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 | July 2023
Melissa Gresalfi

Dear Vanderbilt families,  

My name is Melissa Gresalfi, and I am the dean of residential colleges and residential education, and dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt University. As dean of residential colleges, I oversee academic programming that happens outside of the classroom, with the goals of building inclusive communities among students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and of creating opportunities to learn more about yourself, your world and the person you want to become. 

Transitioning can be intense, exciting and a bit overwhelming for students and families alike. For that reason, we have a separate series of webinars incoming transfer students with information tailored to your questions and needs. I hope you join us for the webinar series, which takes place every other Wednesday from noon to 12:45 p.m. CT. Our first two webinars overviewed The Campus Reading and Transferring course credits. For upcoming webinars, there is a chance to submit your questions in advance.  

In the newsletter below, you will find information about how your students can get involved in the many campus opportunities Vanderbilt has to offer. I also invite you to connect with residential colleges on Instagram for the latest updates.  

We are looking forward to meeting you all soon. Again, welcome to Vanderbilt! 


Melissa Gresalfi 
Dean of Residential Colleges and Residential Education 
Dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons 
Professor, Mathematics Education and Learning Sciences 

Prepare for Move-In!

Transfer student move-in is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 18. Students will be provided with a specific afternoon move-in time when they get their room assignment information. Move-in times will range from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Room assignment information will be emailed to all incoming transfer and exchange students around Aug. 10.
Learn More

Transfer Student Orientation

Transfer Student Orientation is designed to offer you a robust introduction to life at Vanderbilt, including information sessions and small-group discussions that will help you navigate your academic program, campus resources, extracurricular activities and student life on Vanderbilt’s campus. Through orientation, you will also connect with Transfer Student Leaders (juniors and seniors who transferred to Vanderbilt themselves) and other incoming transfer students. Your Transfer Student Leader will serve as a guide throughout your first semester at Vanderbilt.
Learn More

Transfer Parent and Family Reception

Parents and families of new transfer students are invited to enjoy refreshments while being welcomed by university leaders. This event is co-sponsored by Parent and Family Programs and Residential Colleges.

Friday, Aug. 18, 8–9 p.m.
Engineering and Science Building (Wond’ry) Lobby

RSVP by Aug. 15. Questions can be directed to  

Finding Community

Vanderbilt’s student organizations and identity centers enable students with shared interests to find one another in a supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment. By bringing students together outside of the classroom, these organizations increase collective social mobility and provide additional opportunities for dialogue and immersion. Student organizations and identity centers enhance the vibrant Vanderbilt community and create opportunities for students to empower and learn from one another. 

Specific organizations range from Vanderbilt Student Government to special interest groups like the Geology Club, Running Club and Vanderbilt Piano Society, among many others, to official associations like the American Medical Student Association and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. 
Learn More

Anchor Link

Anchor Link is a crucial tool for Vanderbilt’s 500+ student organizations, helping leaders engage with members, publicize events, post important news or receive applications. It serves as the central calendar for student life and has groups for every registered student organization, residence hall and living-learning community on campus, as well as a variety of university departments, programs and resources.
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Experience Vanderbilt 

Experience Vanderbilt is a student-led, university-supported initiative that provides undergraduate students who qualify with funding for extracurricular activities that have fees. These extracurricular activities include student organizations, club sports, arts and cultural experiences, service trips, outdoor recreation trips, Greek Life or any official Vanderbilt student organization that has fees associated with participation. 
Learn More

Welcome Website - Everything You Need to Know! 

Visit the Welcome website for incoming students to check out important dates, find to-do lists, explore pre-arrival programs and so much more. 

In addition, your student will receive emails to their Vanderbilt email (VU Gmail) throughout the summer with important dates and information. 

Email communications sent to students can be found here
Important Dates
Commodore Card photo deadline is July 15
Commodore Cash funds deadline is July 15.  
Vanderbilt Visions group change request deadline is July 18.  

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Important Checklist from the Office of the Dean of Students

Make sure your student has adequate renter’s insurance. Learn More

Make sure your student has the required health insurance coverage, and, if necessary, complete the waiver by the deadline. Learn More

Consider purchasing adequate tuition insurance. Vanderbilt has partnered with GradGuard to offer a completely optional tuition protection plan. Learn More

Subscribe to the new AlertVU public portal for community members who are not students, faculty or staff of the university. Learn More 

Family Weekend Registration opens Aug. 22!

Mark your calendars for Family Weekend on Oct. 13–15! Join the Vanderbilt community in fun activities that will connect families to Vanderbilt traditions and Nashville, their student’s new home. Registration will launch on Aug. 22, and a full schedule of events will be coming later this fall.
During Family Weekend, the 'Dores will play reigning national champion Georgia. VU parents and families will have an opportunity to purchase tickets early through a unique link on a first come, first served basis. If you would like your student to sit with you during the game, you will need to purchase an additional ticket for them. Be on the lookout for an email with ticket information soon!
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.
Learn More

The Vanderbilt Alumni Association Invites You and Your Family to a Commodore Launch  

Commodore Launches are a 50+ year tradition focused on welcoming incoming students and families to the Vanderbilt community. Join fellow students, families and alumni as we welcome our newest Commodores and launch their Vanderbilt experience! 

Celebrations will be held throughout the summer across the country and globe. More parties may be added, so be sure to check back frequently. 
Find Your Party

Your New VU Webinars

Residential Colleges hosts Zoom webinars to discuss vital campus resources for incoming transfer students. All sessions are on Wednesdays, noon–12:45 p.m. CT. Attendees are invited to submit questions for each webinar in advance. All those who attend are entered into drawings for VU swag! For those unable to attend, recordings are available.

July 12 | Being YOU at VU: Exploring Your Identity on Campus | Join Here

July 26 | What I Wish I Knew as a VU Transfer Student: Panel Discussion | Join Here
Learn More

Join our Facebook group for Parents and Families!

The Vanderbilt Parents & Families Group is a private Facebook group solely for parents and guardians of current Vanderbilt University students. It was created to engage, inform and connect members of this community. It is a great place to ask questions of families who have been in your position and to be updated about new ways to get involved with Vanderbilt.
Join Here
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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