Two faculty members honored at inaugural endowed chair investiture ceremony

Two faculty members were among 26 Vanderbilt faculty who were honored by Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver at an endowed chair investiture ceremony on campus Feb. 24, conferring the university’s highest scholastic rank on those who had received the designation during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

David Kosson

They are David Kosson, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who will hold the Gass Family Chair in Energy and the Environment, and Bradley A. Malin, professor of computer science, who will hold the Accenture Chair. Malin will be the Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics, and Computer Science.

“As a milestone in their careers, this event is both a culmination and a new beginning,” Diermeier said in remarks at the event, held at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center. Also in attendance were numerous benefactors for whom many of the endowed chairs are named.

Bradley Malin

“The honor that we confer today bears new, important responsibility and great potential to create lasting impact in our world,” Diermeier said.

The scholars, from seven colleges and schools, were recognized and presented by the deans of their college or school with a specially designed medallion that symbolizes their attainment of this position and will become part of their official academic regalia.

“Your vital work will continue to expand upward and outward in its significance and impact as you transform your respective fields of scholarly inquiry,” Raver told the chair recipients. “You will continue to develop and test new theories, inform new policies, and make meaning through new forms of creative expression.”

The new investiture ceremony expands upon the university’s traditional format, reflecting the deep commitment to scholarly excellence by the faculty members being honored and support of those efforts by Vanderbilt donors. An investiture is a tradition dating across centuries that is used across academia and beyond to install individuals in key roles with accompanying tradition, symbols and ceremony—including, in this case, the wearing of regalia and the new medallions.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Tracey George served as emcee of the ceremony and presented the newly endowed chair holders.

Vanderbilt faculty hold 448 endowed chairs across the university and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In recognition of the significance of endowed chair designations, all current chairholders also will receive the new medallions.

Additional endowed chair honoress from 2020 and 2021, including Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos and Provost Raver, will be honored at a second investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Mar. 30.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314