Alston Ellis, Ph.D., LL.D.,1847-1920
Tenth President of Ohio University, 1901-1920
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
Dr. Ellis died in office.
Athens, OH 45701
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