The Student Center is named for Charles Madison Sarratt (1888-1978), whose bust (and personal “mission statement”) decorate the original main entrance. Sarratt had a storied 62-year career, during which he taught mathematics, served as Dean of Students, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, Dean of Alumni and (for four brief months in 1945), Chancellor Pro Tempore.
Sarratt Student Center reflects the product of four distinct phases of construction. Rand Dining Hall was built in 1952, its location central to Vanderbilt Campus. In 1974, Sarratt was erected in the form of two buildings — the cinema/art gallery, and the Glove Lounge/Overcup Oak — joined by an elevated walkway, under which students could pass to reach Rand. The dining hall and bookstore were rebuilt and expanded in 1986 at a cost of $6 million. In 2000, the 56,000-square-foot Sarratt complex received an 18,000-square-foot expansion in the form of the enclosed Promenade and the 3rd floor Skylight. Student complaints of Sarratt’s being confusingly arranged, poorly lit and visually unnerving were addressed by joining the 3 separate Rand/Sarratt buildings into the single large structure of today.