th anniversary to win a prize.
A detailed email with registration instructions will be sent on Aug. 22. We strongly encourage you to reserve your accommodations now; hotels and rentals fill up quickly. For additional trip planning resources, please visit the Visiting Nashville page for hotel discounts and more. 
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Volunteers needed for Family Weekend

If you are looking for a fun way to get more involved in the Vanderbilt community and meet other families, consider serving as a Family Weekend volunteer. Volunteers help with check-in, greet guests, hand out giveaways and more. Complete our volunteer sign-up form below, and we will reach out with more information. 
I Want to Volunteer!

Vanderbilt Chapter Events 

Vanderbilt vs. UNLV Commodore Tailgate | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 1:30–3:30 p.m. PT  
Parents, alumni, families and friends are invited to join the Vanderbilt Alumni Association and the National Commodore Club in Las Vegas for the official tailgate for the Vanderbilt vs. UNLV football away game. Put on your BLACK and GOLD and Anchor Down with the Commodores!  
Register Here

Special note from Sandra Robinson, Director of Parents and Family Programs

This is the last of the special Commodore Connection series for incoming parents and guardians. We hope that these newsletters have been informative as you have been preparing to send your student to Vanderbilt. Starting in September, you will receive the same monthly Commodore Connection as all parents and families, which will continue until your student graduates. We are so glad to have you as part of our Vanderbilt community! 
Important Links headline

Parents and Family Programs
PMB 401627 | 2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 7240-1627
Parent Information Line: (877) 887 2736 |

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