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University of Dallas Appoints New Vice President for Development and University Relations

Dr. Ashton Ellis

The University of Dallas is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Ashton Ellis as the Vice President for Development and University Relations. In collaboration with President Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD, Dr. Ellis will spearhead efforts to enhance philanthropic support and engagement among donors, alumni, and friends of the university.

President Sanford expressed his enthusiasm for Dr. Ellis, citing his familiarity with higher education and commitment to the distinct excellence of the University of Dallas. Sanford noted that both share the belief in the university's mission to provide a top-tier liberal arts education and its role in rebuilding culture through educational excellence.

Dr. Ellis, joining from Hillsdale College after nearly a decade in fundraising, brings a wealth of experience. Currently overseeing a national team, he has been instrumental in securing legacy-defining gifts supporting endowed professorships, student scholarships, and various academic and outreach programs.

In response to his appointment, Dr. Ellis shared his excitement about President Sanford's vision for UD, emphasizing the university's central role in classical education and expressing his belief in a forthcoming "Catholic Awakening." Ellis, a father of nine with another child on the way, underscored his deep interest in the formative role of education in shaping future leaders.

Ellis, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor University, holds a master's in public policy and administration from Baylor, a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, and a PhD in political philosophy from Claremont Graduate University. His diverse background includes teaching at Pepperdine's School of Public Policy, consulting on ethical issues, and earning prestigious fellowships.

Returning to Texas completes a homecoming for Ellis, born in Victoria, TX, who met his wife Lauren while working in the Texas House of Representatives. Having moved back to Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellis and his family have already integrated into the University Hills community, expressing a commitment to being active members of the UD community for years to come.

Ellis urged those who 'love ye UD' to join him and President Sanford as they embark on the next phase of the university's history.

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