WOOSTER, Ohio — A trio of Wooster graduates will be honored for a lifetime of achievement when the College presents its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards on Saturday (June 11). Lucius Ellsworth, a 1963 graduate; George Davis, a 1964 graduate; and Elizabeth Eaton, a 1977 graduate, will be recognized in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center, beginning at 11 a.m.
Ellsworth, the son of legendary Wooster history professor Clayton Ellsworth (1931-71), resisted majoring in history as long as possible before finally succumbing. He then went on to embrace higher education throughout his life in many unique ways. He helped found the Appalachian School of Law in 1996 and served as its founding president until 2008. He also helped found the Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Oakwood, Va., and currently serves as the chair of its Board of Trustees. In addition, he is serving as interim president of a new optometry school in Grundy, Va., which is in its planning stages. Before turning his attention to the underserved Appalachian area, he held a number of administrative and academic positions at the University of West Florida, the University of Minnesota, the University of Delaware, and Villanova University.
Davis, a geology major and a record-setting pole vaulter with the Scot track and field team, went on to become one of the country’s preeminent educators and researchers in the geosciences. His specialization in the study of faults, folds, shear zones, and fracture systems in ancient mountain belts and plateaus resulted in more than 100 publications. He also served in multiple administrative positions at the University of Arizona, including executive vice president, provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs. In addition, he served as president of the Geological Society of America and is currently Regents Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus at the University of Arizona. He continues to engage in geoarachaeology as part of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, Sanctuary of Zeus in the Peloponnesus, Greece, where he is often assisted by his wife, Merrily Siepert Davis ’64.
Eaton, who received her Wooster degree in music education and played in the jazz ensemble, went on to become the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a four-million member denomination with more than 10,000 congregations. Her election in 2013 as the first woman to hold the position garnered national attention. A role model for her at Wooster was Cindy Jarvis, associate pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Eaton had been brought up a Lutheran, a denomination that did not begin ordaining women until 1970, and she had no experience with women ministers, but Rev. Jarvis had a profound effect on her life, not only because of her gender, but also because of the way in which she reached out to others.