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Ellisons will be honored as Distinguished Alumni Nov. 11

Published or Revised October 20, 2006

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Jack and Virginia Ellison, 1939 graduates of Paris Junior College.

Jack and Virginia Ellison, graduates of Paris Junior College, will be named Distinguished Alumni of PJC at homecoming Nov. ll.

Since graduation, the couple has continued to support the college. The Ellisons are both retired from successful careers and reside in Austin.

While attending PJC from, Jack Ellison served as student body president during the 1937-38 term. He was elected Mr. PJC during the spring of 1938 and graduated that same spring. Ellison was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and active member of the debate club and tennis team.

Ellison cherishes his student days at PJC where he met and dated his future wife, Virginia Paty Ellison, also a student at PJC. After his graduation from PJC, Ellison attended the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with honors from the School of Business Administration. While at the University he was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary accounting fraternity, and Beta Gamma Sigma.

During his career as a certified public accountant, Ellison served as Vice President of Finance at Western Division of Chevron Oil Company. He was also the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Axem Resources, an independent oil company.

Virginia Ellison was an English major at PJC, a member of the Student Council, The Bat staff, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She was elected Miss PJC in 1938 and graduated in 1939.

Mrs. Ellison considers meeting her future husband, Jack, as the number one memory of her time at Paris Junior College. She says, “All of us met new friends and expanded our boundaries beyond our school district and our home county (during) this first sampling of college.” Mrs. Ellison also recalls how sobering and how grown up it seemed when instructors addressed students as “Miss” or “Mr.” and their last names.

After graduating from PJC, Mrs. Ellison attended the University of North Texas where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. While at UNT, she served on the university newspaper and magazine staff and was named in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

She obtained her master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was one of three winners of Pulitzer Traveling Fellowships. She was also one of two winners of the Sackett Prize in Libel Law. While a journalist for the Baltimore Sun papers, Mrs. Ellison was based both in Baltimore and in the London Bureau.

Following her marriage to Jack Ellison, Mrs. Ellison worked for the New Orleans Times Picayune and served as a visiting lecturer in the Journalism Department at Tulane University.

She retired after a brilliant career in journalism and lives in Austin with her husband.

The couple’s daughter, Jeannie Ellison, resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her 14 year old son, Blake, and runs her own CPA firm.

Their son, Keith Ellison and wife, Kathleen, reside in Houston. A Rhodes Scholar, Keith is a United States District Judge in the Houston District.

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