School of Business Will Miss Ellis

(05-03-2005)

Ted Ellis

Frederick Hartt, author of 'Art: A History of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture,' writes, "Greek art, like Greek culture in general, influenced in one way or another, the art of every subsequent period of Western civilization, including the present, sometimes to an overwhelming degree."

Adams State College has had its own Greek influence for over 36 years, Dr. Ted Ellis, professor of Economics, is retiring this spring.

Born Theodore Eliopoulos in Greece, Ellis moved overseas to attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1964. Ellis stayed in the United States and continued his education at Denver University receiving a Master's of Arts in Economics in 1966. His entire professional career has been in the School of Business at Adams State College.

Chair for the School of Business, Dr. Rafe Weston, believes it will be like loosing an arm when Ellis closes his office door for the last time.

He said, "For thirty-seven years, Ted Ellis has devoted his time and energy to serving the students and faculty of Adams State College as well as the residents of the San Luis Valley, as professor in not just one field but two, economics and computers. His dedication has been unsurpassed and his upcoming retirement following an exemplary career is well deserved. It may be that nobody is irreplaceable, but as far as the School of Business is concerned, Ted Ellis comes as close as possible and he will be deeply missed."

Ellis has enjoyed his tenure at the college, "It is great to work with the students and see them succeed with a degree from Adams State College. It has been a great place to teach, learn, and make friends."

Like many professors at a small college, Ellis has taught a variety of courses in his discipline, "I have been a professor for economics, finance, production and operation of management, statistics and my last love, computers."

Dolly Maestas, administrative assistant for the School of Business, has had the opportunity to observe all the instructors in her area. She believes Ellis is among the best:

"Dr.Ted Ellis is a very special person not only to me, but to all of us here at the School of Business. He is kind and considerate to everyone he meets. He has helped hundreds of students to achieve their goals at ASC. Dr. Ellis has a great sense of humor and has been known to tell a great joke or two. He has not only helped students, but he is always close by whenever one of his colleagues needs a hand. I am privileged to have worked with him for the last 18 years. I know that our friendship will continue, and I wish him the best of everything in his retirement."

It is not uncommon for the campus community to see many of the professors from the School of Business heading towards the Campus Cafe for lunch. Alberta Coolbaugh, assistant professor of Business, is generally among those accompanying Ellis. She said, "Ted is more than a great colleague and a wonderful friend - he is like family to us. He is always there when we need him."

That feeling is reciprocated. Ellis said, "We are like a family here in the School of Business. It makes for an excellent work environment."

It isn't only the professors in the building, but the building itself, that has made his tenure at Adams State College a pleasant experience:

"The highlight of my career is the new and refurbished School of Business, equipped with all types of computer technology. We have state-of-art hardware and software. I've been like a kid with new toys. I will miss the computer labs."

His education in economics was important. He left Adams State College to earn his Ph.D. in Economics from Colorado State University in 1972. He returned to continue teaching at Adams State College, coming back with a name change from Eliopoulos to Ellis and a Naturalized US citizen. "The students had a hard time pronouncing my Greek name, so I decided it would be easier to change it," added Ellis.

Dr. John Marvel was the Adams State College president in 1967. Ellis said, "I saw Dr. Marvel a few months ago. I told him, they are finally correcting your mistake and getting rid of me." It was no mistake, and the college has relied on the dedication of professors like Ellis.

"In 1967 I was one of five professors who were hired," including Dr. Ron Loser, emeritus professor of mathematics, and Dr. John McDaniel, professor of History, "I am the only one left teaching full-time. I am the Strom Thurmond of Adams State College."

That is enough time to see plenty of changes in politics and on campus. Ellis said, "Back in the 60s the School of Business had half as many professors and a core system of 15 classes during the academic year. It is better now. We can give students the personal attention they deserve."

He is confident the college will flourish, "I am leaving the school in hands of very capable people. I believe the future looks bright for Adams State College. It will continue to prosper despite what's happening in the Denver legislature. What we do here, we do well, it keeps students here and keeps them enrolling."

Anyone who knows Ellis will say he is unassuming and modest, "I keep in touch with past students. It is always rewarding to hear they are doing well. I believe they tend to give us too much credit for their success." His influence as a teacher has been recognized. Ellis received the Trustees Centennial Year Outstanding Teacher Award in1989-1990.

Andrew Batten '05 believes Ellis was the kind of professor that makes a difference.

He said, "Having taken every class that Dr. Ellis taught, I got to know him well. The first class I took with him was Business Relational Databases, and by then I had never taken a more difficult course. While his courses required a lot of studying and were always very challenging, they always demanded my best work. For that reason, Dr. Ellis was very influential in my college career. After taking my first class with him, I realized that as long as I am willing to work, I can do well at anything I set my mind to."

He may not be on campus everyday after retiring, but he hopes to keep some classes, "I will teach part-time if the opportunity arises." He also plans lowering his par, "I will enjoy being outdoors, primarily specializing in golf."

Half of Ellis' family still lives in Greece. He does have a brother in Colorado Springs, and two nephews in Alamosa, both ASC alumni, that operate a computer consulting business.