House and Commons Programming
The Ingram Commons supports a wide range of educational, social and cultural events — everything from a study group, impromptu game night, or a floor discussion to a musical evening, a community service project, or dinner with a notable guest at the dean's residence.
Faculty heads, students, and staff work together to plan events for the houses and The Ingram Commons as a whole. Traditions at The Ingram Commons abound, but each year's new students, together with faculty heads and residential staff, shape the direction of our events and outreach efforts. Student leadership is supplied early in the first semester by the Commons Leadership Council.
Events on The Ingram Commons that have become campus traditions include our Family Weekend arts and performance festival Fall for the Arts, Commons Mix-Ups, The Commons Ball, the End of Year Commons Celebration, and the annual Commons Cup competition among the houses. Other Commons-wide events include special lectures, community service projects, programs in recognition of MLK Day, and career-oriented events with Vanderbilt alumni.
The Commons Lecture Series (Year-long)
Among other academic events throughout the year, we host a number of annual lectures, including the Crawford Lecture, inspired by Frank Crawford, the wife of Cornelius Crawford; the Murray Lecture, in honor of Walter Murray, Jr.; and the Lawson Lecture, in honor of Rev. James Lawson. The Crawford Lecture highlights the accomplishments of women and promotes the empowerment of female leaders, while the Murray Lecture is held in tribute to African American trailblazers. Finally, the Lawson Lecture is held in conjunction with The Commons Reading, and the speaker addresses the new class in the fall on various themes or ideas associated with the reading.
Fall for the Arts (Family Weekend)
Residents and their families are encouraged to join us during Family Weekend for an outdoor festival of the arts, including an evening of student performances, original artwork on display and for sale, and art demonstrations. The celebration boasts a mouth-watering chef-crafted menu designed to highlight the colorful flavors of fall. Enjoy grilled bratwursts, freshly tossed salads, caramel apples, fire pits to melt marshmallows for s’mores, and more! Our best student musicians will be sharing their talents on the main stage, while families look on and enjoy the festival atmosphere.This event has something for the whole family.
The Commons Ball (February)
Each year the 10 house Presidents work alongside the Office of the Dean of The Ingram Commons and Vanderbilt Campus Dining to throw a ball for the class over the first weekend in February. The theme changes each year as the presidents decide. The Commons Center is transformed into a magical new landscape with dancing, activities, photos, and decadent food. This event is open to all members of the Vanderbilt community. Past themes have included: An Athenian Affair, The 20/20 Experience, Galaxy Gala, Vandy Ever After, the Yule Ball, the Commons Odyssey, Viva Las Vandy, the Passport Ball, the Golden Ticket Ball, and Mardi Gras.
End of Year Commons Celebration (April)
To celebrate the end of a successful first year and to recognize the accomplishments of the class, The Ingram Commons and Vanderbilt Dining host an end of year celebration. In past years, the celebration has been block party themed, complete with carnival games, funnel cake, delicious food, and service projects to benefit the local community. At this event, the winner of The Commons Cup is revealed and other house recognitions are awarded.
Commons Mix-Ups & The Commons Cup (Year-long)
All year long, residents of The Ingram Commons have the opportunity to participate in Commons Mix-Ups and The Commons Cup. These events bring together all 10 houses for socializing, learning, and fun.