Biography of Paula Wallace

Paula Wallace is the president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design, a private, nonprofit, accredited university for creative careers. Established in 1978, SCAD is the largest, most comprehensive art and design university in the United States, with locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and Hong Kong; as well as an award-winning eLearning program.

Since her appointment as president in 2000, President Wallace has led the university in unprecedented growth, more than doubling enrollment from less than 5,000 students to 12,000 students hailing from 100-plus countries. President Wallace created many of the university's most popular annual events, including the Savannah Film Festival, SCAD deFINE ART, SCADstyle, Sidewalk Arts Festival, and SCAD aTVfest. As SCAD grows, President Wallace continues to advance the SCAD legacy of historic preservation, which has been recognized with prestigious awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Art Deco Societies of America, the American Society of Interior Designers, UNESCO, and the American Institute of Architects. Under President Wallace's leadership, SCAD was named one of the 2014 Red Dot Design Rankings top ten universities in the Americas and Europe. Further, SCAD’s interior design programs are highly ranked, with the SCAD undergraduate interior design program earning DesignIntelligence’s top ranking for four consecutive years.

President Wallace's accolades, honors and memberships include the following:

  • Recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2014 “Women Who Mean Business Awards”
  • Named one of DesignIntelligence’s 30 Most Admired Educators of 2013
  • Recipient of the Sustainability Award from Fashion Group International
  • Named International Art Adviser of the China 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.)
  • Named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young (Southeastern U.S.)
  • Named among the "100 Most Influential Georgians" by Georgia Trend magazine
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Georgia State University College of Education
  • 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 in recognition of extraordinary philanthropic service in urban communities
  • Awarded the Impact on Design Education Award at the Style Atlanta Awards

President Wallace earned a B.A. from Furman University and an M.Ed. and an Ed.S. from Georgia State University; she also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Gonzaga University. President Wallace enjoys spending time with her husband, Glenn, and her four children, Marisa, John Paul, Madison, and Trace.

Paula Wallace

President and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design


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