The big question in college is "what's next?" At Beyond the Gates, we will help you tackle the big questions and perfect the smallest details.

Working alongside alumni from the University, juniors and seniors are invited to participate in this fast-paced and engaging weekend. Each year, alumni mentors and professionals from around the country come to the Mountain in early January to talk about their experience and give first-hand advice. Keynote speakers, workshops, and breakout sessions give students on-the-ground experiences that will accompany them into the workforce. From finance and journalism to real estate and international affairs, participants will encounter an array of training and guidance. Suddenly the landscape outside the Gates becomes not-so-intimidating and abundant with opportunity. 

Students who participate in Beyond the Gates have the chance to network with helpful alumni and parents and to learn about:

  • Various careers and career paths
  • How to begin and conduct a job search
  • Helpful tips on interviewing and practice interviews
  • LinkedIn and resumes with critique
  • What it's like to live and work in various cities
  • Personal finance and budgeting
  • Business dining etiquette and networking techniques
  • Succeeding in the first year on the job

Beyond the Gates 2022

2022 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Chase Spurlock, C'09

Chase Spurlock, PhD is Co-Founder and CEO of Decode Health. Decode is his second startup focused on the use of machine learning approaches to predict disease outcomes. His work has led to AI tools that enable care teams to find and fix chronic and infectious disease risk faster. These technologies have ranged from patented blood-based, genomic approaches to population-level studies capable of tracking hundreds of thousands of patient journeys in real time.


Dr. Spurlock's work in genomics and data science has been featured in peer-reviewed journals and widely published in trade journals and healthcare media outlets. He is also an industry innovator listed on the Nashville Business Journal '40 Under 40' list, Nashville Medical News InCharge, and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Nashville Business Journal's 2021 Health Care Innovation Awards.


Dr. Spurlock is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of the South and received his PhD from Vanderbilt in microbiology and immunology. Dr. Spurlock is an adjunct professor of medicine at Vanderbilt and adjunct professor of healthcare administration at NYU. Outside of work, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee and the leadership board of Siloam Health. He is also an active supporter of The Aspen Institute and is a member of the Order of St. John 

Past Keynote Speakers

2021: Dr. Renia Rush Dotson, C'88

MD, FACS, MHP, MBA, board certified Colon and Rectal Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.  Read her bio here.

2021: Theodosia Cook, C'11

SHRM-CP, Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Colorado.  Read her bio here.

2021: Jeremie Amoroso, C'10

Consultant, Strategy and Operations team at the World Bank.  Read his bio here.

2020: Kristen Morrissey Theide, C'98

CEO, First Step Project and SVP, Two Sigma (Prior: Google). Read her bio here.

2019: Julie Vibul Jolles, C’01

U.S. Department of State/World Bank (Current: Political Advisor, US Mission to the UN). Read her bio here.

2018: Emily Ochsenschlager, C'03

Producer and Editor, NPR (Current: Apple). Read her bio here.

2017: Mercedes Abramo, C'92

President and CEO, Cartier North America. Read her bio here.

2016: Charlie Brock, C'87

CEO and President, Launch Tennessee (Current: Director, Four Bridges Capital Advisors). Read his bio here.

2015: Meredith Walker, C'91

Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Smart Girls (Current: Co-Founder and Executive Director, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls: A Digital Network and Online Community). Read her bio here.

2014: The Rev. Maryetta Anschutz, C’97

Founder and Head of School, Episcopal School of Los Angeles (Current: Founder, Blueprint). Read her bio here.

2013: Ted Dennard, C’88

Founder and CEO, Savannah Bee Company. Read his bio here.

2012: Jennifer Bulkeley Staats, C’00

Strategist, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Current: Director, East and Southeast Asia Programs at United States Institute of Peace). Read her bio here.

2011: W. Marichal Gentry, C’86

Associate Dean of Yale College and Dean of Student Affairs (Current: VP and Dean of Students at Sewanee). Read his bio here.

2010: The Hon. Karl Dean, P’10

Mayor of Nashville. Read his bio here.

2009: Dr. Serena Satcher, C’85

Integrative and Functional Medicine Physician. Read her bio here.

2008: Dr. Linda Mayes, C’73

Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center. Read her bio here.

2007: Montague (Cosmo) Boyd, C’74

Financial Advisor and Senior VP, Smith Barney (Current: Stephens). Read his bio here.

2006: Read Carson Van de Water, C’86

Chairman of the National Meditation Board (Current: Senior Vice President, Safran USA). Read her bio here.

2005: Wallace Westfeldt, C’47

Journalist and Former Executive Producer, NBC Nightly News and ABC Special Reports. Read his bio here.