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HomeNewsArchivesJohn Wallace, CVI's Interim President in 1962, Died

John Wallace, CVI's Interim President in 1962, Died

June 19, 2004 – Dr. John A. Wallace, the interim president of the College (now University) of the Virgin Islands, died Friday, June 11, in Lebanon, N.H. He was 88 and lived in Putney, Vt.
For more than 50 years Wallace had been associated with the Experiment in International Living, which figured prominently in the creation of the College of the Virgin Islands.
In 1961 Gov. Ralph Paiewonsky and a group of 21 educators, scholars and business leaders from the United States and the Virgin Islands met at Bluebeard's Castle Hotel on St. Thomas. Known as the Governor's Conference on Higher Education, the group, which contained a representative from the Experiment in International Living, studied the possibility of creating a college in the Virgin Islands.
On March 16, 1962, the College of the Virgin Islands was chartered by the Fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands. Wallace was executive vice president of the Experiment in International Living when he was appointed interim president of the new college by the governor in April 1962. Dr. Lawrence C. Wanlass was appointed president of the college in 1963.
Wallace, or "Jack" Wallace, as he was known, was born in Lansdowne, Pa., and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1937 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a master's degree in education in 1939 and a doctorate in education in 1949. He taught high school before entering the Army in 1941 as a second lieutenant. In 1946, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his role in the Army's first tests of the tactical deployment of helicopters.
He was teaching at Beaver College in Jenkintown, Pa., in 1949 when he took 28 of his students on a two-week trek across Europe under the aegis of the Council on Student Travel. After 1950, as an associate professor of education and director of undergraduate studies at the Business School at Boston University, Wallace again organized programs to study other countries and cultures. He resigned from Boston University in 1955 to become vice president and assistant director of the Experiment in International Living the next year.
Wallace started the School for International Training, an outgrowth of the Experiment in International Living, with headquarters in Brattleboro, Vt., in 1964 and directed it until 1978.
In 1992 Wallace helped establish the British Virgin Islands' community college in Tortola, which is now known as H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
Wallace is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betty Jean Higgins Wallace; four daughters, Barbara W. George, Dr. Lynn W. Herzog, Martha W. Jones, all of Brattleboro, and Jan Backus Blodgett of Winooski, Vt.; a brother, William, of Topeka, Kan.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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