The newest college hall, currently under construction and scheduled to open during fall 2018, will be named after E. Bronson Ingram, following contributions totaling $20 million from his three children: Robin Ingram Patton, John Ingram and Orrin Ingram.
“The Ingram family’s closely held values and tradition of providing transformative philanthropy have long empowered Vanderbilt to pursue its bold aspirations,” said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in a press release announcing the gift. “With these gifts, the family continues that inspiring legacy of leadership. We are deeply grateful to Robin, John, and Orrin for their generous support that enables the university to continue to develop living-learning communities that allow students to fully immerse themselves in campus life.
Bronson began his 28-year tenure on the Board of Trust in 1963, following his father, Hank Ingram’s death. He served as the board president from 1991 until he died in 1995.
“Early on, Bronson was already a tireless champion for this special university,” Martha Rivers Ingram said in the press release. “He followed in his own father’s footsteps in this way, telling others of remarkable Vanderbilt stories. His passion was matched by his governance and his vision — always conceiving of how to make Vanderbilt even greater. This college reflects his special interest in the student experience and the value of community that distinguishes Vanderbilt.”
The Ingram family has a long history of supporting the university. Martha River Ingram, Bronson’s wife and the namesake of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, served as the Board of Trust’s first female chairman, and John and Orrin each served on the board as well. All three of Bronson’s children have made contributions to the university in the past as well.
The residential college system is a key component of the university’s Academic Strategic Plan. The first step in this plan, the Ingram Commons, opened in 2008 as a living-learning community for first-year students. In 2014, Warren and Moore Colleges opened as the next step in the residential college system, this time for upperclassmen on main campus. The new E. Bronson Ingram College, to be located on the site of former Vanderbilt and Barnard halls, will be the next stride in this initiative.