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SCAD’s Paula Wallace Relays Insights From a Career in Education


For Paula Wallace, inspiration has always been found in the classroom. 

Wallace is the president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design, a private, nonprofit, accredited university. Wallace’s career as an elementary school teacher served as the motivation to create a “student-centered” comprehensive art and design university. She held the position of academic dean and provost of SCAD for 22 years and was appointed president of the university in 2000. Under her tenure, the university has more than doubled its enrollment from less than 5,000 students to more than 13,000. Today, the university has locations in Savannah and Atlanta; Lacoste, France, and Hong Kong, as well as eLearning.

Over the years Wallace has created and espoused an array of university events, including SCAD Fashwknd, the Savannah Film Festival, SCAD Define Art, SCAD A TV Fest, SCAD Style and the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival. Here, Wallace talks to WWD about founding SCAD, her career in education and relays advice for young design talent.

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