Spring 2021

It is with deepest gratitude – and some bittersweet sadness – that we share the announcement of the retirement of Dr. Bart Victor, Faculty Director of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures (TFC) and former Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

If students are the heart of the TFC, Bart has been the Center’s backbone – promoting student development and growth, and charting a path in higher education where students can connect, seek shared understanding of our world’s most pressing problems and opportunities, and resolve together to find lasting solutions. Bart has served with great conviction as the Faculty Director of the TFC since its founding in 2015, and since its origins in the Project Pyramid interdisciplinary international consulting course beginning in 2007, which he has taught for the past sixteen years.

Bart’s research focuses on the practical and moral dimensions of enterprise approaches to the alleviation of poverty, the ethical foundations of business, as well as the social and moral consequences of new organizational forms and the process of strategy making. Thus, it was natural that Bart was the faculty member that Vanderbilt graduate students approached when they learned of social enterprise and wanted a space to further explore how business might pursue higher social purpose. Bart cares deeply for the students who dare to ask bigger questions of themselves and their professions. With his support and leadership, students received initial funding from Cal Turner, Jr. in 2007 to launch Project Pyramid, and again in 2015 to create the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures – building opportunities for students to grow as leaders, thinkers, and doers.

Bart reminds us that leaders must know that poverty is about a lack of freedom, and must thus undertake steps to not only alleviate suffering, but to create opportunities for mutual and shared strength for true progress. Bart’s lasting influence will be firmly rooted in all of the students who find their way to the TFC. Through programming, experiences, and opportunities for growth, students from all disciplines have had the chance to learn more about what it takes to lead positive, lasting change in their fields due to Bart’s leadership and encouragement. As Bart famously repeats, the work of social enterprise and poverty alleviation is hard, and it rests in our commitment to: Remember Why. Support Each Other. Learn from Experience.

“This commitment to learning is grounded in a shared understanding that we are working to discover new ways to solve complex problems.” – Bart Victor

Students, alumni and friends – we would love your help in sending off Bart in style. Please share your memories and messages – and photos HERE.

In honor of Bart’s tremendous contributions to our lives and our days at the TFC, we invite you to GIVE to the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures. Your gift will benefit the initiatives and will behind them that Bart has been steadfastly insistent upon – experiences that expand on student’s learning and leadership.

If you would like to make your contribution here to Project Pyramid at the Owen School at Vanderbilt and designate the fund “in honor of Bart Victor – Project Pyramid”. A check may be sent to the following address, indicating in Bart Victor’s honor: OGSM – Vanderbilt University, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235

Though Bart often reminds all who listen that the TFC is a student-led center, it was Bart who first opened his door to those students interested in doing and being more, thus enabling them the chance to be just that.

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

We look forward to sharing an exciting announcement of our future faculty director with our TFC community soon.

We are so fortunate to have had Bart’s partnership with us as students, alumni, staff, and partners in this work – to remind us that for true impact, our compassion must be matched with our competence and our commitment must match the challenges we see ahead of us. Bart faithfully calls us into lives of purpose and meaning, and we are all better for our time with him as our mentor, teacher, fellow student, and friend. Please join us in heartfelt gratitude for Bart’s leadership and lessons.

In shared commitment to work that is worth doing,
Mario Avila, Founding Director & TFC Student Leadership

Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

Read more about Bart’s career and contributions to Vanderbilt and Nashville here:

In addition to his work with the TFC and his research and teaching at Vanderbilt, Bart has served as Chairman of the Board at Baptist Hospital System, as well as the Center for Community Health Solutions at Vanderbilt. He was the Co-Founder and CEO of Executive Discovery LLC, a company in the LEGO Group, and served as Senior Editor for Organization Science. 

Bart came to Vanderbilt in 1999, where he served as the Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership. Professor Victor’s research focuses on the practical and moral dimensions of enterprise approaches to the alleviation of poverty, and the ethical foundations of business, as well as the social and moral consequences of new organizational forms and the process of strategy making.

Can Social Enterprise Help Alleviate Poverty Around the World?

A Town Transformed: Memories from a student visit to Tupelo, Mississippi

Consumer taste for high altitude beans shifts opportunity to small farmers

The Power of the Peanut: Nutritional Supplement Serves Vital Need for Malnourished Children in Guatemala

Bart’s Faculty Profile – Owen Graduate School of Management