Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Gary Cheek has been appointed director of Vanderbilt University’s Bass Military Scholars Program.
“Gen. Cheek’s deep understanding of the strengths of our military servicemen and women and his remarkable leadership experience make him the ideal leader for this transformative new program,” said Vanderbilt chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “Our entire academic community stands to grow and benefit from the perspectives that the Bass Military Scholars will bring, and he will be the perfect mentor to support these students and to recruit future cohorts.”
The Bass Military Scholars Program will support a maximum of 40 scholarships and programming for honorably discharged military veterans pursuing graduate and professional degrees at Vanderbilt’s Law School, the Owen Graduate School of Management, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, according to a university release.
The program, launched in 2018 with a donation form the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, will use the leadership traits and dedication to service exemplified by active and former U.S. Military members.
The Bass Military Scholars Program will support more than six scholarships for veterans and after the first academic year, will increase to cohorts of 10 or 11 scholars annually over time. The scholars will meet regularly and participate in a variety of service activities on campus designed to create military-civilian exchanges and mentorship opportunities.
Cheek will join the Vanderbilt faculty this spring, and the first Bass Military Scholars class will enroll in fall 2019. Before retiring in 2018, Cheek worked as the director of the Army Staff in Washington, D.C., where he directed strategic actions for the Department of the Army and represented the Army in public and federal discussions and coordinated and resolved issues and requirements with field commanders, other federal officials and the media, the release reported.
Cheek received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and master’s degrees from the School of Advanced Military Studies and the U.S. Army War College.