McGee family gift establishes new center to study media narratives
In 2022, a $5 million gift from Suzanne Perot McGee, BS’86, Patrick K. McGee, BS’85, and their family to the College of Arts and Science established a center dedicated to analyzing the media through the cutting-edge tools of data science. The McGee Applied Research Center for Narrative Studies promotes media literacy by providing resources to evaluate the objectivity of news coverage, social media, blogs and other narratives.
“The establishment of this new center serves as a bold example of the kind of interdisciplinary thinking needed to understand and confront the complex challenges of the 21st century. It will be a key resource for strengthening democracy and generating more informed and knowledgeable citizens,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “I am grateful to the McGees for their generous support of new and novel approaches to scholarship and their longtime dedication to Vanderbilt.”
The McGees made the gift on behalf of their family, including son Patrick P. McGee, BA’15; son William McGee, BA’16, and his spouse, Eliza Granade McGee, BA’16; and daughter, Margot McGee Renehan, BS’19, and her husband, Will Renehan, BA’19. The gift made possible the naming, renovation and expansion of existing campus media resources, including the Vanderbilt Television News Archive within the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries.
The McGee Applied Research Center for Narrative Studies is leading conversion of the Vanderbilt Television News Archive’s searchable metadata from summaries to full-text transcriptions. This will restore the archive to its original purpose of providing to the public data-driven insight into the ways the news media shapes opinion.