A native of Red Bank, New Jersey, Ellieen V. Ancrum graduated with honors from the Education Department of the College of Saint Elizabeth in 1980 with a B.A. in Education and certificates in Early Childhood, Elementary, Special Education, and English Education K-12. She was a very active member of the Elizabethan Education Association as well as in the Student Activities Committee, Campus Ministry, and the Black Student Union in which she served as president. She was also selected for the honor of Who's Who in Colleges and Universities. Following her graduation from the College of Saint Elizabeth, Ellie earned an M.A. in Education from Rider University and did graduate work in counseling and theology.
Ellie began her teaching career in the Hightstown School District and later moved to the East Windsor School District where she was honored as teacher of the year, was nominated for the New Jersey Governor's Award, and, in 1985, was named the Most Outstanding Woman of the Year.
In 1989, she earned her license as a Human Resource Generalist and enjoyed the business environment with its exciting and challenging opportunities. However, Ellie never lost her strong desire to return to the classroom, and, when an opportunity came, she accepted a position as a teacher at Notre Dame High School in Trenton.
While at Notre Dame, she also joined the part-time staff of the Trenton diocesan Office of Communications. Bishop John M. Smith appointed her to serve as Director of the Office of Black Apostolate and, two years later, appointed her Secretary for Ethnic Ministries, overseeing the diocesan offices of Black, Haitian, Hispanic, Portuguese, Korean and Chinese Apostolate. Ellie is the first lay person and the first African American to hold this position in the diocese. In this position, she serves on numerous diocesan and civic organizations. Her publications "50 Facts About Black Catholics" and "We Came This Far By Faith; Black Catholic History in America" received regional and national recognition and, at Bishop Smith's direction, was distributed throughout the Diocese of Trenton.
In addition to her work for the Diocese of Trenton, Ellie has served as an advisor for many community organizations. She has been a member of the College of Saint Elizabeth's Council on Diversity, Board of Trustees for the Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization, Mission and Ministry Committee of Saint Francis Hospital, Public Relations Committee for Catholic Charities, Jail and Prison Ministry Advisory Council, a facilitator for the Adult Faith Formation Development Teams and an educational consultant for the Office of Religious Education for the Diocese of Trenton. Most recently, Ellie was appointed to serve on the New Jersey Catholic Conference's Public Policy Committee that addresses state and national legislation in response to Catholic Social Teaching.
Ellie is a woman who embraced the Catholic faith at an early age and has come to live the Gospel in remarkable ways. Her daily life is filled with serious decisions and challenges and as was Mother Xavier's before her, Ellie responds to each challenge with faith and confidence. Tonight, in recognition of her work that has brought so many blessing to others, the College of Saint Elizabeth proudly presents the 2005 Mother Xavier Award to Ellieen V. Ancrum, class of 1980.