Children's Hospital is named in honor of community leader and philanthropist Monroe Carell Jr. (1932-2008). Monroe was a businessman, founder of Central Parking Corp. and philanthropist with deep ties to Nashville.
Monroe earned a degree in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt in 1959. The School of Engineering named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2001. He served as a Vanderbilt trustee and was an honorary lifetime member of Children's Hospital's board. Mr. Carell was an involved trustee who often attended hospital events.
Monroe and his wife, Ann Scott Carell (1935-2012), were philanthropic leaders at Vanderbilt for many years. They funded the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Chair of Pediatric Cardiology and several full-tuition scholarships at the University. Monroe also served as chair of Vanderbilt's Shape the Future Campaign and the Children's Hospital Capital Campaign.
Through Carell’s generous gifts, Children’s Hospital was built in 2004, and was expanded in 2012 and 2020. His dream for a standalone Children's Hospital was born from his compassion for patients, tireless support for doctors and staff and generous financial gifts.
"The reality of this hospital is the answer to something that I have wanted and yearned for, for many years. It comes from the early days as a child when I had to go to the hospital so many times for so many years," Monroe said in an interview in the spring of 2008. "While I received wonderful treatment, I always knew that I was one child amongst many adults, and the hospital and all of the doctors looked upon me as something certainly different from the other patients."
John W. Brock III, M.D., Senior Vice President of Pediatric Surgical Services, Director of Pediatric Urology, Monroe Carell Jr. Chair and Surgeon-in-Chief, described Mr. Carell: "What impressed me most about Mr. Carell was his incredible passion for this hospital. I have seen this on innumerable occasions in his interactions not only with donors but also parents and children. Those of us who knew him realize we could not have asked for a better benefactor."