John O. Gaines

Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Vanderbilt University

John Gaines has been with Vanderbilt University since 2002, and currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Admissions. During his tenure at Vanderbilt, applications to the university have tripled, and the university has experienced record setting classes and increasing selectivity and diversity. Prior to moving to Nashville, he served as Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi from 1998-2002. He began his admissions career in 1989 at his alma mater, Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, where he started as an Admissions Counsellor, and was promoted through the ranks to become Director of Admissions. John is a frequent presenter at high schools, and at regional, national and international conferences on the topic of selective college admissions and college choice. He is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counselling, the Southern Association for College Admission Counselling, and the College Board. He has survived the college search process twice, as his daughter is now a college graduate and pursuing her dream career, and his son is a second-year student at his first-choice college!