Trustee Emeritus Jack Wallace '48 and his wife, Happy, visited the PDS campus this week to share with faculty and staff about the origins of the School's signature guest artist program, Imagine the Possibilities (ITP), which they established and have made possible for the past 25 years. Mr. Wallace's ties to the School span decades. To name only a few highlights, his mother attended Miss Fine's and graduated in 1927, Jack graduated from Princeton Country Day in 1948, and Jack and Happy's three children attended PDS, followed by four of their grandchildren. Mr. Wallace is the School's longest-serving trustee and one of the School's most valuable, tireless and respected advocates.
After an introduction by Head of School Paul Stellato, Mr. Wallace told the moving story of his and Happy's son, John D. Wallace, Jr. '78, a charismatic young man who loved writing, music and theater and who died in 1990. The annual ITP visiting artist program, Mr. Wallace explained, made possible through the John D. Wallace, Jr. '78 Memorial Guest Artist Series Fund, was set up in 1996 to honor John. For 25 years, Imagine the Possibilities has continued John's legacy, providing opportunities for thousands of PDS students across all Divisions to learn from and work directly with 67 artists to date, including many award-winning writers and book illustrators.
Mr. Wallace shared that he and Happy have regularly attended ITP events, and his memories of several visiting artists' experiences at PDS powerfully demonstrated their impact as well as the extensive preparations of many faculty members and the students' impressive participation and knowledge. He also graciously acknowledged Bev. Gallagher, who has energetically served as the Director of the ITP program and arranged all of the artist visits since its inception, when she was a third grade teacher at PDS with a passion for literacy. Mr. Wallace also warmly thanked Head of School Paul Stellato for his leadership and successful stewardship of the program.
Concluding his remarks, Mr. Wallace announced that a special exhibit featuring the work of one of his grandsons, Connor Gibson '12, is planned for the Anne Reid '72 Art Gallery in May. The exhibit celebrates John's memory and the 25th anniversary of Imagine the Possibilities. Princeton Day School was honored to have Jack and Happy Wallace on campus this week to share their inspiring story.
Images: top, left to right, ITP Director Bev. Gallagher, Head of School Paul Stellato, Happy Wallace, Jack Wallace '48 and PDS Third Grade teacher and Director of Service Learning Margie Wallace Gibson '84; above, Jack Wallace delivering his remarks to all faculty and staff; below, poster commemorating the School's 25th anniversary of Imagine the Possibilities.