University Service

In 1961, the UR would inaugurate a new president, W. Allen Wallis.

If George Eastman and President Rush Rhees are legendary for their transformational effect on the University from 1920 to 1930, Wilson and Wallis should be equally credited for the University’s curricular and physical growth in the decade between 1960 and 1970.  As a team, Wilson and Wallis may rank higher, because Eastman assiduously kept his distance from the actual management of the UR.

Together Wilson and Wallis expanded the campus in the 1960s, and launched the $38 Million Campaign (about $281.5 million in 2018 dollars) for the resources to build new dormitories, an addition to Rush Rhees Library, Hutchison Hall, and eventually Wilson Commons.

In October 1971, the final plans for the new student union were unveiled. Beginning in 1967, Wilson had worked with architect I.M. Pei to design a student union building, and throughout that time—typical of Wilson’s understanding of the need for engagement—students at the University were involved in the planning as well.