- Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2003)
Since beginning his military career in 1969, Ellis has risen to commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command. He is one of the highest-ranking officers in the U.S. Army.
A four-star general, he is responsible for homeland security of the United States and the well-being of more than 750,000 soldiers, civilians, retirees and their families. A highly decorated career officer, he has served his country for more than 32 years in assignments all over the world.
Since receiving a master's degree in 1975 from the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, he has used his education to help enrich the lives of those who serve under his command. He has served as a member of the Advanced Leadership Council, which recruits talented graduate students from historically black colleges. At the council's first official meeting, he delivered a message focusing on leadership, well-being and inclusivity that was considered to be the new group's defining moment.
He returned to the Bloomington campus in January to deliver the Marian Godeke Miller Lecture to the student body. His speech focused on leadership and healthy lifestyles.