Dr. Ella Walton Shannon
An outstanding administrator and scholar, Dr. Ella Shannon has been a leader in the development of women’s athletic programs. A graduate of Hayesville High School, Shannon received her bachelor’s degree from Ashland University and her master’s and doctorate from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Shannon started her teaching and coaching career at Loudonville High School in 1963 and returned to her alma mater in 1965.
At Ashland University she taught in the Physical Education Department (now Sports Sciences) and became the chair of the department in 1973. Dr. Shannon was also the Women’s Athletic Director in 1974 and 1975 and developed the women’s athletic program at the university.
She was active in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and hosted the first Ohio Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women meeting. As a coach she produced an undefeated women’s basketball team in 1965; an undefeated volleyball team also in 1965 and had undefeated seasons in field hockey in 1967 and 1972. Because of her leadership in women’s athletics the Ohio Senate presented her with a special citation in 1974.
Among her many honors are recognition in Who’s Who of American Women; Outstanding Ashland University Alumni Award; the Ohio Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Meritorious Award and Faculty Mentor Award. In 1989 the University granted her a leave to conduct research and assess the direction of the University’s Physical Education Program.
Dr. Shannon is the author of many articles on physical education and athletics and in the area of women’s participation in competitive athletics. She has also served as the president of the OAHPER.
Shannon was supportive in having the university’s women’s athletic program move into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II and then into the strong Great Lakes Athletic Conference.
Ella and her husband Don have three children and 8 grandchildren and reside in Perrysville.
Nominator: Karen Linder, Sue Martensen, & Al Hall