Centre College Faculty
Clarence Wyatt• Special Assistant to the President
• Chief Planning Officer
• Claude D. Pottinger Professor of History
Office: Crounse Hall—467
Clarence Wyatt is professor of history at Centre College, where he holds the Pottinger Distinguished Professorship of History and is Special Assistant to the President and Chief Planning Officer. Wyatt also serves as a consultant to the office of College Relations. Wyatt began working for the College in development in 1979 and joined the faculty in 1990.
Wyatt is a scholar of recent U.S. political, diplomatic, and cultural history, with a particular focus on American involvement in Vietnam. He is the author of Paper Soldiers: The American Press and the Vietnam War, an acclaimed book about U.S. press coverage of the Vietnam War, published in 1993 by W.W. Norton and issued in paperback by the University of Chicago Press. He co-edited The Vietnam Era, a digital collection of essays and primary sources, published by Primary Source Media in 1999. He has also contributed chapters and essays to several collections on the Vietnam War, including The Human Tradition in the Vietnam Era in 2000 and The War That Never Ends in 2007. He most recently co-edited Media and Propaganda in Wartime America, a two-volume encyclopedia published by ABC-CLIO in 2010. In addition to his scholarly publications, Wyatt has published opinion pieces or provided commentary in a range of outlets, including the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and National Public Radio. Since 2000, he has served as the election night commentator for the ABC Television affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky.
Wyatt has also spoken at conferences on a wide variety of topics related to American politics, diplomacy, journalism, and the Vietnam War. Among these are the Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of New Brunswick, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Popular Culture Association, the New Jersey Vietnam Educational Center, the United States Military Academy, the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University, and the American Historical Association. His most recent conference appearance was April, 2010, when he was the session keynote speaker at the Conference on War, Journalism, and history, co-sponsored by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Kentucky.
An energetic teacher, Wyatt teaches courses on the Vietnam War, U.S. diplomatic history, the American Civil War, the American Revolution and early national period, U.S. history since World War II, as well as introductory courses in U.S. and East Asian history. He has also regularly conducted study experiences for Centre students in Vietnam and Cambodia since 1995. In 1992, he was a member of the first group of American academics invited to visit Vietnam by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education.
Wyatt’s scholarship and teaching was most recently recognized with his being awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. In his project, Wyatt taught Vietnamese and U.S. history at Hanoi University in spring 2012, and conducted research for a book on the shared histories of the U.S. and Vietnam since 1975. He also worked at the request of the president of Hanoi University to review and revise the university's international studies curriculum.
In addition to his teaching and scholarly activities, Wyatt also serves as a senior officer of Centre College. He is Special Assistant to the President and Chief Planning Officer. In these roles, he has particular responsibilities in the areas of strategic planning and college relations. Wyatt has directed the strategic planning process at Centre since its inception in the early 1980s and has written each of Centre’s strategic plans since that time. Wyatt is also centrally involved in Centre’s fundraising efforts, including helping to plan each of Centre’s capital campaigns since 1979. Wyatt has also consulted with several other institutions and organizations in the areas of fundraising and strategic planning. Wyatt has also served as the director of a number of other programs at Centre, including the Brown Scholars Leadership Program and as the first director/mentor of the Brown Fellows Program, Centre’s marquee scholarship and enrichment program. Wyatt was also involved with Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program for nineteen years, serving first as a faculty member, then, from 2001 through 2012, as campus director.
In 2000, Wyatt served, along with Richard Trollinger, as co-chair of the committee that directed Centre’s hosting of the Vice Presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman. Centre was selected to host the Vice Presidential debate again in 2012, and Wyatt served with Trollinger as the debate co-chair.
Wyatt is also active in the community. In 1986, he co-founded the main street program for Danville, Ky., the Heart of Danville, which was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the nation’s outstanding Main Street program in 2001. Wyatt has also participated in Leadership Danville (receiving that organization’s outstanding alumnus award in 2003), and served as a board member of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center’s community board, as president of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association, as a member of the Danville Schools Foundation Board of Directors, and as chairman of the Danville Ethics Commission.
Wyatt’s service to Centre has been recognized with a number of awards. He was the first recipient of the Young Alumnus Award from the Centre College National Alumni Association. He has received the Charles Kirk Award in recognition of outstanding teaching, as well as the David Hughes Memorial Award for extraordinary leadership in the life of the College. He has also twice received the C. Eric Mount Award, presented by the Student Government Association to the faculty member who makes the greatest contributions to student life outside the classroom.
Wyatt holds a B.A. from Centre and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kentucky. He is married to Lobie Stone, also a Centre College alumna.
File last updated: 5/2/13