As the president of the American Ship Building Company, Robert Bruce Wallace made major contributions to the development of inland waterway shipping. He graduated from MIT in 1898. The Robert Bruce Wallace Lecture Series was created in his honor. The annual lecture series is made possible by a gift from his daughter Mrs. Chatfield and her husband Mr. A.H. Chatfield. In addition to the series, the gift provides funding for the Robert Bruce Wallace Academic Prize, which includes a stipend and a full year of tuition at MIT. The prize is awarded annually to a student for showing excellence in scholarship and leadership in student affairs in the area of Ocean Science & Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.