RAMP 37th Annual Conference
February 1– 3, 2018
Research Matters: Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders
Located in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee, Nashville is the state capital of Tennessee. Nashville, which has one of the largest geographical areas of any U.S. city, is located on both banks of the Cumberland River and surrounded on three sides by the Highland Rim, which rises up to 400 feet above the elevation level of the city.
As the home of the Grand Ole Opry and the major center for recordings of country-and-western music, Nashville is the world's undisputed capital of country music, a position celebrated in the city's nickname of "Music City USA." Live performances by both established and up-and-coming country artists can be heard weekly at the Grand Ole Opry House in Opryland USA. Country, folk, and rock concerts still take place at historic Ryman Auditorium, home of the Opry from its inception in the 1920s until the 1970s and newly restored in 1994. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is downtown, as is the District, featuring honky-tonks with live music and the Johnny Cash Museum, celebrating the singer's life.
Nashville combines the grace and warmth of the Old South with the economic vitality of today's Sun Belt states. Although known primarily as the capital of country-and-western music, Nashville also has regular classical music concerts by the Nashville Symphony and Nashville Opera. The music departments of the city's universities also enrich the classical music scene through such resources as the Vanderbilt Orchestra and both student and faculty performances sponsored by Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music and the Belmont University School of Music. In addition, the Friends of Music brings touring artists and ensembles to the city, and the Scarritt-Bennett Center Series features free performances by local musicians.
Long before Nashville became Music City, it was known as the Athens of the South because of its many higher educational institutions. Today the Nashville area has 21 postgraduate institutions, including Tennessee State, Fisk, Vanderbilt, Belmont, and Lipscomb universities, in addition to Scarritt College and George Peabody College, Owing to the "Athens of the South" moniker, in the 1890s the city built a full-scale replica of Athens' Parthenon for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Housed inside this replica is another full-scale re-creation, a 42-foot-tall statue of the goddess Athena. Nashville's Parthenon is the centerpiece of Centennial Park, the city's major urban green space.
Tennessee State University (TSU), a coeducational land-grant university located on a 450-acre campus west of downtown Nashville, enrolls some 8,200 students. TSU also has a downtown campus. The university is one of 46 public colleges and universities administered by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Vanderbilt University, founded in 1873 and funded by rail and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, is a private teaching and research university. Its ten schools, including schools of engineering, nursing, law, and medicine, enroll approximately 10,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Fisk University, established in 1866, was one of the nation's first black colleges.
Recently, Forbes ranked Nashville as the third best positioned city “to grow and prosper in the coming decade”, No. 6 on its list of the Best Places for Businesses and Careers and as the No. 4 “Brain Magnet” for gains in people with college educations
The mean temperature in Nashville during February is 50 degrees.
The major interstates are I-65 (north-south) and I-40 (east-west between Knoxville and Memphis and further in both directions). I-265 forms a ring around Downtown Nashville, and I-440 encircles midtown Nashville. I-24, running southeast to northwest, also leads into the metropolitan area, merging into I-40 to the south and I-65 to the north. The area north of I-40 is home to Tennessee State University and Fisk University, and the Nashville Zoo. To the east of I-65 and north of I-40 is Opryland USA, a large music and entertainment complex that includes the Grand Ole Opry House, an associated theme park and museum, a theater, and the studios of TNN (The Nashville Network) television, scene of regular performance tapings open to the public.
Originally opened as Berry Field in 1937, today Nashville International Airport (BNA) provides air service to almost 90 cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, averaging 388 arriving and departing flights daily. The airport has 47 carrier gates and is serviced by 16 carriers.