Dr. Ray Wallace Memories and Stories

My favorite memory of Dr. Wallace is from my freshman year when my roommates and I had the bright idea to just go to the chancellor's office to introduce ourselves to Dr. Wallace. We met him at our orientations over the summer but wanted a more personal introduction. We assumed he would be busy in a meeting or unavailable to talk to us but when we got there and told the front desk what we wanted to do they went to the back to tell him. To our surprise they came back with Dr. Wallace and he invited us four into his office and talked with us for about thirty minutes. We talked about our majors, our hometowns, his photography and family, and much more. He was so friendly and we were so surprised that someone in such a position was so personable and open to us just showing up on a random day. From that point forward I knew that IUS was my home and I would be able to succeed with Dr. Wallace’s support.

The King Holiday of The city of Jeffersonville mourn with all of Southern Indiana the passing of Dr. Ray Wallace. He was a great supporter of events in our area and was the last speaker for the King Holiday Memorial Service held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Jeffersonville in 2019. His warmth and humor will be greatly missed. Prayers for his lovely wife and family. The King Holiday Committee

Dr Wallace was always willing to lend a helping hand to any student who needed it. Both of my boys went to IUS and both of them have nothing but fond, wonderful memories of a man who was involved, kind and willing to help. He will be missed on that campus for sure.

I will always remember Chancellor Wallace's infectious laugh and smile. It was a pleasure to know him and work with him. My heart aches for the entire IU Southeast community, his family and friends. Thank you, Chancellor, for the impact you made on Indiana University - forever.

Betsy Feeny
Vice President of Development, Regional Campuses
IU Foundation

Please pass on my sincere condolences to Dr. Wallace’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with them now. Ray and I were first cousins and both of us left Northern Ireland in our younger years to become American citizens. Although our career paths took different trajectories (Ray, as an educator in Tennessee and me a Catholic priest in San Diego), the particular Irish gift for language and the charm of words, carefully crafted, were never lost with him. And although he made his home here in the US, I know his attachment to Irish history, particularly his interest in our grandfather’s service both at Gallipoli and the Western Front during the Great War, allowed him to have strong roots and an enduring sense of duty

"Raymond", as we grew up calling him at home in Antrim, has completed his life journey. May he now Rest In Peace.

Father Cávana Wallace

I'm just so shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of IUS Chancellor Ray Wallace!!! He was always so jolly, approachable, fun, hard working, and dedicated to the staff & students! Such a talented man as well in so many ways! I will miss him coming to the Accounting office for banana laffy taffys that we had saved just for him! Thank you for marching with us and supporting us at Jeffersonville's first ever Pride event!!! RIP Chancellor Wallace and thank you for pulling IU Southeast out of its "hidden treasure" status and making it a well-known gem!!! We love you and you will be greatly missed!!! You are the heart of IUS! Sláinte!!! Love always, Daniel Julian

A couple of years ago while waiting by the bookstore for the all clear during a tornado drill, Dr. Wallace picked up a newspaper and started reading aloud everyone's horoscope.

Thanks for taking the chance, advocating for me, and giving me all the opportunities and counsel over the years.

I have met Dr. Wallace for the first time during my Faculty orientation in 2017. I still remember him asking me what novel I have read last. He was such a cheerful and inspiring person. Since then I have always met him during the student induction day every Fall as well as in commencements welcoming and cheering our students and congratulating them upon their graduation. I will always cherish the moment when I received the "Faculty Innovator of the Year 2019" award from his hands. I am deeply saddened and shocked by the news of his passing. His presence in our campus will be missed tremendously.

Dr. Suparna Mukhopadhyay, Department of Biology, School of Natural Sciences, IUS

Ray was a loving & thoughtful neighbor of mine. When my husband and I were planning our trip to Ireland, Ray gave us a lengthy list of places to see and wanted to hear all about our experience when we returned. He was extremely friendly and I will deeply miss seeing him each morning while we walked our dogs.

I got the opportunity to work with Dr. Wallace on several projects, including stories for the IU Southeast Alumni Magazine and videos for social media/the campus community. He would always ask if I planned on taking a vacation soon, and we would chat about his travels. I always hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to visit half as many places as he'd gone.

