June 18, 2013
Vanderbilt sports fans in the Atlanta area were recently treated to a special evening that featured Director of Athletics David Williams, basketball coaches Melanie Balcomb and Kevin Stallings and football coach James Franklin.
The event, sponsored by Vanderbilt Athletics, the National Commodore Club and Atlanta's chapter of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association, took place at the Buckhead Theatre and drew approximately 300 alumni, NCC members and friends, spanning the generations from the 1950's to recent May grads.
The program was designed to allow maximum interaction with the Commodore headliners, beginning with a "Meet and Greet" reception that included photographs and autographs.
Following the reception, the headliners were invited on stage where Williams moderated a 45-minute question and answer session with the three coaches, the questions coming from the attentive crowd.
The inquiries ranged from the simple to the more complex. More revealing to many, the unscripted format allowed fans to witness the Esprit de corps that exists among the athletic staff. The coaches exchanged good-natured ribbing of each other to the delight of the audience while offering candid insights not typically found in media reports.
After the Q & A was completed the group, including mascot Mr. Commodore and several members of the NCC and administrative staff, returned to the lobby for more autographs and interaction.
The event was deemed a major success and next year Vanderbilt expects to host an extensive caravan to connect with more fans across the state and country.