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Gift Provides Support to Two Departments
UM student Madison Dacus of Jonesboro, Arkansas (in blue) practices an audiology exam with her classmate Emily Watkins of Pontotoc, Mississippi. The UM Speech and Hearing Clinic in CSD offers speech-language, hearing, and swallowing testing and therapies.

As a child, the late John Lacy Wyatt of Calhoun City, Mississippi, benefited from speech services provided by the University of Mississippi’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Now, a generous gift from his estate will ensure those services continue to help others in his community for years to come.

The 1964 UM graduate’s testamentary gift recently established the John Lacy Wyatt Endowment for Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The UM Speech and Hearing Center (UMSHC), part of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provides clinical education for graduate students enrolled in communication sciences and disorders as well as speech-language-hearing services to patients of all ages in its service area.

UMSHC evaluates and treats individuals’ speech-language disorders including articulation/phonology; expressive and receptive language; stuttering and other fluency disorders; voice; aural rehabilitation; adult neurological rehabilitation; augmentative communication; dysphagia (swallowing); dialect reduction and literacy. The center also provide hearing evaluations and hearing aid sales and service.

“We are so grateful that our services made a difference in Mr. Wyatt’s life,” said Vishaka Rawool, chair and professor of communication sciences and disorders. “We will use his gift to support our tradition of excellence in clinical education and speech-language and audiological services, all of which are critical in our community.”

Wyatt further extended his generosity in perpetuity by establishing the John Lacy Wyatt Endowment for Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management – providing needed support to a department centered on improving the wellness of individuals and communities. His gift will enable the department to continuously improve its teaching, research and service to benefit students in exercise science, sport and recreation administration, health promotion, and health and kinesiology.

“Our faculty, staff and students in the School of Applied Sciences at Ole Miss are very grateful for Mr. Wyatt’s generosity to two of our deserving departments,” said School of Applied Sciences Dean Peter Grandjean. “This gift will only further our mission to create healthier, more vibrant communities, starting right here in North Mississippi.”

Wyatt graduated from Vardaman (Mississippi) High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ole Miss before receiving a master’s degree in education from Mississippi State University.

For over 20 years, he taught physical education in Calhoun City and coached football and baseball for his beloved Wildcats, retiring in 1986. Shortly after, Calhoun City Schools recognized Wyatt’s legacy by naming its baseball field in his honor. In 2017, Calhoun City added to that legacy by presenting him with the “Lifetime Wildcat” award.

Individuals and organizations make gifts to the John Lacy Wyatt Endowment for Communication Sciences and Disorders by sending a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or by giving online here. Likewise, gifts to the John Lacy Wyatt Endowment for Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management may be made here.

For information on including UM in estate plans, contact Daniel K. Wiseman, CFRE, senior director of gift planning, at 662-915-5944 or

By Sarah Sapp


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.