Transformational Gift Establishes Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center

An unprecedented gift from Hal and Marjorie Hollis Roberts will establish a new academy for primary students with dyslexia and an innovative center focused on outreach and dyslexia research at Vanderbilt University 


The Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center was announced on September 26, 2023 at an event on Vanderbilt’s campus that brought together government representatives, area leaders in the field and faculty to celebrate the anticipated impact on children in Middle Tennessee and around the world.

In addition to the resources currently available in Middle Tennessee, the facilities will bring a new, dynamic and comprehensive education-research opportunity that will expand access for students who benefit from a tailored learning environment. The Roberts Academy will provide focused educational services for children in kindergarten through grade 1 identified as at-risk for dyslexia and for students in grades 2–5 who have been identified as having dyslexia. The academy will accept its first class of students in fall 2024. The Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center will provide outreach for families and build on notable scholarship that is already within Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development.

Marjorie and Hal Roberts, residents of Lakeland, Florida, became interested in supporting students with dyslexia after three of their grandchildren were diagnosed with dyslexia as children. The Robertses have no previous relationship with Vanderbilt; they chose the university as a recipient of their donation based on Peabody College’s outstanding reputation and research.

“The extent of dyslexia research happening at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College made it clear to us that it was the right place for this center,” Hal Roberts said. “We believe our investment in Vanderbilt will help transform education and the lives of children with dyslexia in the U.S. and around the world. To us, changing the lives of children is what matters most.”

The Robertses’ gift is part of Dare to Grow, Vanderbilt University’s $3.2 billion comprehensive campaign. The Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center is the third academy for students with dyslexia funded by the Robertses and the first research and outreach center of its kind established with their support.

Read the full, original story and learn more about the Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center here.

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