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Jack, Virginia Ellison named Distinguished Alumni

Published or Revised February 08, 2007

Jack and Virginia Ellison, both graduates of Paris Junior College who carved out successful lives as husband and wife, were named Distinguished Alumni of PJC at homecoming festivities Saturday.

The couple, who met while students and PJC, were honored before a capacity crowd in the Student Center Ballroom that included family members, friends and over 200 alumni who returned to Paris Junior College to renew acquaintances during the two-day event.

The Ellisons are both retired from successful careers and reside in Austin. Since graduating from PJC, they have continued to visit PJC and support the college.

Their daughter, Jeannie, and son, Keith, spoke on behalf of the honorees before they were formerly introduced. Jeannie Ellison cited her parents’ love of life and noted they are very caring and charitable people.

“They love people and use things,” Jeannie said, continuing, “They don’t use people and love things. When I need advice, those are the two people I go to.”

Keith told about his parents stepping forward to support keeping schools open in New Orleans during integration.

“My parents are not too political, but they have always stepped forward to serve their neighbors,” he said. “They signed a petition to keep New Orleans schools open and to promote peaceful integration of those schools.”

After receiving certificates and medallions from PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin, Jack and Virginia Ellison responded to the recognition. Virginia said PJC prepared her (and Jack) well for stepping out into the world.

“Never in our education or recreation at PJC did we feel deprived of anything,” she said. “PJC offered us all that we could ever expect from any college.”

“Our experiences at PJC were wonderful, including meeting Virginia,” Jack said. “We received an excellent education from outstanding instructors.”

After graduating from PJC in 1938, Jack Ellison attended the University of Texas in Austin with honors from the School of Business Administration.

During a career as a certified public account, he served as vice president of finance for the Western Division of Chevron Oil Co. He was also vice present and chief financial officer for Axem Resources, an independent oil company.

Virginia Ellison graduated from PJC in 1939 and then obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Texas. She received a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was one of three winners of Pulitzer Traveling Fellowships.

As 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.

In addition to their two children, the Ellisons have a grandson, Blake, who was present at the event with his mother Jeannie.

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