Monday, December 2, 2013

Vanderbilt Mourns the Passing of Ava Sellers

For many years, she was as much a fixture on the Vanderbilt campus as Kirkland Hall and the statute of the Commodore.

For over a half century, Ava Sellers was Director of Career Planning and Placement for the University and held the title of Director Emerita when she stepped down from her duties. It was many a nervous, career-challenged and soon-to-be graduating senior (including, I suspect, several of us forty years ago in our Centennial Class), who she kept calm and informed about what businesses and other groups were coming to campus to interview for prospective job openings. Her updated postings were always in the weekly Vanderbilt Registar with upcoming career panels,  job interviews or other services her office provided.

I can remember coming back on campus a few years after I graduated to be a part of some career day event, and she greeted me warmly and by name! She was always so nice and friendly and one of the greatest boosters of Vanderbilt I can remember.

Ava Sellers passed away here in Nashville on Monday, November 25, 2013, just one day after her 94th birthday.

For her nearly life-long efforts on behalf of Vanderbilt, she received from the University the Rob Roy Purdy Award for dedication and service to students as well as the Distinguished Service Award from the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers. She was a co-founder of the Tennessee Association of Colleges and Employers, an organization which bestows one of its top annual awards, the Lumsden-Sellers Award, each year to one of its deserving members.

Ms. Sellers was a member of the Vine Street Christian Church and, until her health declined, she was also active in the Nashville Chapter of the United Nations, the Life Long Learning program at Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt Women's Club and its Book Group and Garden Club for Campus Beautification.

Ava Sellers was a native of Lexington, KY and a graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a Masters from Peabody College. Her funeral was held in Nashville today (December 2) with interment in Elizaville, KY. Memorial gifts may be made to the Vanderbilt University Women's Club Scholarshp Fund. 

May she rest in peace, with the Pearly Gates decked out in Black & Gold to greet her!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ava really was a gem of a lady and so full of stories about Peabody and Vanderbilt. The specific scholarship that memorial gifts should be directed to is the Ada Bell Stapleton-Blanche Henry Weaver Scholarship that is funded by many members of the Vanderbilt Women's Club, of which Ava was a proud and active member. Ava was also very fond of the School of Engineering because of her friendship with Dillard Jacobs. She got to know many students over the years who were recipients of Professor Jacob's generosity when he created the Paul Harrawood Honors Undergraduate Scholarship in honor of Dean Harrawood's service to the school. I was pleased to learn at the visitation that Ava was recorded (I assume through the Library) and so many of her stories willlive on at Vanderbilt for generatios to come. What a blessing. Linda Carter