Unprecedented Impact

Unprecedented Gift Galvanizes Vandy United

Jennifer and Billy Frist’s historic gift to be commemorated with Frist Athletics Village


Vanderbilt University today announced an unprecedented philanthropic gift from Vanderbilt trustee Jennifer R. Frist, BS’93, and William R. (Billy) Frist to support Vandy United, another bold step forward as the landmark campaign reaches its second anniversary.

The establishment of the Frist Athletics Village honors one of the largest gifts in Vanderbilt Athletics history. The complex encompasses the entirety of the campus neighborhood that is currently home to Vanderbilt Athletics. The area includes FirstBank Stadium, Memorial Gymnasium, Hawkins Field, the Lummis Family Tennis Center, the McGugin Center and Ingram Center for Student-Athlete Success. By reinforcing Vandy United’s investment in student-athletes and programs through major facilities and operational enhancements, the Frists, who are longtime Vanderbilt supporters and parents of a current Vanderbilt student, hope to inspire other members of the university community to continue building on the campaign’s unparalleled success.

“The Frist Athletics Village ensures that our alumni, current and future student-athletes and supporters experience what is great about Vanderbilt Athletics,” said Candice Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. “Two years after launching Vandy United as a vision for what is possible for Vanderbilt Athletics, we have shovels in the ground because so many people believed in what we could accomplish together. But as we mark National Student-Athlete Day, delivering on our commitment to creating the best student-athlete and fan experience in college athletics requires transformational acts built on a foundation of trust. I’m grateful to Billy and Jennifer Frist for their trust. In the classroom, on the court and field and in the community, we are dedicated to the lifelong realization of human potential. Thanks to the generosity of so many, and, in particular, Billy and Jennifer, we are delivering on that promise.”

“The Frist Athletics Village is a bold statement of support for Vandy United as we imagine what is possible for Vanderbilt Athletics in the 21st century."

Launched in March 2021 as the largest undertaking of its kind in university history, Vandy United is already reimagining Vanderbilt Athletics’ campus footprint. Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Lee recently joined the Frists and other generous supporters to break ground on the multistory basketball operations center and north end zone construction. Work has also begun in the south end zone, a multifaceted project that includes a new building spanning more than 130,000 square feet—home to a new football locker room and training table and dining facilities for all Vanderbilt student-athletes.

“The Frist Athletics Village is a bold statement of support for Vandy United as we imagine what is possible for Vanderbilt Athletics in the 21st century,” Diermeier said. “As we celebrate the Sesquicentennial of our university’s founding, it is crucially important that we keep moving forward and forge a new era of continued excellence in everything we do, including our Vandy United efforts to create the best student-athlete and fan experience in college athletics. In leading by example and lending their name to a neighborhood where Commodores come together, Billy and Jennifer Frist’s wonderful gift honors and exemplifies the tradition of cultivating community that is at the core of our university.”

The Frists are longtime supporters of Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Athletics. Their generosity made possible the 2011 dedication of the William R. Frist Family Gate at FirstBank Stadium. As part of Vandy United’s overall vision for Vanderbilt Athletics, their new gift will help fund projects that include a new football operations center and indoor practice facility, the latter encompassing more than 100,000 square feet and featuring a 120-yard artificial turf practice field.

Read the original story and learn more about Vandy United and the Frist Athletic Village here.

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