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"Community is part and parcel of the architecture of education, and the supporting architecture of each house — from the faculty head to the resident advisers — serves as the external engineering that allows the internal engineering — of the students — to occur."


Community starts with 1,600 first-year students living together in one central location—but it continues on every residence hall floor, in every Vanderbilt Visions group, and most importantly, with the understanding that we are all part of the same university. 

All students begin their time at Vanderbilt the same way—by taking the journey from The Ingram Commons to Alumni Lawn during Founders Walk on Move-In Weekend. From there, intentional programming at all levels of The Commons—from the whole class to each floor—seeks to ensure that students not only embrace the diversity of the university community, but also develop cognizance of their individual role in creating a supportive environment. Students are not just participants in this community; they also actively create its diversity, inclusion, and ongoing dialogue. 

“The Commons experience is unlike any other. Living in such close quarters with my entire first-year class has created strong family-like bonds that I know will endure long past my college years. The many house activities and late night conversations in The Commons Center quickly made me feel at home. Everyone came from different backgrounds, so each conversation was a learning experience and every new friend was an opportunity to grow. This unique environment has definitely established a solid foundation for the rest of my years here at Vanderbilt.”
-Sharonda Adams, '21, Gillette House President