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Frist Center hosts official Grand Opening

Posted by on Monday, July 29, 2019 in News.

The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is officially engineering technologies and transforming the workplace, inspired by neurodiversity.

FCAI RibbonOn Thurs., Jul. 25, the Frist Center held its Grand Opening. The private event was held in the Innovation Pavilion, on the first floor of the Engineering and Science Building. Frist Center staff and summer research interns were busy at work inside the Center itself, while event attendees greeted each other in the atrium space directly outside. Guests could observe the staff and interns’ projects on large monitors displayed over each work station.

Billy and Jennifer Frist were honored at the celebration for their generous donation to the Center, which bears their name. Mr. Frist spoke to the gathered crowd about his excitement for both the Center’s current initiatives and its future goals.

Other speakers included Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering Philippe Fauchet, Dean of the Graduate School Mark Wallace, and Stevenson Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Frist Center Director Keivan Stassun. In addition to thanking the Frists, several speakers also expressed their gratitude to John and Daria Mulkey for providing a donation which allows the Frist Center to begin operating immediately, while the Frist family’s endowment grows.

FCAI_ribbon_cuttingUpon the conclusion of the formal program, Provost Wente, Dean Fauchet, Mr. Frist, Dr. Stassun, and Mr. and Ms. Mulkey gathered around as Ms. Frist cut the ceremonial gold ribbon. Guests then entered the Frist Center to interact with the summer interns, fill out the Frist Center’s visitor survey and participate in an autistic virtual reality (VR) experience.

For more information about the Frist Center’s mission, goals and partners, explore the Center’s website, and check out this article in myVU featuring the Grand Opening. Visitors are also welcome to stop by the Frist Center space (across from the Wond’ry) to fill out the visitor survey and learn more about the Center’s work. Please email if you would like to schedule a sit-down meeting with a staff member.

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  • Mac Kraus

    July 31st, 2019

    So glad to see this! I’ve heard so much about what the center is doing, and I can’t wait to see how it enriches the Vanderbilt community.

    Well done, and all the best!

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