Alumnae News

Reunion Weekend

Ellis welcomed alumnae back to campus for the 2022 Reunion Weekend, held October 7-9, 2022. The Reunion included opportunities to interact with current students, campus tours, an insightful Alumnae Career Panel, and a heartwarming luncheon. Members of the Class of 1972 joined us on Friday for a special cocktail reception celebrating their milestone 50th anniversary before heading to dinner together.

Saturday was our first-ever Family Fun Day and BBQ lunch. We celebrated our Athletic Hall of Fame nominees during the afternoon’s field hockey game, and enjoyed a school-hosted cocktail reception later that evening. The weekend ended with a tour of the Carnegie International Exhibition, during which current Ellis art students served as docents alongside Ellis Visual Arts faculty member Sara Sturdevant.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Reunion Weekend 2022. We look forward to this fall’s Reunion, which will be held October 6-7, 2023.

Alumnae Book Club

Spearheaded by Kristen WALTER Sobel '05 and Cally MYHRUM '06, Ellis launched an Alumnae Book Club this year, inviting alumnae to campus in February and May for social mingling and book discussion. This school year, we read The Night Watchman by Louise Erdich and By Her Own Design: The Story of Ann Lowe, Society’s Best-Kept Secret by Piper Huguley.

Spring Her Forward: Raise Her Voice

The best encore we could receive! This year our theme was amplifying voices. Current parent Terry Boring chaired our event and produced a concert featuring three female-led Pittsburgh bands. Current parent and alumna Sarah ALTMAN McSorley '95 chaired the online auction of our fundraiser. We raised $70,000 to support the Ellis Fund. Thank you to all of our alumnae, grandparents, parents, and parents of alumnae for donating auction items, bidding on items, and supporting our raffle.

This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.

Thank you to First National Bank, Dollar Bank, Schell Games, Simpson & McCrady LLC, Acme Machine & Welding Co, LLC, BBR Benefits Solutions, LLC, Bennington Law Firm, LLC, Duquesne University, Greco Gas, HB Retirement, Jendoco Construction Corporation, Metz Culinary Management, PWWG Architects, Shift Collaborative, Sisterson & Co. LLP, and Stephen Chen & Esther Kang.

2022 Sara Frazer Ellis Awardee

Granted annually to an Ellis alumna whose achievements embody the School's mission and what it means to be an Ellis student, the Sara Frazer Ellis Award was presented to Catherine LEWIS Long ’87 by Head of School Macon Finley at the Reunion Weekend luncheon.

Upon receiving the award, Cathy reflected on the importance of the strong friendships she made and the valuable lessons she learned during her time at Ellis.

"When I think about what has contributed to my circuitous path through life, some of the core values and attributes that have guided me are ones I found here at Ellis: a love of learning, finding my own voice, following my own path, and taking chances," she said. "I think that Ellis is such an important place in our community, and I'm so grateful both for my time here as a student and for the opportunity to provide leadership as a member of the Ellis Board."

History of Ellis Presentation

Ellis historian Charles Altman visited second grade students to share a presentation on the history of Sara Frazer Ellis and the founding of The Ellis School. Ellis alumnae Liz SUCCOP Altman ’70 and Sarah ALTMAN Bumsted McSorley ’95 were then joined by Anne Bumsted, Class of 2027, and Katherine Bumsted, Class of 2029, to share their experience as three generations of Ellisians.

2022 Ellis Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions

Heather HANCHAK Moss ’97 and Alexandra (Alexa) CHU ’07 were inducted during Reunion Weekend at an Ellis varsity field hockey game.

Heather, a track and field athlete, represented the United States in the Junior Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile (1995) and Sydney, Australia (1996). Her relay team placed second and fourth, respectively, at these international events. Indoors, Heather won PTFCA state titles in the 200 and 400 as a sophomore at Ellis and the Indoor High School Nationals as a junior in the 400m. That same year, while competing in Idaho at the Simplot Games, she set the Junior Class Indoor Record, winning the Simplot Games in 54.14 in 1996. Heather competed collegiately at Texas Christian University, earning All-American Status in the 4x100m relay. She was inducted into the Pennsylvania High School Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2021.

