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Vanderbilt University Commodore Awards

The Vanderbilt University Commodore Awards are presented to full-time regular staff members who have made significant contributions to Vanderbilt University’s pursuit of excellence in education, research and community service.

The Commodore Awards are presented annually with recipients receiving a cash award and an engraved crystal bowl. To nominate a colleague, go online to InfoReady


The Vanderbilt University Commodore Award is presented to full-time staff members who have made significant contributions to Vanderbilt University’s pursuit of excellence in education, research and community service. One award is presented to hourly staff and one to salaried staff.

The Staff Awards Selection Committee reviews all applications. The two awardees are announced at Spring Staff Assembly. Each award consists of $5000 and an engraved crystal bowl.

Regular full-time staff members with at least 10 years of consecutive Vanderbilt University service at time of submission may be nominated for the award. Previous recipients of the Commodore Awards are ineligible. The division/department point person or delegate of vice chancellor, associate vice chancellor, dean, vice provost, or similarly situated role may nominate.

Previous recipients of the Commodore Awards may not win a second time.


During the nomination period, Division/Department Point Persons, using a link to the online nomination application form, will describe how the nominee achieved one or more of the following: 

  • Overall performance and accomplishments that regularly and consistently far exceed performance expectations, reflecting a high level of service, dedication, conscientiousness, compassion, and applied skill.
  • Handling a high impact or critical situation which had important consequences for a department, Vanderbilt University or the community.
  • Developing or improving processes that resulted in significant productivity and/or cost savings improvements.

2018 Service Awards

Previous Commodore Award Winners 

2019 Sheree Wright General Counsel
2019 Elizabeth Bumpous Owen Graduate School of Management
2018 Dennis Spann School of Nursing
2018 Antoinette Hicks Business Services
2017 Danny McKissack Grounds Maintenance
2017 Lilliana Rodriguez Spanish and Portuguese
2016 Karen Page School of Engineering
2015 Judy Brandon Office of Dean of Students
2014 Clair Gant Edgehill Child & Family Center
2013 Rosemary Moody Leadership, Policy and Organization
2012 Tonya Mills Political Science
2011 Paula McGown Health and Wellness Administration
2010 Peggy Chatfield Kennedy Center
2009 Mouzon Siddiqi Grad Program, Economic Development
2008 Sandy Childress Physics and Astronomy
2007 Rocky Alvey Dyer Observatory
2006 Donald Pickert Physics and Astronomy
2005 Patricia Kinman Occupational Health
2004 Danny Anglin Environmental Health & Safety
2003 Don Hughes Sr. Plant Operations
2002 Beverly Brothers Student Athletics-Support Staff
2001 Edwyna Griscom Student Athletics
  Betty Lee Student Academic Services
2000 Ginette Cambronero Edgehill Child & Family Center
1999 Bill Storey Molecular Biology
1998 Dodie Miller
1997 Gail Lance University Registrar Office
1996 Patricia Burns Psychology
1995 Brenda Jordan Arts & Science Registrar
1994 Lorine Spencer Residential & Judicial Affairs/Housing Administration
  Mary Scott University Payroll
1993 Jan Hargett Teaching and Learning, Peabody Dean’s Office
  Pat Millwood Student Organization, Campus Student Services
1992 Michael Miller  
1991 Robert McRaeynolds  
  Donnie W. Campbell  
  Gail Workman University Library
1990 Dorothy Timberlake Psychology
  William Ross Mail Services