Paula Wallace is the president and co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design, a SACS-accredited nonprofit university established in 1978 - and the most comprehensive arts university in the world.
Since her appointment as president in 2000, Wallace has led the university in unprecedented growth, doubling enrollment from less than 5,000 students to nearly 10,500 students at present. In addition to SCAD Savannah
, President Wallace has established four new campuses during her administration:
- In 2002, she established SCAD Lacoste, the university's idyllic campus in the South of France, where students from all campuses travel every quarter.
- In 2004, she established SCAD eLearning, the university's award-winning distance-learning program, offering fully online graduate and undergraduate degrees.
- In 2005, she established SCAD Atlanta, the university's urban campus that in five years has grown from 77 students to nearly 1,800 students, making it one of the fastest-growing branch campuses in the United States.
- In 2010, she established SCAD Hong Kong, making SCAD the first U.S. university with a permanent, standalone campus in Asia's World City. SCAD Hong Kong is also the only university in Hong Kong dedicated solely to art and design education.
President Wallace's accolades, honors and memberships include:
- Recipient of the Sustainability Award from Fashion Group International
- Named an International Art Adviser by Chinese Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing, China
- Recipient of the inaugural Elle Décor Vision Award from Elle Décor magazine
- Appointed Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Conseiller Culturel and Consul Général of the French Embassy in the United States of America
- Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA, Great Britain)
- Member of the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, D.C.)
- Member of ArtTable (New York)
- Named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young (Southeastern United States)
- Named one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians" - Georgia Trend magazine
- Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Georgia State University College of Education
- Appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve on the Georgia Film, Video and Music Advisory Commission
- Named an "Outstanding Georgia Citizen" by Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox
- Awarded the James T. Deason Human Relations Award and the W.W. Law Legacy Award - recognizing extraordinary philanthropic service in urban communities
- Awarded the Impact on Design Education Award at the Style Atlanta Awards
- Named an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Gonzaga University
Thanks to the growth of SCAD under President Wallace, the university has received numerous accolades and recognitions:
- The "Hottest for Studying Art" among "America's 25 Hottest Colleges" Kaplan/Newsweek
- One of "America's Best Colleges" - U.S. News and World Report
- One of "America's Best Graduate Schools" - U.S. News and World Report
- One of "America's Most Interesting Schools" - Kaplan/Newsweek
- One of "25 cutting-edge schools with an eye toward the future" - Kaplan
- One of "America's Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs" - Forbes Small Business magazine
President Wallace created or invigorated many of the university's most innovative academic and outreach programs, including Art Educators' Forum
, Rising Star
, Summer Seminars
and SCAD's Advanced Placement Institutes
. She oversees the university's permanent art collection and the SCAD Museum of Art
President Wallace also created many of the university's most popular annual events, including the Sidewalk Arts Festival
, one of Savannah's premier outdoor festivals, and SCAD Style
, the university's spring calendar of style and design events
, including lectures, exhibitions, trunk shows and book signings. SCAD Style begins with the annual Étoile Awards in New York, where the university honors important figures in style and design. Past Étoile Award recipients include Peter Arnell, Graydon Carter, Pierre Cardin, Jonathan Adler, Margaret Russell, Dakota Jackson, David Yurman, Pamela Fiori and others.
President Wallace also founded the Savannah Film Festival
, an event that attracts an audience of more than 40,000 people and features an independent film competition, lectures and presentations by some of the world's most well-known filmmakers, and screenings of landmark new films.
President Wallace created shopSCAD
(regularly mentioned in style and design publications from Veranda to The New York Times 'T' Magazine) and Working Class Studio
, an innovative product development venture designed to teach SCAD students about the marketplace, through the conception, creation, production, and promotion of product lines sold in retail stores around the world.
President Wallace has advanced the SCAD legacy of historic preservation and the university's commitment to renewing urban landscapes through an impressive series of restoration projects in the medieval village of Lacoste, in Midtown Atlanta and in the historic district of Savannah, Georgia. Most recently, SCAD has restored a 19th-century synagogue, an abandoned turn-of-the-century hospital, several historic public school buildings and Ivy Hall
, one of the finest examples of Victorian/Queen Anne architecture in the South - transforming each of them into thriving homes for SCAD academic programs. This commitment to the building arts has earned awards for SCAD from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Art Deco Societies of America, the American Society of Interior Designers and the American Institute of Architects. SCAD properties have also been featured in recent catalogs for J.Crew and Anthropologie.
President Wallace has authored children's and interior design books, and she is an award-winning interior designer and classical pianist. She has often traveled to speak about her last two books: "A House in the South
" (Random House), co-authored with Frances Schultz, and "Perfect Porches
" (Random House). Both books have received praise from Town & Country, Veranda, Southern Living, and more.
President Wallace earned a B.A. degree from Furman University, and M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees from Georgia State University; she also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Gonzaga University. In addition to leading SCAD, President Wallace enjoys spending time with her husband, Glenn, and her four children: Marisa, John Paul, Madison and Trace.