Alexa, an Ellis lifer, played on WPIAL field hockey and lacrosse teams as well as on Team Golden Triangle, a club field hockey team. A 2011 graduate of Yale University, Alexa also participated in collegiate athletics. She sailed on Yale's Division I sailing team, contributing to two of Yale's women's sailing Division I championships, and played on the university's club field hockey team.

Endowed Scholarships

We are honored to announce the establishment of a new endowed fund, The Frances A. Koch Scholarship Fund. The family and friends of Frances Koch secured a scholarship in her honor so that her legacy will continue long into the future.

Mrs. Koch dedicated her career to the teaching profession and Ellis. She began teaching in the Lower School in 1964. During her three decades at Ellis, she served as Head of Lower School (1971-1972), the Director of Upper School (1973-1991), and in her final year as Interim Head of School (1991-1992).

The endowment is a permanent, self-sustaining funding source for The Ellis School that supports, in part, endowed faculty chairs, scholarships, and ongoing maintenance of our facilities. Support of The Ellis School’s endowment has a lasting impact, just as lifelong learning prepares our students to embrace the world beyond our campus. If you would like to contribute to The Frances A. Koch Scholarship Fund, please visit our Giving webpage or contact the Advancement Office.

Endowed funds at Ellis are established with gifts of $150,000 or more. Gifts at any level can be added to our general endowment or any listed funds.
• The Frances A. Koch Scholarship Fund
• Veo Parran Scholarship
• Mary McCune Edwards Memorial Fund
• Alice S. Beckwith ‘49 Scholarship
• Alumnae Association Scholarship
• Patsy Grable Burke ‘46 and Jojo Seaman Bradshaw ‘47 Friendship Fund
• EQT Fund for EQT Scholars

Alumnae Visitors to Campus
  • Felicia TROVATO ’05 spoke to Upper School students about cyber security and online safety. Felicia is a community outreach specialist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is a primary liaison between the FBI Pittsburgh Division and private, public, and non-profit business sectors.
  • Dr. Nicole VELEZ ’00 visited campus to talk with the PreMed Club about her career in medicine. During her visit, she shared details about her education and career path as a dermatologist.
  • College-age Ellis graduates spoke to current juniors and seniors at the Young Alumnae Ice Cream Social. From sharing tips for navigating their first year of college to advising on pursuing post-grad research, this annual event offers the opportunity to connect with recent graduates about life after Ellis.
  • Whitney PATROSS ’01 returned to campus to deliver a seminar on financial literacy to the senior class. A graduate of Cornell Law School, Whitney is a consumer financial protection lawyer working at a fintech company that promotes responsible saving and spending habits.
  • Jessica RUFFIN ’00 visited campus to talk with students in grades 5–12 about her journey at Ellis and her life after graduation. Jessica is the Deputy Director for the Office of Equity and Engagement for the Department of Human Services for Allegheny County. Trinity SIMS ’22, introduced Jessica and moderated the question and answer session.
  • Ellis alumnae helped us kick off our first Ellis Day of Giving centered around International Women’s Day. We challenged our community to answer the question: 'What will you do?’ and to take action on that declaration.
    • Reunion Weekend 2022 included a heartwarming luncheon.

    • Ellis alumnae were among our VIPs at Spring Her Forward: Raise Her Voice

    • The Sara Frazer Ellis Award was presented to Catherine LEWIS Long '87 by Head of School Macon Finley at Reunion 2022.

    • Ellis historian Charles Altman gave a presentation about the history of The Ellis School to second grade students.

    • A new endowed fund as been established in honor of Frances Koch.

    • A variety of Ellis alumnae visited campus through 2022–2023, including Dr. Nicole VELEZ '00.