_Featured Profiles


38 Years and Counting

What brought you to Clarke University?
I happened to be leaving a teaching position at a small community college and was in the process of searching for another institution. I was really looking for a small private college and had sent out resumes to a few possibilities. As it happened, Clarke had an immediate opening. I was contacted by Sr. Carol, came for an interview, and fell in love with Clarke (thank goodness the feeling was mutual). I have never regretted for one moment that decision!

What is your favorite part of your job?  
The best part of my job is the interaction with the students and faculty/staff … the people at Clarke are the BEST.  I love coming to work every day, knowing that I will experience the support system, the caring atmosphere, and the energy here. There are, of course, challenges. But for every challenge, there are 10 people who understand and are so willing to help me resolve any situation. I always have felt (and still do) valued and appreciated at Clarke.

What has been your greatest experience at Clarke?
I have been at Clarke now for 38 years … too many wonderful experiences to name.

What ways do you give back to the university?
I give back to Clarke in many ways. I am a firm believer that the community here is a symbiotic one. One in which we all need to give and take as necessary. Monetary gifts are not the only way Clarke people give back. Time is a precious commodity. One that every Clarke community member donates in great quantities, very willingly. There are countless ways I have witnessed donor dollars impacting the Clarke community (space upgrades, new classrooms, equipment, projects, etc.) The most important way is the funding of scholarships for students.

How has Clarke changed in the 38 years you’ve been here?
There have been many changes over the years for both Clarke and my particular job. I have experienced the admission of men to Clarke, changes in administrative focus (several times), the advent of the computer age and a more global approach for the college, now university. Many of these broad changes have helped propel the university into the future; some have not. When I first began at Clarke in the 1970s, the students were more insular and less globally interested … they were extremely wonderful and talented students (many of whom I still keep in regular touch) but seemed to have a hard time “seeing” beyond the world of their majors or their college experience. This is not the case now. Our current students are more aware of their multidimensional world, more understanding of their responsibilities as active citizens and more concerned with the level of competition in our society.


 Ellen Gabrielleschi

Ellen Gabrielleschi
Professor/Chair of the Drama Department

Memphis, Tenn.


HOBBIES: Traveling, gardening and spending time outside with friends and family


  • Support Clarke - Spring
  • Arts at Clarke 2016
  • Transfer Fall 2015