The namesake of the college, Joseph Brant, was a Mohawk leader and was a heroic figure in the American Revolutionary War and the Seven Years War, negotiating relationships between the Americans, British, and the six Iroquoian Nations.
After his service in the wars, Joseph Brant settled in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and became the chief of the Six Nations. The Six Nations comprises the Mohawks, Senecas, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Tuscaroras. As the Chief of the Six Nations, each of which had a Chief, Joseph Brant was truly the Chief of Chiefs.
Portraits of Joseph Brant can be found in the art gallery at Independence National Park in Philadelphia, and in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.