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Farewell to a Fine Gentleman

The TC community salutes its constant gardener, the late Jack Hyland

A Quiet Inspiration Jack Hyland
A Quiet Inspiration Jack Hyland
Teachers College lost its most cherished statesman in August — Jack Hyland, Board Co-Chair, 30-year Trustee, Renaissance spirit and the man described by President Susan Fuhrman as “our constant gardener, cultivating excellence across our vast enterprise.”

John W. Hyland Jr., forged successful careers in investment banking and as a media adviser. He was a celebrated author, professional photographer and art enthusiast — Chairman Emeritus of the American Academy in Rome, Director of the College Art Association and Trustee of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Fuhrman’s metaphor was particularly apt: The stunning oasis of grasses, bamboos, pools and paths that Hyland and his partner, Larry Wente, maintained at their weekend home in Millerton, New York — “the place of your heart,” Hyland’s son, Jonathan, said at a TC memorial celebration in September — is listed in The Garden Conservancy.

At TC, which awarded him its Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education, Hyland aided two presidential searches and historic fundraising campaigns. He championed the College’s advances in digital education, financial literacy education and learning technology.

Hyland’s colleagues, friends and family especially valued his ability to bring people together. Provost Tom James recalled once dining with Hyland, Professor Gary Natriello and Trustee Emeritus Elliot Jaffe. “The waitress wrote on the check, ‘Thank you, my fine gentlemen,’” James said. “Jack, the whole community is rising up now to say: ‘Thank you, my fine gentleman.’”

In Their Own Words

Reflections and memories of Jack hyland from TC’s leaders, trustees, faculty members and his children

Dynamic Duo Hyland and Cowin
Dynamic Duo Hyland and Cowin
Joyce Cowin

TC Trustee, Founder of the Cowin Financial Literacy Program

“I have never seen this auditorium look so beautiful — and it’s for the right person. Like the eclipse we recently experienced, Jack was a singular sensation. Each of us was lucky to be in his orbit.”

Susan Fuhrman

President, Teachers College

“Jack never gave less than his best to TC, and everyone who came in contact with him wanted to do better and be better. I was privileged to call him my boss, friend and mentor, and I will love him for the rest of my days.”

Susannah Hyland


“You were a tenacious man. You were as tender as a plant laughing at the sun.”

Paul LeClerc

TC Trustee, Past President and CEO of the New York Public Library

“His board involvements were the figurative counterpart to the garden that he and Larry cultivated. It’s sweet to think of him going to the Elysian Fields, reserved for the righteous and heroic. You can imagine just what Jack is up to there.”

Elysian Fields Hyland's garden in Millerton, New York
Elysian Fields Hyland's garden in Millerton, New York
‌Bill Rueckert

Chair, Teachers College Board

“He had the most amazing Rolodex, mostly in his head. This room is full today because of Jack, but it feels empty without him.”

Tom James

TC Provost and Dean

“One faculty member re-called talking to him about the constellation of the arts and humanities programs at TC. Jack recognized this great taproot in our history. But the astonishing thing is that he had the same understanding of us in other areas.”

Liza Bainbridge


“I will think of you every time I need advice and reassurance that the world isn’t going to end.”

Marie Miville

Professor of Psychology & Education

“I consider myself lucky to have served as a faculty member during his tenure. I especially appreciate Jack’s long-time support of diversity issues and psychology at TC.”

Mentor and Friend Fuhrman prized Hyland‘s inspiration
Mentor and Friend Fuhrman prized Hyland‘s inspiration
Michael Rebell

Professor of Practice and Director of TC’s Center for Educational Equity

“He was an inspiration — someone with whom I could brainstorm to great profit — and a great supporter of everything that I and my colleagues were trying to do.”

Lucy Calkins

Robinson Professor in Children's Literature

“Like so many faculty members at TC, I knew Jack as a quiet adviser and constant supporter. He was always ready to offer a warm, kind bit of encouragement, to ask for my insights.”

Eduardo Martí

TC Trustee, Former CUNY Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges
“He guided the Board in a collegial manner and left the College in much better shape than he found it. His warm personality, quick wit and keen intellect will be with us forever.”

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Published Monday, Dec 18, 2017