Vanderbilt University in Nashville has announced a $20 million gift from members of the Ingram family in honor of their late father, E. Bronson Ingram, who served on the university's board for nearly three decades.
The gift from Robin Ingram Patton, John Ingram (MBA'86), and Orrin Ingram (BA'82) — the third generation of the Ingram family to provide leadership support to Vanderbilt — will name the university's newest College Hall. E. Bronson Ingram College is scheduled to open in fall 2018 on the site of the former Vanderbilt and Barnard Halls.
O.H. "Hank" Ingram joined the Vanderbilt board in 1952, and following his death his son Bronson joined the board in 1967, chairing the Campaign for Vanderbilt and serving as board president from 1991 until his passing in 1995. Bronson's wife, Martha Rivers Ingram, joined the board in 1995 and, during her twelve-year tenure (1999-2011) as its first female chairperson, championed the concept of residential colleges. The Ingram Commons, which opened in 2008 as a living-learning community for first-year students, was Vanderbilt's first step toward a residential college system, and its success spurred further development of College Halls.
The family's previous gifts to the university have supported the Ingram Scholars Program, the Blair School of Music, the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt–Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt athletics, and more than two dozen endowed faculty chairs. John and Orrin Ingram have served fourteen and ten years on the board, respectively.
"Honoring our father in this way is a testament to his love for Vanderbilt," Robin Ingram Patton said. "This college will be a home to all kinds of students throughout their Vanderbilt journeys — a place for conversation, community, and friendship. I know Dad would be so thrilled to see how the residential colleges have taken shape, and how instrumental they are to the learning experience on this campus."