National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee

Vanderbilt Collection - Kirkland Hall

Joe B. Wyatt
Artist:Ann Street
Date Created:2001
Owner/Location:Vanderbilt University
Frame Dimensions:
Image Dimensions:40" x 60"
Materials/Media:oil on canvas

Description:Full length portrait of Chancellor Wyatt standing in the lobby of Kirkland with his hand on one of the original chapel platform chairs representing the earliest days of the University while behind him sits a sixteen byte memory unit from Harvard University’s Mark IV computer harkening the technological revolution of the twentieth century. He is wearing a black suit, white shirt, and gold striped tie.
History of Work:This portrait was commissioned by the Board of Trust in 2000 at Chancellor Wyatt's retirement from Vanderbilt University. It hangs in Kirkland Hall on the campus. To further honor the Wyatts upon retirement, the newly renovated centerpiece building on the Peabody College campus was named the Faye and Joe Wyatt Center for Education.
Notes:Born in Texas, Joe Wyatt came to be Chancellor of Vanderbilt in 1982 by way of Harvard University, where he had been Vice President for Administration and Senior Lecturer in Computer Science. A mathematician and computer scientist, Wyatt received degrees from the University of Texas and Texas Christian University, where he also taught. During Chancellor Wyatt’s eighteen year tenure at Vanderbilt, the University’s endowment grew from $170 million to over $2 billion; the annual operating budget increased from $200 million to over $1.2 billion. Classroom, research, office, and parking space facilities increased from 7.5 million to 14 million square feet while all dormitory space was renovated. Other achievements included bringing the University into the then emerging field of computer technology; the revitalization of Peabody College and leadership in a national effort to improve elementary and secondary education; the enhancement of faculty quality with endowed chairs increasing from thirty-nine to over one hundred; the enhancement of quality teaching within the University which, among other programs and initiatives, included the creation of the Center for Teaching and the Initiative on Technological Innovation in the Classroom. The student body became the most diverse in the University’s history, and to encourage the increase in percentage of minorities among undergraduates, the Chancellor’s Scholarships for Outstanding Minority Students were initiated. Finally, volunteer community service was vigorously encouraged and supported by the Chancellor and his wife, Faye.