The Ellsworth Trust

The Ellsworth Trust

About the Ellsworth Trust

Robert A. EllsworthThe Ellsworth Trust is a private foundation that enriches higher education at Northern Vermont University-Johnson and the study of political science and history through scholarships for undergraduates, annual lectures which bring visiting scholars to campus for lectures and seminars, grants to fund multicultural events, and travel grants for students and alumni.

In 1983, after retiring from 17 years of teaching at Johnson State College, Professor Ellsworth established the Ellsworth Trust. The Ellsworth Trust is run by a board which includes alumni who were Professor Ellsworth’s students, as well as other colleagues and friends. The Trust awards scholarships to students majoring in political science and history, provides travel grants to current students and alumni, and supports the annual Ellsworth Lecture and other events.

During the past 20 years, the Trust has helped dozens of students and alumni to travel, to places including Mexico, Central America, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Vietnam, and China.

The Ellsworth Trust Board

Carolyn M. Arey, Class of 1969; Connecticut

Tom M. Carney, Class of 1971; Vermont

Angelica D. Caterino, Class of 2011; Vermont

David Crossman, Class of 2004; Alaska (Vice President)

Francis E. Coyle; Florida/Massachusetts (Treasurer)

Everett Dickinson, Class of 1962; Vermont (Secretary)

James McWilliam, Class of 1967; Vermont

Jessica Prince, Class of 2004; Massachusetts (Assistant Treasurer)

Bryan Scanlon, Class of 1992; California (President)

Paul L. Silver; Vermont

Camille Vickers; Maryland (Curator)

Donald R. Vickers, Class of 1970; Vermon

About Professor Emeritus Robert A. Ellsworth

Born and raised in Morrisville, Vermont, Robert A. Ellsworth graduated from City College in New York and Columbia University. During World War II he served as an officer in the Navy, stationed in the Caribbean and Latin America.

After the war, Professor Ellsworth was with the U.S. Embassy’s Political Affairs Division in Japan for three years. In the 1950s, he headed the State Department’s Point IV food support program in Columbia.

He traveled around the world four times and spent 17 years as a full-time professor (1957 to 1973) at Johnson, including several years as chair of the college’s humanities department, then known as “the social sciences division.” Professor Ellsworth was personally involved in world affairs more than most college professors and modeled his teachings of history not to represent outdated legends and fancies but to focus on history’s impact on present cultures. He coordinated numerous student trips to Latin America while teaching about that region, American foreign policy, international relations and Russian history.

“Bob was interested in keeping people growing and learning about cultures,” remembers Camille Vickers, a close friend and now Curator of the Ellsworth Trust. “He wanted students to travel more, because he felt that if you traveled - went out and met the Russians on their own street, looked into their eyes and knew that they weren’t going to bomb you - you would learn that history is about people, and how it influences their day-to-day lives.”

On May 4, 1990, the Vermont State Colleges honored Professor Ellsworth by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate and Professor Emeritus of Latin American History status.

After his retirement, Professor Ellsworth generously established the Robert Alden Ellsworth Trust in hopes of perpetuating his role in providing educational experience for Johnson students and graduates. It is hard to miss Professor Ellsworth's impact and presence at Johnson with the Trust. The Ellsworth Rooms and their exhibits, the annual Ellsworth Lectures, and scholarships all bear his name and spirit, continuing to perpetuate a love of history, teaching and travel.