The late Ellen Marie Whitener, for whom the Third-Year Block-Building Day is named, passed away in 2005 after a brief illness.
Ellen had been a much-loved member of the McIntire School faculty since 1988 and at the time of her death was a Senior Associate Dean with more than 15 years of experience in human resource management and general consulting in financial services, health care, and government services.
Of her many accomplishments, Professor Carl Zeithaml said, "She was the glue that held the School together. She was innovative, committed to excellence, compassionate, tough when she needed to be, a mentor, a leader, and a friend to everyone at the Comm School as well as to the larger community."
Students made their affection for Ellen known by creating a memory board with photos and mementos and holding a memorial service. They also painted a Beta Bridge tribute that read "Dean Whitener: Inspiration to Us All."
In addition to her many notable McIntire activities, Ellen was committed to serving the broader community. She served on a number of boards, including the Paramount Theater, Hospice of the Piedmont, and Charlottesville's Center for Christian Study as well as on the national board of trustees for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
With the annual Third-Year Block-Building Day named in her honor, Ellen's memory lives on in the McIntire School community.