2017 Hall of Fame: Lew Conner

Sept. 6, 2017

When Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams phoned Lew Conner to inform him of his induction into the Vanderbilt Hall of Fame, Conner, a former member of the Commodores’ men’s golf team, could not find the words to react.

“I was shocked, I was surprised, I about cried,” Conner said. “It rendered me speechless, and I’m not speechless often, as some of the people in this room can tell you.”

Indeed, Conner’s place in Commodore history is now cemented as a member of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. Conner was a student-athletes on the men’s golf squad from 1957-60, but the Nashville attorney has perhaps made his biggest impact on Vanderbilt in the years since.

Conner received two degrees from Vanderbilt and has become one of the athletic department’s most influential benefactors in recent years. A renowned philanthropist in middle Tennessee, Conner has helped enhance Vanderbilt’s golf programs as a lead donor for numerous projects.

In August 2005, Vanderbilt dedicated the Conner Short Game Practice Facility at the Dores' home course, Vanderbilt Legends Club. The two-acre facility located adjacent to the driving range at Legends Club features five different bunkers and three greens: one for putting, one for chipping and one with a 130-yard practice hole for practicing shots of various distanced and lies. In the years since the Conner Facility’s dedication, both Commodore golf programs have won SEC championships.

Conner said he feels a sense of pride in helping Vanderbilt athletics reach its goals.

“I think it’s so important for those of us who have had the benefit of Vanderbilt educations to give back,” Conner said. “I’ve tried to do that. Vanderbilt has been good to Lew Conner.”

All 2017 Vanderbilt Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during the Commodores' home football opener against Alabama A&M on Sept. 9
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