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The Allen Family

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When Elizabeth Sauereisen Allen, BS'83, and trustee Greg Allen, BA'84, learned they could leverage Vanderbilt's Faculty Fellowship Challenge to make a deeper impact on leaders in the academic areas closest to their hearts, they seized the opportunity.

bridge   Gary Kimball

A philosophy major at Vanderbilt, Greg established the Greg S. Allen Dean's Faculty Fellow in Philosophy and the Greg S. Allen Chancellor's Faculty Fellow in Philosophy. Elizabeth learned of a burgeoning Undergraduate Business Minor program and immediately saw the potential in this curricular addition—one that she and their son Erik, BA'15, would likely have pursued.

"It was exciting for our family to give back to our university that provided so many opportunities to us," says Elizabeth. Greg adds, "As a businessman, I've found that a person needs strong analytical and excellent communication skills to be successful. The best training for this is a liberal arts education. To round that out with exposure to specific business concepts is, to me, the making of an exceptional graduate."

The Sauereisen Director of the Undergraduate Business Minor is named for the business Elizabeth's family has operated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for three generations. The Allens both attribute their own success in business to being raised by entrepreneurs.

"The example our parents set for us was one of getting up in the morning and charting your own way with your own company," Greg says. Elizabeth adds, "Our parents believed the greatest gift you could give your children is a great education. Vanderbilt was a springboard for everything we've done in our lives. Now, as I look in the rearview mirror at my own experience, and how I can impact future generations, I get to appreciate it even more."