UC Berkeley School of Public Health Receives $13 Million Bequest

The University of California, Berkeley has announced a bequest valued at more than $13 million from Dr. Helen Wallace to establish a maternal and child health center at its School of Public Health.

The Wallace Maternal and Child Health Center will conduct innovative, evidence-based research aimed at creating healthier generations of women, mothers, children, and families in the United States. Through scholarships and fellowships, the center will focus on educating and training public health leaders from states west of the Mississippi River. The gift also will be used to create an endowed chair.

A renowned advocate with a passion for improving the lives of women and children, Wallace, who died in 2013 at the age of 99, mentored generations of students as a professor and chair of the school's Maternal and Child Health program. She received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College in 1933, her master's in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1943, and her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1937, and was the author of hundreds of journal articles and sixteen textbooks — most recently, Health and Welfare for Families in the 21st Century, the second edition of which was published in 2003.

"We are extremely excited and gratified to move our work forward with greater focus and commitment in the arena of maternal and child health, which was the vision of Dr. Helen Wallace," said Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, dean of the School of Public Health. "The School of Public Health has been taking a leadership role on these issues at the global level for some time now through the Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability. The new Wallace Maternal and Child Health Center will deepen our work and allow us to focus on attracting and supporting students from the western United States."