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About Dean B. Ellis

Dean B. Ellis in the LibraryFrom The Herald

Vol. 45, Edition 47, Friday, April 30, 1971

Dean B. Ellis, 76, professor emeritus of mathematics and a long-time Arkansas State faculty member, died Wednesday at 1:15 A.M., in St. Bernard's Hospital.

Mr. Ellis, who retired in 1965, two years after the new $1 million library was dedicated in his honor, joined the A-State staff in 1926.

At the time of his retirement, he was an associate professor of mathematics and had served for a time as acting head of the mathematics and physics department

Mr. Ellis was born July 11, 1894, in Jonesboro. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1916 from Vanderbilt University, and the following year took his master of science degree from the same institution.

At Vanderbilt he received the university's highest honor, the Founder's Medal, in 1916. He was also selected to Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity.

In subsequent years he did additional graduate work at the University of Missouri, Harvard University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University.

He served for a year as an apprentice engineer for the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. in New York City. During World War I he was commissioned and served as an officer in the US Army air corps.

After the war he became principal at Monette High School. In 1923, he took a position as instructor in mathematics at Jonesboro High School. He joined the Arkansas State faculty in 1926 as an instructor in mathematics and physics.

During World War II he held three federal appointments. He first became inspector of ground school instruction at the Civilian Pilot Training Division at Washington, D.C.

He rejoined the faculty at Arkansas State in 1943.

Mr. Ellis was a member of the American Mathematical Society for about 10 years and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Jonesboro until his death.

Baird V. Keister, associate professor emeritus of mathematics, was a close friend of Mr. Ellis. Both retired from ASU in the same year, 1965. "I knew Mr. Ellis as a valued friend and colleague during the last thirty years of his life," Mr. Keister said. "He had a great admiration for the dedicated student who gave his full time and energy to the mastery of the subject matter and skills of his educational program."

L.W. "Tex" Plunket, associate professor of journalism and a longtime friend of Mr. Ellis, said: "With the death of Dean B. Ellis, Arkansas State University has lost a long-time servant, friend, and supporter. Mr. Ellis devoted his life and much of his personal income to the development of ASU."

"As a teacher he was hard but patient with anyone who tried," Professor Plunket noted. "For a person not to learn and improve in his course, Mr. Ellis took it as a personal matter and a reflection on his own ability as a teacher."