Elfenbein installed as John K. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professor

Chancellor Mark Wrighton congratulates Hillary Anger Elfenbein during her installation June 7 as the John K. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professor.

Hillary Anger Elfenbein, professor of organizational behavior in Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, has been installed as the John K. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professor. A ceremony and reception to mark the installation was held June 7 at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center.

Elfenbein, whose research focus includes emotion in the workplace, leadership and negotiation, joined the Olin faculty in 2008. She works with Olin’s MBA, Professional MBA and Executive MBA programs.

Her professorship was made possible by John K. and Ellen A. Wallace, who made a generous commitment in 1997 to establish the position.

“The Wallaces have long been great friends of Olin Business School,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “Their Washington University roots run deep; John earned his MBA from Olin, his siblings graduated from our university, and John’s grandfather, Henry Brookings Wallace, served as acting chancellor. We are thankful to the Wallaces for their remarkable generosity and philanthropic spirit.”

“Hillary Anger Elfenbein has made a deep and lasting impact on Olin Business School and its students,” said Provost Holden Thorp. “Her vast knowledge of key business and societal issues has made her a tremendous asset to Washington University. She is a widely admired teacher and her scholarship has had enormous influence. We’re also extremely thankful for John and Ellen’s support of Olin and the university as a whole.”

Elfenbein earned her undergraduate degrees in physics and Sanskrit language; a master’s degree in statistics; and her doctorate in organizational behavior, all from Harvard University.

Her work has appeared in leading academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Annals; Academy of Management Journal; Current Directions in Psychological Science; Journal of Applied Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Psychological Bulletin; Organizational Psychology Review; Organization Science; and Psychological Science, as well as the Harvard Business Review. She also has served as an associate editor at Management Science.

The U.S. House of Representatives has discussed Elfenbein’s research due to its implications for the armed services, and she has testified before Congress as an expert witness on federal funding in the social sciences.

About John K. and Ellen A. Wallace

After graduating from Yale, John K. Wallace served in the military and then attended Olin Business School. He joined Cupples Company, a diversified manufacturer, and rose quickly to become president of the charcoal-products subsidiary. In 1981, he purchased the subsidiary, renaming it Imperial Products. When he sold it in 1989, it was the largest industrial charcoal operation in the United States. That same year, Wallace founded the Regency Group, a holding company.

In 1992, Wallace received Olin’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and, in 1999, he was awarded Olin’s Dean’s Medal. His efforts on behalf of the school and university are unwavering. He led Olin’s alumni organization and chaired its campaign committee during the Campaign for Washington University. He is a long-serving member of Olin’s National Council and the university’s Board of Trustees, where he is currently an emeritus trustee. Wallace has also served as chair of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society, and, in 1998, received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ellen Wallace also enjoyed great success in business. In 1990, she became a founding partner of Farmhouse Collection Inc., a manufacturer offering high-end, handcrafted furniture to the designer trade. She and her partners built the business into a nationally recognized company. She also has been active in the community, volunteering extensively across St. Louis with organizations dedicated to helping disadvantaged and at-risk youth. Her community leadership also extends to the Center for Contemporary Art (COCA), where she has served as a board member.

Over the years, the Wallaces have made many significant contributions to Olin Business School. In addition to establishing the John K. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professorship, the couple has provided substantial support for business scholarships and for ongoing needs at the school. In recognition of their generosity and service to the university, the couple was honored in 2007 with the Robert S. Brookings Award.

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