While working on video projects with Hannah (our videographer) and me, he would always remind us that he was "the talent." :)

He was a genuinely funny and charismatic person. His presence will be missed on campus.

My memories include meeting with him in his office and how his first several questions were about how I was doing, and how was my family doing. He focused on the individual and then we went on to talk about the business at hand.

Most of my interactions with Chancellor Wallace were related to the Ogle Center. I loved his smile and sense of humor. He always made Ogle Center patrons feel welcome. He will be missed.

Patty Cress

Ray was our beloved neighbor and both he and his wife Susan have been so kind and generous to my family and I over the years. Ray was always eager to help out and share his knowledge, as he traveled the world and is just like my wife…a "foodie". Before my wife and I were married, he learned that she and I were visiting New Orleans for our honeymoon. It wasn't a day or two later when he knocked on the door. He had typed up a three page menu — complete with addresses and with his review of the food — of places he recommended getting a bite to eat while we were there. That came in very handy and was very much appreciated.

On a hot summer afternoon, he saw me outside doing some work on his way into his house. We chatted for a moment…and then I continued on with what I was doing. Five minutes later, he came over and surprised me with an ice cold beer. It sure did hit the spot and was such a kind gesture.

One thing he and my wife shared in common, other than food, was that they had no problems wearing their robes outside the house. They often joked about it. In my personal opinion, only Cousin Eddie could complete the trio!

Not too long ago, I recall Ray and I sitting out on his back deck enjoying some conversation…mainly about travel. But we were also enjoying some whiskey. Redbreast Irish Whiskey was one of his favorites.

Ray had told us he had been going through some health issues awhile back and in one of our many food convos, we had learned was a big fan of miso. So we decided to grill out one night and make him a full course dinner. We grilled up some chicken marinated in a miso/beer mixture, sautéed some onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and topped things off with some Key Lime pie. He later thanked us and told us he thoroughly enjoyed the meal. It was nice knowing that we could make one night a little special and easier for him during that time.

I'd always see Ray out walking his dog, Seamus, in the morning on my way to work and sometimes in the evening. Ray was always in good spirits and we always had a nice conversation.

Just a couple of weeks before he passed, Ray had given my son a piece of IU metal artwork to give to me knowing how big of a fan I am of the university and the basketball team. That meant a lot to me. He was always so generous to us. I always enjoyed talking to him and I wish I had more time to indulge in his stories because he had so much to tell. I plan to do something nice with it in memory of Ray.

May you RIP, our good friend…you will forever hold a special place in our hearts and no words can fully express our gratitude of the impact you've had on our family and countless others.

— Bill Moore

I never got to meet him in person, but I could tell just from knowing him my freshman year that he always did everything for IUS. I wish I could have met him, but in a way, I am glad he was the chancellor for my first year of going to IUS. He did inspire me not to give up, but to also keep pushing forward. My prayers are to his family and the IUS staff and faculty that knew him.

My first month at IUS I ran into Ray in downtown New Albany. I introduced my wife to him saying, "This is my boss." He quickly replied, "No, that's not true. We just work together." That was Chancellor Wallace.

— Alan Zollman

I will always remember the Veteran's Day event at the clocktower and listening to Dr. Wallace read this poem:

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Gail and I were deeply saddened to hear of Ray's passing. It was an honor when I was asked to serve on the IUS Board of Advisors and it was so enjoyable getting to know Ray better over the past few years. I will miss having him lead our meetings. We enjoyed his sense of humor, his humility, his stunning photography and his love of Guinness, Irish Coffee and all things Ireland. Ray and I shared Eastern Illinois University as our alma mater and though I didn't know him then, I am the better for having gotten to know him since he came here in 2014. -- Mike Bauer

I usually talked to Ray every time I mowed his lawn. He would walk out on the deck or front porch and invite me to sit down and talk. The conversation always followed the same sequence. He would ask me how school was going and how my family was doing. I would ask him how he was doing. We then always shifted to the inevitable topic of what I was currently reading. He loved to read. It was his favorite thing to do with his spare time. My answer was always the same. "I've been a little slow." His response was always the same. "Well then get on it." I'd laugh and he would smile.

