University of Maryland Eastern Shore The 125th Anniversary
125th Anniversary
"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of UMES" 1886-2011

Devenia Victoria Pinder Wallace

Devenia Wallace enjoys a unique place in the long, storied history of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She was among its most beloved graduates and loyal faculty members during the latter part of the 20th century.

Devenia V. Pinder - 1943Wallace earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1943 from Princess Anne College, as UMES was known then.  She went on to earn a Master of Science in 1946 from Virginia State College and returned to her alma mater in the late 1950s to teach.

A life-long educator, Wallace specialized in the field of home economics and dietary studies. She taught 20 years at UMES, retiring in June 1978.

Born Dec. 14, 1919, Devenia Victoria Pinder was the daughter of Victoria W. and Charles Edward Pinder. She was a graduate of F.D. St. Clair High School in Cambridge, Md. 

An enthusiastic and hard-working student, her efforts as an undergraduate during the war years were rewarded when she was named the recipient of the “Alumni Achievement Award” – also known in that era as the Harry C. Byrd graduating senior award.

The honor proved a harbinger of things to come. She amassed a long list of honors and recognitions she earned during a rich and full life, including the honorary title of faculty member emeritus following her retirement from UMES.

In addition to her two degrees, Wallace did additional study at Drexel University, the University of Massachusetts, Iowa State University, Cornell and nearby Salisbury State College, according to her personnel records. She also spent time at Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, N.Y., and with the American Dietetic Association in Chicago.

At UMES, she taught in and eventually served as chairwoman of the home economics department, the forerunner of today’s Department of Human Ecology. In retirement, she was a fixture at alumni and homecoming events who routinely delighted others in attendance.

“In my time as director of Alumni Affairs and Planned Giving, I came to know Mrs. Wallace as a wonderful woman with a lifelong passion for the university,” said Kim Dumpson, UMES’ executive vice president.

“We shared the same date of birth, albeit, decades apart, and (I) found a kindred spirit in her through our shared love of university history and advancement for young women in various fields of endeavor,” Dumpson said.

Devenia Wallace - 2011In 2011, the university's human ecology department celebrated its 75th anniversary and simultaneously held a special recognition honoring Wallace.

She held a Registered Dietitian credential and was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dietetic Association, the Maryland Dietetic Association, the Society of Nutrition Education and the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.

Wallace was an officer in the university’s alumni organization and had the distinction in the spring 1959 of being part of the platform party at graduation where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the commencement address.

During the university’s year-long 125th anniversary celebration, she graciously donated some of her personal papers to UMES, including rare photographs from her undergraduate years as well as her days as a professor.

Devenia Wallace died Sept. 25, 2013. She was 93.

"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore" 1886-2011