Carl Stephens Ell

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Carl Stephens Ell
Carl Stephens Ell.jpg
Ell pictured in The Cauldron 1921, Northeastern yearbook
2nd President of
Northeastern University
In office
Preceded by Frank Palmer Speare
Succeeded by Asa S. Knowles
Personal details
Born (1887-11-14)November 14, 1887
Staunton, Indiana
Died April 17, 1981(1981-04-17) (aged 93)
Alma mater DePauw University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University

Carl Stephens Ell (November 14, 1887 – April 17, 1981) was the second president of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts from 1940–1959.

He was born in Staunton, Indiana on November 14, 1887, son of Jacob and Alice (Stephens) Ell. His education included an A.B. in 1909 from DePauw University, a S.B. in 1911 and M.S. in 1912 in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Ed.M. in 1932 from Harvard University. He married Etta May Kinnear on June 10, 1913 and had one daughter, Dorothy. He began teaching at Northeastern in 1910, was dean of the School of Engineering 1917–1940, vice president 1925–1940, and president from 1940–1958. He remained affiliated with the university until his death on April 17, 1981.

During his presidency, he led the university through a period of physical expansion as well as the development of Northeastern's various colleges, the growth of its co-op program, student population, evening education, and educational status.


  • The Carl Stephens Ell papers, 1912–1981 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
  • "Carl Stephens Ell" Obituary, Boston Globe, April 19, 1981, p. 1

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Frank Palmer Speare
2nd President of Northeastern University
Succeeded by
Asa S. Knowles