The Wallace Fund was established by the Class of 1971. The fund honors Dr. Lillian Parker Wallace, who served as professor of history at Meredith from 1921 to 1962, and as chair of the history department from 1947 until her retirement. Two years after the inception of the fund, the Class of 1973 officially added its sanction and support. Exposing generations of students to prominent leaders was the fund’s intent from the very beginning.

Past Speakers:

September 23, 2019: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was in conversation with Meredith alumna Suzanne Reynolds, ’71. The conversation between Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court, and Reynolds, the first woman to serve as dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law, was wide-ranging, covering topics from Ginsburg’s legendary stamina, to her loving and supportive marriage, to her surprising friendship with fellow Supreme Court justice Antony Scalia. Read more about the event

April 2, 2013: Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, presented “My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize.” The founding coordinator and campaign ambassador of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Williams is a tireless crusader against war and the lingering effects of armed conflict around the world.

October 1, 2009: Wangari Maathai, who received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, presented “Sustainable Development, Democracy, and Peace: A Critical Link” in front of an audience of more than 1,200. Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. The Green Belt Movement Maathai established has helped to restore Kenya’s indigenous forests and involved women in sustainable agriculture.

September 14, 2006: Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi spoke to a full house in Jones Auditorium. Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2003 for her work as a human rights attorney in her native Iran.

September 17, 2003: Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, delivered “Against Indifference: The Urgency of Hope,” Meredith’s fourth Wallace Lecture. Prior to his lecture, Wiesel became the first man to ever receive an honorary doctorate from Meredith.

March 11, 1991: Sandra Day O’Connor, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, delivered the third Wallace Lecture, “Women and the Constitution,” as part of Meredith’s Centennial Celebration.

September 11, 1986: Former United States President Jimmy Carter delivered the second Wallace Lecture, “America: A Champion of Peace?”. According to the Fall 1986 “Meredith Magazine,” Carter’s comments drew international media coverage.

September 18, 1978: The Right Honorable Sir Harold Wilson, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, visited Meredith as part of a 12-day tour of the U.S. His lecture, “The Transatlantic Connection from Winston Churchill to Today”, was the College’s first Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture.