QR Code Tour
If you see students wandering around campus looking down at their phones, they may not be playing Pokémon Go. This year, we are kicking off the newly revised Vanderbilt Visions curriculum for first-year students with an interactive activity that will give students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus an opportunity to learn more about African American athletics pioneer and Vanderbilt alumnus Perry Wallace.
Using their smartphones, first-year students will be able to scan QR codes to take an interactive tour of campus that will both help familiarize them with their new home and with the campus experiences of Wallace—the subject of a shared reading they completed over the summer in preparation for their arrival at Vanderbilt.
The QR code tour highlights key landmarks and spaces across the university described in The New York Times bestselling book Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South . Written by Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science alumnus Andrew Maraniss, the book chronicles Wallace’s time as an engineering major who, as a member of the Vanderbilt Commodore basketball team, became the first African American to play varsity basketball in the Southeastern Conference. Those taking the interactive tour will visit locations that played a major role in Wallace’s life while he was a Vanderbilt student in the 1960s.
During the week of Aug. 29, first-year students and their student and faculty VUceptors—mentors for first-year students who are chosen through a selective application process—will travel across campus, smartphones in hand, to scan the QR codes that in most cases will be located on the front doors of the buildings included in the tour. The codes are linked to audio files recorded by Maraniss and returning Vanderbilt sophomores, juniors and seniors, in which they share information from the book about some of Wallace’s key moments and relationships on campus .
Other members of the Vanderbilt community as well as visitors to campus also will be able to take the walking tour by scanning the QR codes at the various sites during the week of Aug. 29.
Following that week, the tour will only be available online, where an interactive map will allow users to click on the map to read and hear audio files about Wallace’s experiences related to each campus location.