Alumnus and former board chair gives $1 million for ISEB

Before longtime university supporter James C. Wyant, PhD (CIT ’65, HON ’23), died in December, he and his wife, Tammy Wyant, made one final joint commitment to Case Western Reserve: $1 million for the forthcoming Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (ISEB).

The 189,000-square-foot facility on Case Quad—scheduled to open in fall 2026—will offer labs and open spaces designed to encourage collaboration across a variety of research areas.

“Jim felt Case Western Reserve was poised to become renowned for engineering but needed the tools,” Tammy Wyant said, “and this building would provide them by attracting new faculty members, researchers and students.”

James Wyant equipped his alma mater with many “tools” over the years, beginning with his first major gift in 2005 to name CWRU’s outdoor track for Coach Bill Sudeck, whom the alumnus credited for his lifelong passion for physical fitness. Two years later, he committed $4 million to establish the Wyant Athletic and Wellness Center.

That same year, he pledged $3 million to the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] for what is now known as the Wyant Gateway and Collaboration Floor. In subsequent years, he endowed two professorships, as well as the position of the university’s director of athletics. 

Gifts for the ISEB, including the Wyants’ $1 million commitment, will be matched by a $150 million century bond, doubling the impact. 

“Jim Wyant’s legacy is evident throughout the university and touches so many important aspects of campus life,” President Eric W. Kaler said. “Jim and Tammy’s generous gift to the ISEB is a fitting tribute to Jim’s long-held passion for innovation, research and discovery.”

Beyond philanthropic support, Wyant was an engaged alumnus and served on the university’s Board of Trustees for several years, including as its chair, and was a member of the presidential search committee. He was excited about President Kaler’s leadership, Tammy Wyant said, and confident President Kaler was the right choice to take Case Western Reserve into the future.

“Jim’s approach to philanthropy was a testament to his character. He never did it for recognition; he believed deeply in the power of education to change lives,” she said. “[The ISEB] is something he really wanted for the university, so to see it actually happening is amazing.”