He would occasionally take me out for dinner. He would pick one of his favorite restaurants. I might add that he also had a great taste in food. I would talk about what I wanted to do with my life. He always responded with great advice. A lot of which has altered my plans for the future and has made me take a step back and consider a lot of possibilities that I was ignoring. He guided me through what I should be focusing on now and what I should focus on later.

He was always so kind, generous, and most importantly he cared. He wanted the best for everyone. He wanted you to be successful and lead a happy life. He wanted you to make the most of yourself and focus on the things that matter. No matter who you were or how little he knew you. He took an interest in everyone. That was just who he was.

Anytime I helped him out, he always expressed the utmost appreciation for what I did. No matter how small and menial the task seemed. I always told him no problem and to let me know if he needs anything else. I always wanted to help him out more to repay him for all that he has done for me, but he never asked for much. He didn't want to be a burden. I tried to tell him that wasn't how I saw it and would always be happy to help.

Ray was my neighbor, mentor, friend, and I always considered him family. He cared about me and I cared about him. That is the Ray I remember and I will continue to keep the memory of him alive for the rest of my life.

— Braden Moore

I had the honor of getting to know Dr. Wallace this past year - my first as Chancellor of IU Northwest. I will always be grateful for Ray's support and good humor which helped to ease my transition. He was a wonderful colleague.

Ken Iwama

Chancellor Wallace was such a bright light who never met a stranger and could put a smile on anyone's face. One thing that always stuck out to me about him was how encouraging he was and how he truly cared about every student, faculty, and staff member at IU Southeast. I was one of the head orientation leaders the summer of 2015. Chancellor Wallace attended every single orientation. You could see his love and passion for this campus and students every time he spoke (that passion usually spilled over way past his allotted speaking time, haha). As a student, whenever he saw me, he would always ask how classes and life were going and crack some type of joke. I loved being a student at IU Southeast and I can honestly say he was one of the reasons why.

A couple years ago, I ran into him at Kroger. It had been 2 years since I graduated from IU Southeast and I was in my last year of grad school. He recognized me which surprised me a little but also didn't at the same time. He again asked me how life was going, how my grad program was, and he ended the conversation with telling me that he better see me back working at IU Southeast when I graduate. That interaction and him saying that meant a lot to me.

When I started working at IU Southeast as an Admissions Counselor, I was so excited for many reasons but one being that I knew I would get to interact with Chancellor Wallace again. I remember giving a tour to a perspective student earlier this year. It was during the same time President Whitten came to visit campus and her tour and mine crossed paths. While everyone else was focused on President Whitten and kept pace with her tour, Chancellor Wallace spotted me and immediately came over to talk to this perspective student and family. I think those interactions spoke volumes about who he was and his passion for our campus and students.

I know he will be missed by so many people. He truly made such an impact on this campus and the lives of so many people. Thank you for being the leader and role model we all needed, Chancellor Wallace.

Ashley Kern

I had the great pleasure of getting to know Ray Wallace while serving as Chair of the Board of Advisors for four years and as a member of the Board for eight. In working closely with Ray as Chair, he showed great leadership and passion for the job. Although we did not always agree on every topic, he wanted what was best for the students; faculty; and the community. He worked tirelessly in seeing that his agenda was accomplished.

Ray's sense of humor was infectious. He loved to stop and talk to the students as he walked the campus. It was great to see how the students responded to him.

Ray and I shared a passion for photography. We often discussed the different cameras that we had collected over the years and how they helped in taking certain pictures. I admired the several showings that he had on campus thru the years. What he was able to do with a camera, truly made him an artist.

Ray accomplished so much in the short time he was Chancellor at Indiana University Southeast. He was an inspiration to so many people and will truly be missed.

Norman and Millicent Stiefler

I worked in IT for several years while I was completing my art degree at IU Southeast. Any time I had to help Chancellor Wallace with a tech issue, he would take a few minutes to ask about how my studies were going, then show me some of the recent photographs he had taken. He was a hobbyist photographer, and when he had the chance to travel he liked to take nature photos. He often donated them to auctions on campus.

I worked for Dr. Ray Wallace during the time he was the Provost at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. He was an outstanding administrator and a personal friend. He had a very special sense of humor and an infectious smile. He was respected by all his colleagues for these personal attributes as well as for his many accomplishments and leadership. It was very difficult to fill his shoes when he left.

