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Dream Big

Peabody College has long been a beacon of innovation. The Head Start Program started because of us. Special education became a serious discipline thanks to our efforts. Our undergraduate major in human and organizational development elevated practice-oriented education to a new level. Today, the breadth of our impact is considerable—reaching from Nashville to southern China.

What will our next 150 years look like? How will we remain a place that trains leaders to change lives? You are one of our key partners, and we look to you to find your own role in advancing Peabody as a leader in improving the human condition.

Photo of Lin Reish


Class of '20
Esserman Family Scholarship

Lin Reish is an overachiever by any definition. On any given day, you’ll find her excelling at her human and organizational development classes, creating a podcast for incarcerated nonviolent offenders or volunteering at Peabody’s Susan Gray School.

Freed from the worry of accumulating student debt, her scholarship allows her to pursue these interests and passions.

“Going to an elite university like Vanderbilt is something that everyone dreams of, but having the funds to do so is something most people don’t have, including me,” Reish says. “I got my financial aid award about two weeks after my acceptance, and my mom and I both cried—we didn’t think it was really possible.”

Points of Pride

Top 10 Consistent Ranking of Peabody by U.S. News, including five no. 1 rankings
The original Peabody is home to the nation’s first Interdisciplinary Doctorate in Educational Neuroscience
No. 1 U.S. News Ranking for educational administration and supervision; Five of Peabody's programs are ranked in the top five for their disciplines
Seven number of Peabody faculty listed in American Enterpirse Institute's rankings of most influential education scholars

Our Priorities


Opportunity Vanderbilt meets the scholarship needs, without loans, of every undergraduate student who attends Vanderbilt.

There are very few universities in this country who are equally committed to access; those who do have a similar financial aid program typically have much larger endowments. Because Peabody students often commit themselves to altruistic careers without high salaries, increasing scholarship endowment is critical to their future, as well as Opportunity Vanderbilt’s long-term sustainability.


Peabody is distinctive among our top peers for our dedication to data-driven research and the public good.

These commitments draw talented students from across the country to our campus. Our scholarship funds for professional students are limited, however. More than 75 percent of the time, when a professional student declines our admissions offer, it is because they received a better scholarship package elsewhere. We must increase our endowment so we can continue to equip future educators and decision makers with the tools only Peabody can give them.


As the highest honor in academia, endowed chairs are vital to attracting and retaining the best scholars who, in turn, shape important academic programs and spark a passion for learning in their students.

They are faculty experts like Bruce Compas, a pioneer in coping strategies related to stress, with a particular focus on families who have a child with cancer, or Lynn and Doug Fuchs, international leaders in the study of learning disabilities. Chairs will be equally vital in retaining young faculty members who are rising stars in their fields.


The breadth of Peabody’s expertise is underscored through our many programs, which allow students and faculty to translate discoveries into practice.

Several programs will be a particular focus for Peabody over the next years, including the Susan Gray School, a research-based preschool devoted to children with developmental disabilities; educational neuroscience, an emerging field focusing on the biological underpinnings of how we learn; and outreach efforts to extend Peabody’s public influence for at-risk students and urban learners.


Now is the time to bring our physical campus up to speed with our learning community.

Renovations in the Home Economics and Mayborn buildings will provide open, flexible learning spaces where student and faculty can come together to collaborate in both formal and informal settings. Highlights include a learning center, which will connect the two buildings; active learning classrooms; a maker space; a science teaching lab; a simulation lab; and a student lounge.



Annual gifts go to work immediately and allow us to ensure that the possibilities available to our students are truly limitless. When you invest in Peabody by making an annual gift, you provide

  • Additional scholarship support for students who otherwise may not be able to afford a Vanderbilt education
  • Innovative programs that extend educational growth beyond the classroom, such as opportunities to engage in social entrepreneurship and research


Planned gifts, including bequests and life income gifts, are designed to help you meet your financial and charitable goals while supporting Peabody in the long term. Such a legacy will ensure that Peabody faculty and graduates continue to contribute leadership in education and human development.

“Peabody has long been a leader in creating and fostering exceptional people. In turn, they go and help others flourish. Whether in the classroom or the boardroom, drafting policy or preschool curricula, our graduates and faculty members are turning ideas into action. This is, and always has been, the Peabody way.”

– Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development, Peabody College

Financial Snapshot

How Peabody’s $204.6 million endowment is used

Chart: How Peabody’s $204.6 million endowment is used

Endowment Peer Comparison

Chart: Endowment Peer Comparison *These figures are calculated using fiscal year 2017 endowments and fall 2016 full-time equivalent students, as reported by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

For more information about how you can join us in strengthening Peabody’s future, please contact (615) 322-8500 or