Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, has announced a $5 million gift from alumnus John Arnold and his wife, Laura, to bolster public policy studies and civic engagement at its College of Arts and Science.
The gift will create an endowed fund for the college's Program in Public Policy and its major in public policy studies, as well as a new major and program in quantitative social sciences. Both programs are designed to engage students in the study of social trends, governance challenges, and policy problems while providing them with a set of sophisticated analytical tools that have broad application.
Co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and a Giving Pledge signatory, John Arnold graduated from Vanderbilt in 1995 with bachelor's degrees in math and economics. The founder and CEO of Centaurus Energy, Arnold has served on the university's board of trust and, since 2006, has been a member of the College of Arts and Science board of visitors. Before becoming co-chair of LJAF, Laura Arnold previously served as executive vice president and general counsel of Cobalt International Energy in Houston.
"We are delighted to partner with the Arnolds in preparing talented students to tackle major societal problems," said the university's chancellor, Nicholas S. Zeppos. "Laura and John's generosity will fuel important efforts to inspire more young people to serve the greater good, while ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to do so."