New academic building named for Lowry Wyatt

Puget Sound’s $14 million academic building, under construction and scheduled for completion in April 2000, will be named Lowry Wyatt Hall in memory of former Puget Sound chairman of the board and longtime trustee Lowry Wyatt, the trustees announced after their October meeting.

Wyatt served on the Puget Sound Board of Trustees for 26 years (1970 to 1996) and was chairman from 1986 to 1993. Puget Sound recognized his philanthropic and leadership activities with an honorary doctor of public service degree in 1981. In 1988, Wyatt served as both the university’s chairman of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the successful $45 million Centennial Campaign. During his tenure, he led the university through a period of extensive change as it grew to an institution of national stature. He passed away in Tacoma in November 1996.

In announcing the naming of the academic building, Puget Sound Board Chairman William T. Weyerhaeuser noted that Lowry Wyatt was a remarkable individual dedicated to serving the community and the university. "Lowry provided wise counsel to the board and to several Puget Sound presidents," said Weyerhaeuser. "He chaired two presidential search committees and staunchly supported the university’s liberal arts mission."

Wyatt earned a reputation as a man who cared deeply about the people of Pierce County, where he had lived since 1957. He originally came to the area to take a job as a Weyerhaeuser personnel director and retired in 1979 after rising to senior vice president. He served on the boards of numerous charities, schools and private companies, but he was known, according to Tacoma’s News Tribune, as a University of Puget Sound man.

President Susan Resneck Pierce praised Wyatt as an exemplary leader and credited him with persuading her to leave Lewis and Clark College in Portland to come to Puget Sound. "It was only because of Lowry Wyatt’s persuasiveness that I came for my first interview," Pierce said. "It was on the basis of spending a morning with Lowry, other trustees, and several faculty members and students, that I decided I wanted this position more than anything I wanted in my professional life."

-- Denise Ploof