Thursday, October 10, 1996

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Jill C. Birch, Alumni Programs Director, (706) 542-5190


ATHENS, Ga. -- A portrait honoring former University of Georgia School of Law Dean C. Ronald Ellington, now J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, will be dedicated during the law school's homecoming celebration on Saturday, October 19, at 10 a.m. in the fourth floor reception hall of the law school's new addition, Dean Rusk Hall.

Ellington served as dean for six years, from 1987 to 1993, maintaining the school's momentum by recruiting top-flight faculty and students during a difficult recession. It was during his deanship that plans for Dean Rusk Hall were approved and most of the fund raising for the facility took place.

The portrait, commissioned by the Law School Alumni Association (LSA) and painted by George Mandus, represents the sixth time a dean has been honored with an artist's rendering, and brings to 70 the total number of portraits in the law school's collection. In 1994, the LSA awarded Ellington a Distinguished Service Scroll, the highest honor presented by the alumni association.

"We felt it was important to recognize the tremendous leadership that Dean Ellington provided -- promoting the law school's growth during tough budget times," said Cathy Harris Helms, LSA immediate past president. "He is widely respected among alumni, government leaders and members of the judiciary, and the alumni council unanimously supported the request from alumni to commission his portrait."

A native Georgian, Ellington joined the UGA law faculty in 1969. He graduated summa cum laude and received Phi Beta Kappa honors from Emory University, then earned his law degree from Virginia in 1966, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served on the managing board of the Virginia Law Review. Ellington received his Master of Laws degree from Harvard, after being awarded a Fellowship in Law and the Humanities for graduate studies there.

Ellington practiced with the Atlanta firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan before beginning his career as an educator. During his law school tenure, he has taught Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Georgia Practice and Procedure, Complex Litigation, and the Role of Courts in American Society, and has been honored by students four times for his teaching excellence. In 1979-80, he served as a Scholar-in-Residence in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ellington serves as a member of The American Law Institute and as a Georgia commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He also chairs the State Bar's Committee on Judicial Procedure and Administration and is a member of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism.

"Ron has had a primary interest in building the law school and improving the legal profession in Georgia as a whole," said John A. Sibley Professor Julian McDonnell, a former law school classmate of Ellington's who will speak at the dedication ceremony. "Ron was also a good man to have as dean during such a difficult time. He's a real civil kind of fellow and a calm, not-easily-panicked sort of guy. He was willing and able to hold the team together and build on it."

Ellington and his wife, Jeanne, have two children, Greg, a 1995 graduate of the Law School, and Nikki, a junior at Athens Academy.