Lake Norman & Mooresville

Davidson College science center to be named for businessman, former trustee

E. Craig Wall Jr., seated, succeeded his father (in portrait) and built their timber business into a conglomerate with operations in 11 states. Wall played football and baseball at Davidson College before graduating in 1959. Wall was elected to the Davidson College Board of Trustees as an alumni representative in 1976 and served on the board for more than 21 years, the last eight as chairman, until his death in 1997.
E. Craig Wall Jr., seated, succeeded his father (in portrait) and built their timber business into a conglomerate with operations in 11 states. Wall played football and baseball at Davidson College before graduating in 1959. Wall was elected to the Davidson College Board of Trustees as an alumni representative in 1976 and served on the board for more than 21 years, the last eight as chairman, until his death in 1997.

The newest addition to Davidson College’s campus will be named for an alumnus and longtime business executive who served eight years as chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

The $74 million E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center is designed to promote joint study and research in chemistry, biology, psychology, neuroscience and environmental science, as well as serve as a gathering space for the arts, lectures and other gatherings. Construction on the 149,000-square-foot building is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017.

“The Wall Academic Center will enable the Davidson College community to collaborate in addressing the tough challenges we face as individuals, as a nation and as the human family,” said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. “This naming is a fitting tribute to Craig and the legacy of leadership and service he created at Davidson.”

Wall, a native of Conway, S.C., played football and baseball at Davidson before graduating in 1959. He served in the U.S. Army before earning an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1962. He returned to Conway to work for Canal Industries Inc., a company founded by his father. Wall eventually became president and director of the company, whose operations stretched across 11 states.

Wall was elected to the Davidson College Board of Trustees as an alumni representative in 1976 and served on the board for more than 21 years, the last eight as chairman, until his death in 1997.

“Davidson College had a deeply special meaning for my father,” said Benjamin Wall, son of Craig and Judith Wall, a 1998 Davidson graduate and current member of the school’s board of trustees. “He would be extremely proud of the ... bold vision which will prepare Davidson’s graduates to be successful leaders in a dynamic world that demands a broader and more rounded understanding and approach.”

E. Craig Wall Jr. also served as a trustee for the University of South Carolina Business Partnership, Coastal Carolina University, Coker College, Brookgreen Gardens, the Nanaline H. Duke Fund for Duke University, the Doris Duke Trust; and as a member and director of the Angier B. Duke Memorial. He led several boards, including those for NationsBank, SCANA Corp. and Ruddick Corp., and was heavily involved in the Conway Hospital Foundation, United Way of South Carolina and the United Way of Horry County, an organization he helped found.

The largest contribution to the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center comes through a $45 million grant from the Duke Endowment, for which Wall served as a trustee from 1994 to 1997.

“Our support is a testament to our strong belief in Davidson College, its leadership, faculty and staff, and student body,” said Duke Endowment Chairperson Minor Shaw. “We are pleased that this center honors a colleague who contributed so much to the Duke Endowment Board through his wisdom, vision and quiet love of humanity.”

Davidson raised an additional $29 million through donations from other supporters for the center, which will include 20 teaching laboratories, 36 research laboratories, 49 faculty offices, five flexible classrooms and an open forum space that will seat up to 150 people for presentations, meetings and performances.

John Deem is a freelance writer: john.deem@outlook.com

  Comments