Sarah Reese Wallace ’76

“You can't hide at DePauw. It’s not like you're entering a classroom with 1,200 people and the faculty member doesn’t know who’s there. Our faculty are fabulous.”

Born and raised in Newark, Ohio, Sarah followed her older sister to DePauw, majoring in education and minoring in business. Her three younger siblings also attended DePauw, as did her own three children. Her husband, John, graduated from the University in 1976, and three of her nieces are now attending. Finally, her son is engaged to a DePauw graduate.

A 2012 gift of $1.8 million from Sarah and John is earmarked for construction of a Faculty Dining Room in the new Hoover Dining Hall. The facility will enable students and faculty members to continue conversations after class, while allowing collegial sharing and bonding among professors.

After DePauw, Sarah earned an MBA at Indiana University and now serves as chair of First Federal Savings and Loan. She benefited enormously from faculty mentorship at DePauw, and she sees today’s faculty having the same impact. “They have done so much for me and my children and today’s students, helping them get jobs and get into graduate schools.” The faculty-student relationship holds a special place in the DePauw experience. When Sarah realized that there was no single place on campus for the faculty to gather and meet with students, helping extend that conversation became a priority for her.

As a member of DePauw’s Board of Trustees since 2000, and its first-ever woman chair from 2010 to 2014, Sarah has done a tremendous service to DePauw. The faculty dining room is an expression of her gratitude for professors whose accessibility and willingness to mentor students has made them one of DePauw’s strongest assets. “They deserve this space,” she says.

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