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Alston Ellis, Ph.D., LL.D.,1847-1920

Tenth President of Ohio University, 1901-1920

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Native of Kentucky and educated at Washington and Lee and Miami universities, Dr. Ellis came to the presidency at age 54 from the same office at the State Agricultural College at Fort Collins, Colorado. A nationally recognized leader in public school education and administration, his term saw an impressive advance in physical plant, with a dozen buildings being added, including Ellis Hall which was built to accommodate the new State Normal School. Schools of Commerce and Oratory were opened. Summer school was made a part of the regular University offerings in 1902 and the offices of alumni director and dean of women were established. The Carnegie Library (current Scripps Hall) was built in 1904 and the departments of Civil and Mining Engineering were added. In 1906 Miami and Ohio universities were prohibited by the Eagleson Bill to offer technical or graduate instruction beyond a master of arts. Squirrels were specially introduced on the campus in 1908. The campus newspaper changes its name in 1911 to the Green and White. College preparatory programs, which had existed from the beginning, were transferred from Gordy Hall to the University's new John Hancock High School on the top floor of Ellis Hall. In 1913 the University changed to a two semester academic year and was accredited by the North Central Association, becoming one of the Association's charter members. The first African-American female graduate was Martha Blackburn in 1916. World War I brought Army training to the campus and the flu epidemic caused all women students to be sent home for six weeks.

Dr. Ellis died in office.


Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/history/people/ellis.html) on January 25, 2006.
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