MEDFORD - Dorothea M. (Loughlin) Ellis, the matriarch of Tufts University Athletics, passed away on Friday, October 14 at the age of 102.
A 1931 graduate of Jackson College (the female coordinate to Tufts in the early 20th century), "Dorie" participated in athletics during its formative stages at the college. On the same day that she graduated, Dorie married Frederick M. "Fish" Ellis, E29, G49, who is historically regarded as the best all-around athlete to ever play at Tufts. Mr. Ellis went on to become a head coach of football, basketball and golf at Tufts, as well as a professor of physical education.
In the early 1930s, Dorie was captain of the first women's baseball team at Jackson. She also played basketball and field hockey, among other sports.
"Although women in athletics was in its infancy during those early years, it was a wonderful experience for all who competed and I felt it was an essential part of my college experience," she said in 1995 when Tufts had a yearlong Women's Sports Celebration. "As I watch with admiration women's athletic events on TV and occasionally a game at the high school or college level, I think the saying, 'You've come a long way baby,' says it all!"
As an alumna, she worked in admissions and publications at Tufts and was a very active member of the Jackson Alumnae Association and the Jumbo Club. She was the recipient of a Jumbo Club award and the Tufts Alumni Council's Distinguished Service Award.
Four generations of the Ellis family have attended Tufts, including Fred and Dorie's daughters Faith, J54, and Susan, J68.
"Dorie really epitomized the concept of the Tufts woman," Athletics Director Emeritus Rocky Carzo said in 2009, "as a student, as an athlete, and above all, as a great person."
View Ms. Ellis' obituary here.