VUSN’s Dennis Spann awarded Vanderbilt’s prestigious Commodore Award

Dennis Spann, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos

Dennis Spann, VUSN Administrative Officer for Space and Facilities, received Vanderbilt University’s Commodore Award during the 2019 Service Award ceremonies on Feb. 20. The Commodore Award—VU’s highest staff honor—is given to full-time regular staff members who have made significant contributions to Vanderbilt University’s pursuit of excellence in education, research and community service.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos presented Spann with the award before an audience of staff, administrators, family, friends and faculty. VUSN Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, introduced Spann and shared from his nomination.

“’His acts of kindness show his appreciation of others. Dennis understands the value of excellence because it shows in everything he does’,” Norman, the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing, quoted. “One of his supporters put it best: ‘Dennis Spann makes Vanderbilt University a better place to learn, work and live’.”

Recipients are selected in a two-tier nomination process. Individuals within university divisions/departments nominate and select a divisional Commodore Award candidate, who is then eligible for the prestigious university-wide honor. The university’s selection committee determines two Commodore Award winners, one for exempt staff and the other for nonexempt. Spann was recognized as the exempt staff honoree.

Commodore Award winners receive a cash award of $2,500 and an engraved crystal bowl. They also serve on the selection committee for the next year’s award recipient.

Spann has been at VUSN since 2016, where he is responsible for operation and management of the school’s physical facilities. He also provided direct support for construction of VUSN’s recently finished building project. Prior to joining VUSN, he was administrative officer for VUMC’s Facilities and Plant Services and handled office administration, budgeting, payroll, and operations for facilities, physical plant systems and construction.

Norman added her own commendation of Spann. “Dennis is one of the most hard-working, capable and resourceful people I know. We really came to rely on him during our 18-month building project. He coordinated everything from loading in construction trailers to installing new furniture. He even volunteered to be the only VUSN person onsite when the school was shut down without power for a week,” she said. “Everything he does is with excellence and an upbeat, positive attitude. I’m thrilled that he has received the Vanderbilt’s top honor.”

VIDEO: View video profile of VUSN’s Commodore Award recipient Dennis Spann

School of Nursing’s Dennis Spann is congratulated by Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos upon receiving the university’s highest staff honor, the Commodore Award.

Photo: Susan Urmy