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.
Wallace 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
“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
“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.
In 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
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.