Retired ADA Coordinator University of Arkansas- Fort Smith

While I never got to meet Chancellor Wallace, we talked a few times and emailed back and forth, mostly talking about Northern Ireland, missing 'home' and all things Irish! My sincere condolences to his family and all those who worked with him.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.

I will always remember Chancellor Wallace as eternally optimistic and, of course, funny. I enjoyed his collegiality and support when I started as a new Chancellor here at IU South Bend. We lost a sunny soul way too early. Ray, Rest In Peace!

I'll never forget- I was having a horrible day. I was walking to class stressed, overwhelmed... looking at my feet as I walked so no one would see me cry and then there they were a few steps ahead of me, walking directly toward me - a pair of sparkling, red ballet shoes. I do my best to be as non-judgmental as possible but I thought the feet looked a little, well... manly. So I lifted my head and there he was! Mr. Wallace. At the time, I wasn't sure why he was wearing them (later I found out it was for a campus event.) Anyway, all I specifically remember was that he gently patted my shoulder and said "These damned shoes have no arch support!" I laughed, he laughed, and it's a moment I'll never forget.

I made Dr. Wallace's acquaintance during his tenure as Provost at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. During our beginning-of-semester meetings, he served as Master of Ceremonies, as he would tell jokes throughout the day, making those meetings more enjoyable than they should have been. I remember Dr. Wallace as a quick-witted, friendly, approachable man who loved photography and great stories. And I loved to hear the wee bit of Irish brogue that still accented his speech. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the IUS community.

Dr. Leroy Cox, Dean, Business & Technology
Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, KS

Some great memories of Chancellor Wallace, but my favorite was when I drove him in the Harvest Homecoming parade. I had bought my convertible just a few short months before the event, and was a "wee bit" (as he would say) wary of taking the top down that drizzly day. But, the skies cleared up and we enjoyed our ride. He constantly made funny remarks about some of the people in the crowd including seeing U of L shirts and claiming that that person should visit our bookstore for some "real clothing". Lastly, he brought a few of us to Bank Street Brewing for a few pints post-parade. Always great for a laugh, joke or insult (at my expense!). Cheers and Sláinte!

~Ron Severtis

I knew Ray from the beginning. I was part of the Faculty Senate and met him when he was interviewed for the job. Later Ray and I found we had common interests. So when we would meet, sometimes for a beer or a meal with our spouses, we would not talk about the university, but photography and travel. Ray and I have travel a lot internationally. Around 40 or so countries each. We were a little competitive, see where we had been, and share what we had seen if it was a place in common. I always thought we should have had a competition and see who did have more countries.

Once when in Ireland we drove through Silgo. Ray said it always rained there. So when we were there on a sunny day we texted him a picture.

But photography was shared deeply. My wife and do a lot of travel and natural history photography. And then I photograph with research and the Field biology classes. We would discuss lens, cameras etc. He was going to come with us to photograph our hiking goats. A trip that never will be.

Ray was an enthusiastic and positive person and an excellent photographer. I hope to remember him that way.

David Winship Taylor, Professor of Biology

I am a student worker who got the privilege to work in the Administrative wing of campus, and was able to speak with Chancellor Wallace on numerous occasions. He would always stop by the front desk and ask how classes were going, or what kind of homework I was working on that day. He never failed to make me smile and seeing him in between his meetings was truly a privilege. One time he even brought the student workers down to the dining court for a staff ice cream party. Chancellor Wallace was one of very few people who could brighten anybody's day. He truly loved this campus, the faculty he worked with, and most importantly he loved each and every student at IU Southeast.

I was reading a book while I waited to meet with someone in the administrative offices. Chancellor Wallace walked by and asked me to tell him about what I was reading. Although we had only met a couple of times, he remembered my name and spent a few minutes talking about books with me before heading back to his office. He asked me if he could borrow the book when I finished. I dropped it off for him another day, and he returned it a few weeks later with a kind thank you note.

I retired from IU Southeast in 2015, but Chancellor Wallace still extended a caring call to me. I was sitting in my car in Seneca park last spring when the COVID pandemic was surging. Ed Horning and I walked there because we couldn't go to the YMCA, closed by COVID. The Chancellor called me "out of the blue" and was asking if everything was OK with me...was I able to get groceries and so forth with the pandemic. I told him I was fine and quite able to manage. I was masking up and pretty much going on with life to the best of my ability. I wished the Chancellor well and asked about how he was managing. He said he was also fine. That was the last time I talked with him. I wish now I had called him later, just to talk, but life happens.

