Alumni Spotlight: Eleanor (Ellie) Yeager Gilmore '72

By Erika Nisbet, Student Writer for Office of Communications

Ellie Gilmore on a cruiseEleanor (Ellie) Yeager Gilmore began her journey at Miami University Regionals' Middletown campus in January of 1970. As a first generation college student, Ellie believes that, if not for MUM, she would not have been able to go to college.

When talking about the impact the Middletown campus had on her life, tears began to form in Ellie's eyes. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and her father first worked at Armco, then as a firefighter for twelve years, before eventually retiring from Monsanto in Miamisburg. When Ellie decided she wanted to attend college, her father refused to fill out the financial aid work, but that did not stop her. Ellie persevered and ended up receiving the Ellie Murstein Scholarship worth $300 (valued at roughly $1894 today).

While at Miami Middletown, Ellie loaded up on classes, taking 21 to 23 credit hours each term along with classes each summer. She was an active member of the Beta Sigma Tau Sorority and on the Communications Board.

Ellie felt that her time at the Middletown campus, was an experience that has had a lifelong impact on her life. She believes the professors and staff members are the ones that made all the difference. Ellie said, "I felt that they were the campus. The relationships I had with them, their remarkable knowledge, their teaching, their compassion: that was what made the difference." Among those professors that made a difference to Ellie were Harold Nadel (English), Dr. David Bergstrom (Science), John Schuller (Spanish), Dr. Adolph Greenberg (Anthropology), and Dr. Elizabeth Krukowski (English). Those and many others challenged Ellie to think critically, to think "outside the box," and test herself.

Ellie Gilmore HeadshotAfter earning her bachelor's degree in English in August 1972 from the Middletown campus, Ellie started to pursue her Master's in English and even took some graduate classes at Miami Middletown. She received her master's degree in December 1973 from Miami University. During her graduate studies, Ellie achieved what she believes to be one of her greatest accomplishments. Thanks to the her mother and (local attorney and MU Board of Trustees member) Mary Lord persistent advocation, she became the first person from MUM to become a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Sorority in Oxford.

Ellie had a distinguished thirty-five year career in education. She taught high school English, adult education, GED courses, tutored ESL students, and was an adjunct professor at MUM. Currently retired from teaching, Ellie works at BookFactory, a Dayton company owned by her husband (Andrew), that specializes in printing laboratory books and log books, as well as elementary school materials for an international consumer base.

Ellie Girlmore sitting on a merry-go-round in the park

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ellie is an accomplished writer and embroiderer, and an involved alumna. She has written an award winning grammar book, Desktop Grammarian, and has co-written two pieces of fiction with Dr. Robert Rhode, Maggie Quick and Flyways. She has also won many awards for her embroidery. She has stayed connected to her alma mater campus over the years, most recently as a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee.

Ellie concluded that if she could give advice to incoming students it would be this: "Miami Regionals offer a quality education with diverse classmates. I learned from my classmates as well as from my professors and instructors. One advantage of coming here is that you have people who bring more life experiences than students would bring to a traditional campus. My classmates included Vietnam soldiers returning from duty as well as teachers who were working on a four-year degree to meet the changing curriculum."