Navigation Menu+

A Deconstruction of Vanderbilt's Reconstruction

Before 1875, a stable institution for higher learning in the deeply war-torn South was a figment of the imagination, but with the guidance of Bishop McTyeire and the patronage of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the university was finally conceived as the brainchild of a mission to establish religion, orthodoxy, and “properness” within the midst of a chaotic southern education system. As growth of the campus progressed, the fervor and passion of students eager to break the orthodoxy of deep-rooted Methodism is reflected in the construction of the university. From humble beginnings to a renowned legacy, this unforeseen transformation and expansion of academia and campus aesthetic did come with its costs – a cost composed of student unrest, faculty dissatisfaction, and uncertainty.