Rip Dr Wallace. It was my pleasure to know this wonderful man. Not only do I appreciate his leadership to IUS but the pleasure of knowing him personally and enjoying years of friendship. You will indeed be missed and remembered. With sympathy to all who knew him.

I am just now finding out about Dr. Wallace's passing. This nice, polite and compassionate man was indeed a comedian. He could easily make you laugh and he was the STAR of every gathering or important meeting. His personality was mesmerizing! I will never forget when he spoke at an awards banquet for students. The moment he stood to speak, he instantly made us all laugh during his entire speech. After speaking, he came around and greeted each and every person and their families that were in attendance. He will truly be missed and may his SOUL live on in the presence of the living God!

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." - John C. Maxwell

I unfortunately was not able to attend the memorial service for Dr. Ray Wallace today at Indiana University Southeast in person but had the opportunity to attend the moving service online. I had the great pleasure of knowing and forming a close relationship with Chancellor Ray Wallace throughout my collegiate career at Indiana University Southeast. As so many others, I was absolutely stunned to hear of his unexpected passing several weeks ago following his recent resignation as chancellor of the university due to health concerns. There are so many words to describe Dr. Wallace. He was witty, jovial, personable, and most importantly, he was approachable. As the leader of the university, he made himself available and the administration approachable at Indiana University Southeast, something that is not always common or easy to achieve.

I remember attending his installation ceremony in 2014 during the first semester of my freshman year to the moment I was able to shake his hand as he handed me my diploma during the graduation ceremonies of 2018 and all the memories and moments in between. From the moment I first met Dr. Wallace, I knew and immediately understood his commitment to students, faculty, and the well being and future success of Indiana University Southeast. Whether he was greeting students in McCullough Plaza, grabbing his lunch in The Commons, or having fun supporting student and alumni events, it was hard not to hear his booming Northern Irish laugh as his presence filled the room. He made and impact on me as a person and student along with so many others. The remembrances of him I have seen from students, faculty, and community members are a testimony to his legacy and what he achieved in his life. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered.

- Roger J. Howard, Class of 2018

I hired Ray in 2007 to help me turn The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith into a real university as it was only four years old as a university in the UA system. He came aboard as my Provost my 2nd year as Chancellor and hit the ground running. He added intellectual depth and commitment to educating university students as we moved the institution away from its community college roots to have a broader and deeper level of importance to the city of Fort Smith and the state of Arkansas. Ray hired people, reorganized the institution with me, and became my right hand in remaking UAFS. We traveled all over the world together building an international program. When he was ready to move on and be a Chancellor himself, I hated to lose him but I was proud to serve as a reference and supporter for I knew that he would be a great university Chancellor and that certainly proved to be true. I will miss his Irish humor and hope that in some other dimension we might again share some Irish whisky.

God bless this wonderful soul. How fortunate to have had Dr. Wallace as a Chancellor, colleague, friend and true servant leader at IUS. He truly cared about each and everyone that he interacted with, never took himself seriously, always had a something funny to say and more importantly made everyone feel at ease in his presence. We will truly miss his unique Irish personality.

Everyone who has ever worked with Ray knows he has a sense of humor. We were at an awards ceremony where I was about to receive my "15 Years of Service" plaque, and it was my turn to go up in front of everyone to accept the honor. After receiving the plaque and shaking his hand, he leaned over as we both looked at the camera and quietly said, "This is where you stand for 5 minutes and smile awkwardly." I almost cracked up and ruined the picture.

During my tenure as a student at IUS, I was a member of the campus jazz band. We played a variety of campus events, many of which Chancellor Wallace was present at. Every time we played an event that he attended, he would politely and personally request that we play Dave Brubeck's "Take Five", and so we did. And every time we did, he could be distinctly seen in the audience or the background with an ear-to-ear smile on his face, tapping along. Dr. Wallace was an immense pleasure to be around, a fine gentleman, and a kind soul. He will be sorely missed.