Trine mourns passing of former president Elliott

April 05, 2022

Carl Elliott and Dr. BrooksTrine University is mourning the loss of its 11th president, Carl Elliott, who died April 1, shortly after his 100th birthday.

A World War II veteran, Elliott began his career as an assistant professor at Miami University in Ohio after the war ended. From there, he moved on to Purdue University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology.

After working in industry, he returned to the Purdue Calumet Center, now Purdue Northwest, serving as director for 16 years before becoming president at Trine, then Tri-State College, in 1975.

Under his leadership, the college became a university and experienced growth in student enrollment. The university received approval for its elementary education program and added degrees in computer science and marketing during his presidency.

His tenure also saw the addition of the Howard P. Conrad Chemical Engineering Laboratory to Fawick Hall and the launch of WEAX radio station, the forerunner of today’s Trine Broadcasting Network.

Elliott also established the university’s first endowment fund. The first endowed chair at Tri-State University, the Laurence L. Dresser Chair of Engineering, was established during his tenure.

“President Elliott set in place many of the elements that have allowed today’s Trine University to continue to grow and thrive,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine University president. “We are grateful for his service as president and his continued support. He will be greatly missed.”

Elliott retired in 1983 to care for his wife Elizabeth, who was seriously ill, taking loving care of her until her death in 1984.

He continued to generously support the university after his retirement, providing a major gift to the Invest in Excellence Capital Campaign in 2016. Elliott Drive, the street to the Golf Course Apartments on Trine University’s Angola campus, was named in his honor in 2009.

He is survived by his four daughters, as well as 15 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Photos: Top, Carl Elliott, left, then president of Tri-State University, and Jimmie Caldwell, then president of the Alumni Association, climb down ladders after installing new signage celebrating Tri-State's university status in 1975. (Archive photo)

At right, former Tri-State University president Carl Elliott, left, visits Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine University president, in 2017. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)

Last Updated: 04/05/2022

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