Devenia Victoria Wallace ~ 1919 - 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (Oct. 2, 2013) – Generations of UMES alumni are fondly remembering Devenia Wallace, a beloved fellow Hawk who passed away a week ago today. She was 93.
Mrs. Wallace earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 1943 from Princess Anne College, as the university was known in the mid-20th century. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in 1946 from Virginia State College and eventually returned to her alma mater in the late 1950s to teach.
Devenia Wallace in 2011
Born Dec. 14, 1919, Devenia Victoria Pinder was the daughter of the late Victoria W. and Charles Edward Pinder. She was a graduate of F.D. St. Clair High School in Cambridge, MD.
Mrs. Wallace was a life-long educator who specialized in the field of home economics and dietary studies. She taught 20 years at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, retiring in June 1978.
Her days as an undergraduate were highlighted at graduation when she was named the recipient of the “Alumni Achievement Award” – also known as the H.C. Byrd graduating senior award.
It was the first in a long list of honors and recognitions she received during her life, including being given the honorary title of faculty member emeritus following her retirement from UMES.
Devenia Pinder, Princess Anne College class of 1943
In addition to her two degrees, Mrs. 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, today known as the 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 Ms. Wallace as a wonderful woman with a lifelong passion to 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.
In 2011, the university's Human Ecology department celebrated its 75th anniversary and simultaneously held a special recognition honoring Mrs. 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.
Mrs. Wallace was an officer in the university’s alumni organization and had the distinction in 1959 of being part of the platform party at graduation where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the commencement address.
During the university’s recent 125th anniversary celebration, she donated some of her personal papers to UMES, including rare photographs from her undergraduate years as well as her days as a professor.
Her funeral is Thursday (Oct. 3) at 1 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by the Bennie Smith Funeral home, 917 W. Isabella St., Salisbury, MD. Visitation at the funeral home will be at 11 a.m.
Bill Robinson, director, public relations, (410) 621-2355.