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After battle with cancer, student’s life honored with scholarship

April 19, 2018 11:30 AM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu
A scholarship has been established in honor of Charles Ellison, a former Tulane University undergraduate student who lost his battle with brain cancer in March 2017. (Photo from Tulane Advancement)


A larger-than-life presence, Charles Ellison was the center of a vibrant group of friends at Tulane University, and he wasn't shy about helping those who needed him. To honor the spirit with which he approached life, a scholarship has been established to honor Ellison, a former undergraduate student who lost his battle with brain cancer in March 2017.  

The Charles Ellison Scholarship Endowed Fund will provide scholarship support for Tulane undergraduate students with both high academic achievement and financial need. The fund was established by anonymous donors. Newcomb-Tulane College dean James MacLaren taught Charles in Physics 1 and Physics 2, and described him as talented and engaged, a delight to have in class.

“He was someone who loved life, loved learning and loved Tulane. He showed so much promise. I can’t think of a better way to carry on his legacy as a student here than to support future students,” said MacLaren.

“He was someone who loved life, loved learning and loved Tulane.”

— James MacLaren, dean of Newcomb-Tulane College

Ellison was a junior at Tulane, majoring in mathematics, and planned to become an actuary. He is remembered on campus for his outgoing nature and intelligence.

Sarah Margolies, who was his girlfriend, described Ellison as an outgoing individual with a big personality, one whose keen intelligence was demonstrated through his ready talent in math and science.

“He really loved it here. He loved the food, he loved Tulane, and he loved New Orleans,” said Margolies.

“Charles had a zest for life that made him fun to be around. He enjoyed trying new experiences, such as skydiving and traveling,” said his mother, Betsy Ellison.

Ellison was a passionate EMS volunteer in his hometown of Croton-on-Hudson, New York. “He was focused on being there for people when they needed him,” recalled his mother.

To contribute to the Ellison Scholarship Fund, visit giving.tulane.edu/ellison or contact Lisa Chmiola, Newcomb-Tulane College director of development at lchmiola@tulane.edu.