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The Faces of Opportunity Vanderbilt
Photo of Arian Danian

Arian Danian

BS'13, Shorenstein Family Scholarship

Helping others. It is the common thread that weaves together the life of Arian Danian, BS’13.

Even his “incredibly rewarding” career—as he labels it—is focused on helping companies solve people problems. His employer, Deloitte, strives to be a global citizen and encourages their employees to seek volunteer opportunities. But, the motivation to help others was engrained far ahead of his career.

Well before he arrived at Vanderbilt, Danian planned to spend a life helping others as a teacher, though his career path changed when he realized what a difference he could make on a path in human and organizational development. The field was never on his radar until he took a class.

In fact there were many ways that his time as a student cultivated his charitable spirit.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, so giving back when I can is the least I can do.”

“The culture of service and giving back to the community is tangible at Vanderbilt,” Danian says.

It motivated him to find opportunities for service in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, when he returned for extended breaks. After doing some research, he connected with SoupMobile, a mobile kitchen that delivers meals to areas of Dallas with the largest homeless populations. He remains engaged in a big way.

Every Christmas, the organization partners with the Dallas Omni to host hundreds of homeless men, women and children for festivity and fellowship. When Danian began working with the event as a student, he was involved in various operational aspects, but his role has grown today to being the primary organizer of the event.

Why does he choose to spend his holiday away from his own family and remain dedicated to making this event happen?

“I’m from Dallas, and caring for people where you’re from is important,” he says. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, so giving back when I can is the least I can do.”

He echoes that sentiment when he speaks of his consistent giving to Vanderbilt.

“I would never have thought that I could go to a school like Vanderbilt,” he says.

As a student, Danian received the Shorenstein Family Scholarship, and he credits the scholarship support for his education. He specifically recalls Vanderbilt’s dedication to Opportunity Vanderbilt in the face of trying economic times. He enrolled as a freshman in 2009, at the height of the nation-wide financial crisis.

“It was a differentiator for Vanderbilt among schools of the same caliber,” he says.

Arian Danian’s determination to continue and increase his giving to Vanderbilt to provide similar experiences to others may very well match the institution’s resolve in 2009. With his drive to pay forward the opportunities he cherishes—both at Vanderbilt and in his community—his impact will be immeasurable.