Bob Ellis

Bob Ellis

First ASURA President

The following material is taken from A Decade of Success An Illustrated History of the Arizona State University Retirees Association by Dean Smith, edited by June P. Payne.

"In September, 1989, Robert H.  [Bob] Ellis retired as general manager of ASU's public television station, DAET. An ASU alumnus, Ellis had come to the station from KOY radio in Phoenix in the early days of KAET's existence and was the moving force in developing the station into a major communicator for public education and entertainment during more than a quarter century as it director. Immediately after his retirement, he accepted a part-time assignment to work with (Brent) Brown in the University Relations Office.

Not many months after this transition, Brown decided that Ellis was just the person he was looking for to take charge of organizing university retirees into a viable force. Not only was Ellis a former staff member, but he also had served on the faculty and thus could represent both groups of retirees. Brown provide Ellis an office in Irish Hall and gave him full rein to move ahead.

Brown agreed to fund the costs of organization from his budget, and to provide office space in the Valley Bank Building at Apache Drive and Rural Road as soon as the university completed its purchase of the facility from the bank.

With the promise of university backing, Ellis moved ahead rapidly to make the organization a reality. There was much to be done:  research into the activities of other university retiree organizations; gaining support of the Vice President for Business Affairs, Personnel Office, the Provost, the Faculty Emeriti Club, and others; developing a small core group of retirees to help with planning; and working out the myriad details of office facilities and staffing.

On January 15, 1991, the enlarged organizing committee met for the first time at the Memorial Union. Attending were Ellis, Brown, Creasman, Smith, Morrell, and Richards; Alan Matheson, President, Faculty Senate; Alleen Nilsen, Assistant Vice President, Academic Affairs; Anne Pittman, Professor Emeritus; Fred Amaro and Raul Armendariz, both of the Classified Staff Association. Plans were initiated for the first general meeting on April 16.

. . . when Ellis called the (annual) meeting to order in the Ventana Room of the Memorial Union, there were 90 attendees

.

Officers for the first year were carried over from the organizing committee:  president, Bob Ellis; vice president, George Morrell; treasurer, Jim Creasman, and secretary, Gale Richards.”

Officers for the first year were carried over from the organizing committee:  president, Bob Ellis; vice president, George Morrell; treasurer, Jim Creasman, and secretary, Gale Richards.”

Officers for the first year were carried over from the organizing committee:  president, Bob Ellis; vice president, George Morrell; treasurer, Jim Creasman, and secretary, Gale Richards.”

During Bob’s year as president he oversaw the:

  • setting up of the ASURA Office and Staff,
  • issuing of Afterglow (latter renamed Prime Times),
  • formalizing of membership eligibility, and
  • voting for the first ASURA election of Board Members.

Bos was interviewed by ASURA's Video History Project team on July 29, 2002. Both the full interview and a short clip from the interview are available for on-line viewing.