CSU Voices and Views

A Lifetime of Supporting Education

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that  Eductaion -1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that the Education-1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis have dedicated a total of 73.5 years of their lives to teaching the next generation. Now, with $1.4 million bequest to create a scholarship endowment for credential students at CSU Long Beach (CSULB), Bob and Barbara are helping future educators shape the lives of California’s children.

After graduating from CSULB in 1964, Barbara went on to teach English 22 years at Hughes Middle School and 14 years at Lakewood High School.

Bob earned his credential and master’s degree from CSULB in 1958 and began his career as a teacher and counselor in 1950 at Jordan High School, and concluded it as Jordan’s principal in 1987.  In between, he was principal of six different schools:  Avalon School in Catalina, Freemont Elementary, Newcomb K-8, Hughes Junior High, Wilson and Poly High Schools.

Their commitment to education doesn’t end there.

Your generous donation will fund $63,000 worth of scholarships per year for CSULB’s College of Education credential students. What made you decide to donate?

Bob: When we established our trust many years ago, we’ve always known where we wanted our money to go—which is to helping students get through school. I couldn’t imagine anything that would give us any more pleasure.

Barbara: Not having enough money should never be a barrier to getting an education. The feeling of giving back to the university and helping students achieve their dreams is irreplaceable.

What was your experience like as a student at CSULB?

Barbara: I feel a tremendous appreciation for the CSU because it provided me with a good education at an affordable price. When I was going to school, tuition was only $60.50 a semester. Luckily enough, I landed a job in the campus placement office (getting paid $1.50 an hour!), which helped me pay for my school expenses.

Bob: After serving in WWII, I used my GI Bill to get my degree. The master’s program at Cal State Long Beach was so convenient and easily fit in my schedule.  I was able to take classes at night and during the summer. The university helped me find my passion for education, and to this day is my safe haven.

Safe Haven? How so?

Bob: We live right across the street from the University and thoroughly enjoy all the services available on campus! We attend class at OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), see outstanding performances at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center and support “The Beach” during baseball and basketball games.

Barbara: We also love the Japanese Gardens. We got married there and most recently celebrated Bob’s 90th birthday there. The campus really is part of our lives.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Bob: We really have the best “town and gown” relationship. The contributions that the college provides to the community are endless. And that’s why we continue to support the university.

Barbara: Seeing the high quality students that the campus is sending out into the community and the education profession is why we give back to CSULB and why we will continue to give back.

Part of the CSU Class of 3 Million, Bob and Barbara Ellis are both retired educators and highly esteemed in the Long Beach educational community. Barbara graduated from CSULB in 1964 with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Bob earned his general administration credential and master’s degree in education at CSULB in 1958. On March 25, 2015, the CSU named the Education 1 Building at CSULB as the Bob and Barbara Ellis Education Building in recognition of their $1.4 million irrevocable bequest to the CSU Long Beach College of Education. See below for the video of the recognition.

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