Paula Wallace biography
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 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.
She served as academic dean and provost of SCAD for twenty-two years and has served as president of the university since 2000. As president, Wallace has led the university in unprecedented growth, more than doubling enrollment from fewer than five thousand students to more than twelve thousand students. Wallace created and championed many of the university's most popular annual events, including the Savannah Film Festival, SCAD deFINE ART, SCADstyle, the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival, and SCAD aTVfest.
Wallace has also founded two respected teaching museums, the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah and SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, as well as galleries and other initiatives designed to present student and alumni artwork to the world. ShopSCAD, a unique gallery boutique with locations in Savannah and Lacoste, showcases original fine art, handbags, accessories, and home goods. The Collaborative Learning Center, which partners world renowned companies with SCAD professors and students, and the SCAD Alumni Atelier Program, an artist residency program for SCAD alumni, were developed by Wallace to provide exceptional on-site opportunities for SCAD artists to create in inspired environments.
Wallace's vision has garnered recognition for the university, including the following accolades: "One of America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News and World Report in 2013; One of "25 cutting-edge schools with an eye toward the future" by Kaplan in 2007; Number one ranking for the undergraduate interior design program from DesignIntelligence for five consecutive years; three-time champions of the national E3 College Game Competition; and numerous others.
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 2015 Red Dot Design Rankings top five universities in the Americas and Europe.
Wallace has authored several children's books and two interior design titles — Perfect Porches and A House in the South. Among many awards and honors, she has been named among the world's "30 Most Admired Educators" by DesignIntelligence and Southeast Area Ernst & Young Principled Leadership Entrepreneur of the Year, and was awarded the inaugural Elle Decor Vision Award. Wallace has been appointed a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Embassy in the United States of America, awarded the Phoenix Award by the City of Atlanta, and was recognized with the Arthur Ross Award for Stewardship by the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture. The Georgia Historical Society named her a 2015 Georgia Trustee and the American Institute of Architects awarded her an honorary membership for distinguished service to the profession of architecture. She currently serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Wallace earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University and Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees from Georgia State University; she also was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Gonzaga University. Wallace's husband is Glenn, and her four children are Marisa, John Paul, Madison, and Trace.
President and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design