Roy Ellis was born June 30, 1914, in Boyle County, Ky. He received a B.S. degree from Western Kentucky University in 1937, and a M.A. from Indiana University in 1939. From 1939 to 1942 he taught high school in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and then served in the Navy for three years during World War II, doing weather forecasting in the Pacific. His 33-year relationship with Centre began in 1946 when he joined the faculty as professor of physics. Ellis received a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Texas A&M in 1959, and much of the research needed to complete his doctorate was done in a wave tank that Ellis constructed in the basement of Centre's gym. For many years, Ellis was one of the few scientists in Kentucky with special knowledge in oceanography, and taught courses at Centre in ocean science, along with other areas of physics. Ellis retired from the faculty in May 1979. Ellis lived on a 150-acre farm in the Forkland area south of Danville, were he raised cattle. In an editorial after his death, the Danville Advocate-Messenger said :"To Ellis ... there was nothing odd about a rural man having impressive academic and professional credentials." He was an active Forkland civic leader, serving as president of the Forkland Community Center and director of the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge. Ellis died March 18, 1990.