Dwane L. Wallace graduated from the University of Wichita’s aeronautical engineering program in 1933. One year later, he reopened the Cessna plant, which had been closed by his uncle, Clyde V. Cessna, during the Great Depression. Here, he led the company from 1935 to 1975.
Both Mr. Wallace and his wife, Velma, have played a major role in aviation, their community and Wichita State University. On behalf of WSU, Mr. Wallace received the WSU Alumni Association Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree and was the first recipient of the Distinguished Engineer Service Award from the WSU College of Engineering. Mrs. Wallace, a Wichita State Honorary Alumna, served on the Elliott Advisory Council for many years and as Honorary Co-Chairman of Campaign for Students at WSU from 1993√±1995. In recognition of her devotion, she was awarded the President’s Medal and is honored in the Plaza of Heroines.
In 1976, Dwane and Velma Wallace established the Dwane and Velma Wallace Endowment. During the 25th Anniversary celebration of Wallace Scholars in 2002, a group of scholars led by Charity Kennedy and Darin Landis decided to honor the actions of Dwane and Velma Wallace by creating their own scholarship fund; the Wallace Alumni Legacy Endowed Scholarship. Since its creation 25 years ago, more than 500 students have benefited from Wallace scholarships.