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John A(dam) Wallace (1915-2004) Biography

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born August 12, 1915, in Lansdowne, PA; died of heart disease June 11, 2004, in Lebanon, NH. Educator and author. Wallace was best known as the founder of the School for International Training, which promoted the understanding of inter national cultures through student exchange and education programs. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1939 with a master's degree, he taught at a Pennsylvania high school and then joined the U.S. Army in 1941 as an officer in the Airborne Infantry. He became expert in air and ground movement tactics, and during his last year of service in 1946 was involved in the army's first helicopter tests. Awarded the Legion of Merit, he remained in the Army Reserves and eventually achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. Meanwhile, he joined the faculty at Beaver College as a professor and department head during the late 1940s, moving on to the School of Education at Boston University in 1950, where he was director of undergraduate studies for the next six years and was heavily involved in establishing the university's study abroad program. In 1956, he was hired by the Experiment in International Living (EIL) as executive vice president; it was while here that he founded the School for International Training (SIT) in 1967. Serving as director of SIT until 1978, Wallace's mission was to help students stay with families in other countries, where they could gain an appreciation of other cultures and become better global citizens as a result; he also directed the training Peace Corps groups and was made interim president of what is now the University of the Virgin Islands in 1962. Much later, in 1992, he was also founding president of the British Virgin Islands Community College. When Wallace retired from SIT, the Federation EIL made him secretary general, a position that put him in charge of running cultural and educational exchanges in fifty countries where the EIL operated. In addition to this work, he was active in many charitable organizations, including Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, and the Windham World Affairs Council, as well as many groups in his home of Putney, Vermont. In his efforts to promote international understanding, Wallace penned several books, including Getting to Know the USSR (1959), Getting to Know Poland (1960), and Getting to Know France (1962).



New York Times, June 17, 2004, p. A27.


University of the Virgin Islands, http://www.uvi.edu/ (June 18, 2004).

World Learning, http://www.worldlearning.org/ (June 14, 2004)*.

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