Vanderbilt University is set to establish the Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center thanks to a generous gift from Hal and Marjorie Hollis Roberts. The new academy will focus on providing specialized educational services for students with dyslexia, accepting its first class of students in the fall of 2024. Additionally, the center will offer outreach services to families and expand on existing dyslexia research at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. This initiative is designed to make a significant impact on children with dyslexia in Middle Tennessee and worldwide.
Hal and Marjorie Roberts, residents of Lakeland, Florida, were motivated to support students with dyslexia after three of their grandchildren were diagnosed with dyslexia as children. Their donation will be used to establish the Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center at Vanderbilt University, capitalizing on Peabody College’s excellent reputation in research and education.
The Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center is part of Vanderbilt University’s Dare to Grow campaign, a comprehensive fundraising initiative with a total goal of $3.2 billion. It will be the third academy for students with dyslexia funded by the Roberts family and the first research and outreach center of its kind established with their support.
Dyslexia affects approximately one in ten individuals, and early intervention has been shown to have a positive impact. By creating the academy and research center, Vanderbilt aims to provide immediate feedback on educational practices based on new findings. Future teachers will also have the opportunity to learn and practice alongside experienced educators who are well-versed in supporting children with dyslexia, enhancing the quality of education for these students.
The Roberts Academy and Dyslexia Center marks a significant step toward advancing the understanding of dyslexia and improving support for individuals with this learning difference. It will also reinforce Vanderbilt’s commitment to helping all learners achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives.