Princeton Weekly Bulletin September 13, 1998

Wallace family funds social sciences building

A state-of-the-art social sciences building will be constructed with a gift of $10 million from Monte Wallace '53 and his children John '79, Gardner '82 and Elisabeth Wallace Trase '83, and Neil Wallace '55 and his children Jonathan '82 and Julia Wallace Bennett '83.

The new Wallace Social Sciences Building, which will house interdisciplinary teaching and research on complex social, political and economic issues, will be located close to the Woodrow Wilson School, the departments of economics and politics, and Seeley Mudd Library. Construction on the 75,000-square-foot building will begin this fall.

"Monte and Neil Wallace have generously supported Princeton for many years," said President Harold Shapiro. "We are grateful for their splendid family gift, which will so strongly advance the University's teaching and research objectives in the interrelated fields of the social sciences."

Peter Bohlin of the architectural firm Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson has designed a layout for the new building that emphasizes adaptable spaces for dialogue and collaboration. In addition to classrooms with an array of advanced technology, the building will have areas where small groups can work together. A goal of the design is to bring together students and scholars, now separated by geography or discipline, to focus on problems and issues of common interest. The centerpiece will be a sophisticated new library for the Woodrow Wilson School that opens onto a light-filled plaza.

Rewarding for both families

"It is extremely rewarding for both our families to be able to contribute to this new academic building that will make a strong impact on Princeton's academic future," Monte Wallace said.

"We hope that it will be an exciting new landmark of learning for undergraduates," added Neil Wallace.

After graduating from Princeton, Monte and Neil Wallace both earned law degrees from Harvard. They founded General Investment and Development Co., a privately held real estate and investment holding firm, in 1959. Among other gifts to Princeton, they provided funding to renovate Moffett Labs for the Department of Biology in the 1970s. Both members of the Council on University Resources from 1973 to 1979, Monte served as vice chair.

The Wallace Social Sciences building is a major priority of the 250th Anniversary Campaign, which has now has raised more than $600 million of its goal of $750 million by the year 2000.