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Belmont Students but Vanderbilt Participants

Photo Courtesy of Braden Simmons

Vanderbilt University enrolled 7,151 undergraduate students from 2022 to 2023, yet they still look to outside universities for students to participate in various activities. 

Belmont students are given the opportunity to join the three Vanderbilt University athletic marching bands, the dance team and ROTC.  

Being a part of these groups at another college lets students meet a community of people in a different setting with similar interests.  

Caroline Holmes, a Belmont student and member of the Spirit of Gold Marching Band and the Anchor of Sound Basketball Band, played in her high school marching band and was excited to find out she could continue that in college, just not at hers.  

“Some of the first people I met at band camp, are my best friends now. The opportunity to be in the Vanderbilt band has really given me some of the best friends I could have ever had in college. Everyone is so kind and accepting and it’s easy to be yourself.” 


Douglas Morin, director of athletic bands at Vanderbilt, appreciates the connection between the Nashville universities.  

“I think it has been a wonderful opportunity for everybody that’s been involved. It has been able to provide opportunities and learning and leadership opportunities for many people,” said Morin. “The average across the nation is that 1% of an undergraduate student body will be a part of a marching band, so being able to reach out to other universities has let us go beyond that percentage.”  

However, being a part of any kind of band means lots of practice.  

The students participating must balance their schoolwork and practices, which can be hard when you go to a different college.  

“It’s a lot to manage being a student here and doing the Vanderbilt marching band. There are a lot of people, both students and faculty, that don’t value that. So, there are times I’ve had rehearsal until super late and then I’m up later doing homework,” said Holmes.  

Jazmine Vallis, who was a competition dancer, heard about the Vanderbilt dance team spring of her freshman year at Belmont and decided to try out.  

“About a month later I found out I made the team; I got a call from the head coach. It’s just crazy to think because in the beginning I never knew I wanted to be a college dancer, I never knew I was going be a student athlete,” said Vallis. “I had no intention of doing this, it kind of just came out of nowhere but I’m so happy I went through the process because I’ve learned and experienced so much by being on the team.”  

Vanderbilt opening its groups and teams to Belmont students allows for unexpected opportunities.  

Ashley Mumford, the security officer for Vanderbilt Army ROTC and a Belmont nursing major, is grateful for the ability to be in both. 

“You don’t think they mesh well, but me wanting to be an emergency medical nurse working in intensive care, it flows really well, especially when ROTC teaches you so many critical leadership values, teaches you how to critically think on your feet and at the same time helps you apply these values to people first,” said Mumford.  

In all these programs, the relationships are why these students take on the extra work to be involved at a different college than where they’re enrolled.  

“I think the thing that has gotten me through the thick of it is the community and friendships I’ve been able to cultivate,” said Mumford. “I have so many mentors and leaders and have made so many incredible friends that have helped me grow as an individual but also as a leader.” 


This article was written by Bree Fabbie

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Madden Wayne
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Competition dancer Jazmine Vallis opted to try out for the Vanderbilt dance team in the spring of her freshman year at Belmont. geometry dash world

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