Vanderbilt Launches McGee Applied Research Center for Narrative Studies

Pictured, left to right, are: University Librarian Jon Shaw, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver, Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, Suzanne Perot McGee, Patrick P. McGee, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Science Tim McNamara, and Ben Hunt. (Photo by John Amis)

The McGee Applied Research Center for Narrative Studies will promote media literacy by providing resources to evaluate the objectivity of news coverage, digital media and other narratives.


“The mission of the McGee Center addresses what is, for our times, an urgent societal need—to combat disinformation and to equip individuals with the essential skills to adeptly navigate and critically assess narratives in the dynamic media landscape of the 21st century,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said in his remarks. “By fostering open dialogue among Vanderbilt faculty, students and the wider community, the McGee Center will help to create a collective understanding of the profound influence that media narratives have in our society.”  

Housed within the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, the McGee Center was established with a $5 million gift from Suzanne Perot McGee, BS’86, and Patrick K. McGee, BS’85, to Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and ScienceThe 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 spouse Will Renehan, BA’19. 

“The McGees’ visionary philanthropy will enable Vanderbilt faculty and students to engage in rigorous, data-driven inquiry around narrative studies and pursue bold solutions for combating disinformation,” said C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We’re extremely grateful to Suzanne and Patrick McGee and their family for their support of this vital work and of our Discovery Vanderbilt mission.” 

A key priority of Vanderbilt’s Dare to Grow campaign is fueling collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship, and the McGees’ generosity will advance this goal. Their gift will support faculty who teach innovative courses, conduct research and mentor students exploring narrative studies in the form of class work or immersion experiences. The gift also makes possible the expansion of unique campus media resources, including the Vanderbilt Television News Archive—the world’s most complete archive of network television news dating back to 1968. Featuring more than 62,000 hours of transcribed and searchable video content, the Television News Archive is part of the Heard Libraries 

To learn more, read the full story by Kara Furlong here.

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