Vanderbilt hires director for GLBT center

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A director has been hired to lead Vanderbilt’s new full-time office to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community at Vanderbilt University.

Nora Spencer, who will begin work on June 30 as director of The K.C. Potter Center at Vanderbilt, was assistant director of multicultural and diversity affairs and director of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender affairs at the University of Florida. 

The K.C. Potter Center at Vanderbilt, which opens at the start of the fall semester, is named for a former dean of residential and judicial affairs at Vanderbilt who was supportive of the GLBT community, replaces a part-time resource center.

“I am thrilled to be part of this historic moment at Vanderbilt,” said Spencer.

“I have already received a host of e-mails, welcoming me to campus and bringing forward projects and ideas. It’s clear that many individuals are invested in the work of this office, and I look forward to building The K.C. Potter Center together.”

At Florida, Spencer oversaw support services, programming, strategic planning, marketing and fundraising for the GLBT affairs and served as a resource and advocate regarding GLBT issues for students, staff and faculty. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Florida in 2005, with additional coursework in queer, feminist and race theory and cultural criticism.

“(Spencer’s) academic background lends depth and grounding to her approach on behalf of LGBTQ concerns,” said Ellen Armour, a member of the search committee and director of Vanderbilt’s Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality.
“All of the programs she outlined were thoughtful and creative. We expect they will be effective with our campus community.”

Vanderbilt has also established a new committee to advise the administration on issues that affect GLBT life on campus. The chair is David Boyd, associate professor of medicine, health and society, who led the task force that recommended the creation of the GLBT center.