The Wesley H. Wallace Professorship in Communication Studies was created in 1987 by colleagues and friends of Wallace, a former chairman of the Department of Radio, Television and Motion Pictures.

Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting Co. made the initial gift of $25,000 that created the fund. In 1993, when the Department of Radio, Television and Motion Pictures was combined with the Department of Speech Communication to create the Department of Communication Studies, the Wallace Professorship was transferred to the new department.

Wallace was born in 1912 in Denver, Colo. He spent his entire career in higher education in the Triangle. Wallace earned a B.S. from North Carolina State University in 1932, an M.A. from UNC in 1954 and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1962. All three of his degrees were in history, with a minor in political science.

Wallace became an announcer for Raleigh radio station WPTF soon after he earned his undergraduate degree. He eventually became assistant program director and production manager of the station. During World War II, he was stationed in the Philippines, where he became officer-in-charge of armed forces radio in Manila. In 1946, he was named director of the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Service.

He returned to North Carolina in 1952 and taught in UNC-CH’s Department of Radio, Television and Motion Pictures for nearly 30 years. He began as a lecturer in 1952 and was a full professor by 1966. In 1962, he was acting chairman of the department; the following year, he was named department chair, a position he held until he retired in 1980.

Wallace was inducted into the N.C. Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1976. He was the recipient of both the Frank Stanton Award as the nation’s outstanding broadcast educator in 1980 and the N.C. Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award in 1978.
Wallace died in September 2004. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Carolyn Andrews Wallace (M.A. ’47, Ph.D. ’54). She is the retired director of the Southern Historical Collection at UNC and was the first woman to hold the position. They have one daughter, Virginia (M.S. ’66).

The Wesley H. Wallace Professor

David B. Sontag

2013 – Present: George Jenne