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Lucious Ellsworth, Ph.D

Dr. Lu Ellsworth is the founding President of the Appalachian School of Law. He grew up in Wooster, Ohio, graduating from the College of Wooster with double honors in history and economics, and received his Master of Arts and Ph.D in American History from the University of Delaware.


He came to Southwest Virginia in early 1990 as Vice Chancellor and Dean at The University of Virginia College - Wise, positions he held for three years. From 1993-96 he was Senior Scholar and Professor of History at the college until he became president of the law school. Before coming to Southwest Virginia he served as Chief Academic Officer for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (1986-1990), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs for the State University System of Florida (1984-86), and had held various academic positions at the University of West Florida, where he was Provost and Professor of History, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware, and Villanova University. Lu is the author, editor or co-author of eight history books and numerous articles and reviews. He is also listed in Who’s Who in America.


Being an avid patron of the arts, Lu currently serves as chair of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and has served as President of Virginians for the Arts, the statewide arts advocacy organization; former Vice Chair of the Cultural Arts Council of Buchanan County; past President of the Grundy Rotary Club, Assistant Governor for District 7570 of Rotary International; past Chair of Appalachian Regional Community Head Start; member of the Board of Directors of Symphony of the Mountains; and he is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hospice and Palliative Care of Virginia, a non-profit organization. Additionally, he has served two terms on the Higher Education Board of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, is on the Board of Directors of the Wesley Institute, and serves as Lay Leader of the Appalachian Prayer Fellowship, a future Methodist Church.


Lu currently resides in Wise, Virginia and is married to Phyllis Hatcher, a schoolteacher and life long resident of Wise County.