Community Affairs

Pen Pals with a Purpose 

This program is a collaboration between the Vanderbilt Graduate Student Council and two communities in Nashville: The Blakeford Senior Center and Harpeth Hall School. Graduate students can choose to participate in the elderly pen pal program and/or the middle school pen pal program.

Harpeth Hall

For those interested in the middle school student program, you will be paired with a pen pal to exchange monthly  letters that encourage higher education and explain what graduate student life and studies are like. Handwritten or typed letters are acceptable.

This program is incredibly important, as the kids are developing their written communication skills, and have been published in a Vanderbilt article. The students have a wide range of interests including volleyball, soccer, Fortnite, drawing, theatre, playing with pets, technology, nursing, and sleeping (who can’t relate to that). Your encouragement and communication with them is valuable and fun! Finally, this program will end with an in-person meetup and celebration! Please email for more information.

To sign-up, take a moment to follow these steps:

1. Fill out the  google form.

2. Make sure your  Protection of Minors 101 is up to date for this upcoming year and email the certificate to

If you need help with the Protection of Minors certification you can use the same link above for more detailed instructions or you can email us. 

The deadline is September 9th by 5pm

Blakeford Senior Center: 

For those interested in the senior’s program, you will be paired with a pen pal to exchange monthly letters via email. 

This program is an opportunity to learn from the older generation and to share your own knowledge and experiences! It is important to take a mental break from the demands of graduate school, and this can be a great avenue for that. It is also beneficial for older folks to be able to share their experiences and learn about what’s going on in the lives of the younger generation. This program will also end with an in-person meetup and celebration! 

To sign up all you need to do is:

You do not need to complete protection of minors for this program.  Please note that completing this form does not guarantee a spot, as spots are limited.

The deadline is September 9th by 5pm

Learn more about: Pen Pals


The Peers Assemble to Chill, Eat, and Study(P.A.C.E.S.) was created to fortify the Vanderbilt Graduate Community through support, collaboration, and fun activities across all schools and programs. In addition to supporting students academically and professionally, P.A.C.E.S. is an opportunity for connection, which is a basic human need and essential to student health, well-being, and success.  

The P.A.C.E.S. team will connect you with your partner through your preferred method of contact, and the rest is up to you! You and your partner have freedom in deciding how often you’ll meet, whether you’ll meet in person or virtually, and what goals you both will be working towards. P.A.C.E.S. will host events monthly so you can further connect with your partner, so keep an eye on your email for special events, study sessions and socials (i.e., workshops, game nights, study halls, outdoor activities, etc.)  

To sign-up:

After submitting  this form, you will be paired with a partner that shares similar interests and preferences. Feel free to contact the P.A.C.E.S. team by email if you have any questions or concerns at

The deadline is September 9th by 5pm

Learn more about: P.A.C.E.S