Russ Ellis Named Chief Development Officer

Russ EllisThe University School of Jackson is pleased to announce that beginning March 19, Russ Ellis will begin working as the Chief Development Officer. Mr. Ellis’ fundraising/development career spans over 21 years and includes leadership roles at the American Heart Association, Lambuth University, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and most recently as the Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (West TN Chapter), where he led all significant donor cultivation efforts.

“I have always admired the mission and values of USJ, and I am honored to be a part of the exciting things planned for the future of the school," said Russ.

As Chief Development Officer, Mr. Ellis will work closely with our Director of Development, Ron Kirkland, and Assistant Director of Development, Cathy Garrett, to create and implement a short- and long-term advancement plan to meet development goals and objectives and cultivate relationships with key constituents.

Mr. Ellis will also work to promote the need for philanthropy to sustain a specialized and quality education and foster excitement for fundraising efforts. He along with Cathy Garrett will also oversee the management of gift processing and donor acknowledgment.

Russ grew up in Jackson, TN and graduated from Lambuth University with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Communications. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Lakeland, TN for over 14 years, but will be relocating to Jackson at the end of the school year. They have two children, Rusty, a senior at MTSU and Keaton, a senior at Arlington High School.

Dear USJ parents, alumni, grandparents, parents of alumni, and friends:

University School of Jackson remains committed to the task of guiding our young people to reach their highest potential. Whether it may be in academics, athletics, fine arts or community service, we strive to develop the whole student by providing him or her with a positive learning environment. We hope that the relationship established with USJ will be one that lasts a lifetime.

Our school relies on the generous support of donors in order to continue on a path of excellence. Your gifts to USJ demonstrate a commitment to our students and reflect a confidence in the school’s ability to prepare them for their future. Whether large or small, these gifts have direct, positive impact on daily programming.

Please take some time to review the following pages. It is our hope that you will partner with USJ to ensure continued growth for our school and success for our students. If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Cathy Garrett
Asst. Director of Development
University School of Jackson