April 27, 2004

Ellis is valedictorian for College of Liberal Arts

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Nicholas D. Ellis, a native of Rochelle who grew up in Malta, is valedictorian for Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Liberal Arts. He will give a brief speech on meeting challenges during college commencement ceremonies set for 5 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the SIU Arena.

Valedictorian status recognizes superior academic achievement. Ellis, a candidate for a bachelor's degree in administration of justice with a minor in sociology, earned a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale during his undergraduate career.

An undecided major when he enrolled at SIUC in 2000, Ellis credits the University's Pre-Major Advisement Center with helping him discover the career path that best suited him. He will attend Arizona State University's School of Justice Studies as a master's student this fall.

Ellis graduated from Malta High School in a class of 19.

"It was very easy for individuals to joke about the quality of our town's education," he said. "However, without the guidance and advice I took from the faculty and staff, I would not be here today. I would like to think that I am proof that if you want something and work hard, great things happen."

Ellis married Laura Carroll of Waterman June 28 of last year. He is the son of Malta residents Marce Ellis and her partner, Wendell Schafer, (21707 Schafer Road) and David Ellis of Rockford (4124 Buckingham Drive). His in-laws are Chet and Peg Carroll (13840 South First St.).