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Featured Alumni Profile (September 2013)
Ella Ingram Flannagan, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, graduated from Hamilton High School. She acquired a Bachelor's of Arts Degree from Lane College in 1964 and a Masters of Education Degree from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) in 1982. Ella began her teaching career in the Memphis City School System as an elementary school teacher, where she served ten years in this capacity. For the next twenty-three years, she worked as a Creative Learning in a Unique Environment Teacher (CLUE), which is a program geared for gifted and talented students. She worked as a CLUE teacher until her retirement, which was very short lived. After being retired for only one month, Ella was eager to pour her boundless energy back into education. She then returned to the same system where she planted her roots to serve as an Eligibility Specialist.
As a teacher, Ella developed and created a differentiated curriculum for gifted learners that was not only utilized by the local school system, but also across the nation. She has been a presenter at numerous local, state, and national conferences for gifted education. Ella is very active in a plethora of educational, professional, social, religious, business, and citizenry endeavors. Some of these include: The West Tennessee Association for the Gifted; National Association for Gifted Children; Stewardess of Galilee A.M.E. Church; Vice-president of Lakeview Gardens Civic Club; NAACP; Life member of Lane College National Alumni Association; a member of the University of Memphis Alumni; the National Education Association for Retired Teachers Association; and the Memphis and Shelby County Retired Teachers Association.
Ella has been married to Pastor Robert Flannagan, a member of the Lane College Class of 1966, for forty-nine years. This union has made her the proud mother of two children – Dwaine, a retired Lieutenant Colonel for the United States Army and Dexter, a Physics and Chemistry teacher at Booker T. Washington High School. Ella's most prized possessions are her three grandchildren whom she loves dearly – Lauryn Elise, Jayden Robert, and Caden John.
Ella's other accomplishments entail being a faithful member of her church; Co-Chair of the 1960 Class Reunion for Hamilton High School; Executive secretary for the Lane College National Alumni Association; and business manager for the Lane Alumni Chapter of Memphis. Personally, her most distinctive attributes are her innate abilities to show initiative, to motivate others, and to make calm sound decisions. When she enters a room, her most captivating personality mesmerizes those around her, and she is most noted for treating people with humility and respect. She is never too coy to accept a challenge in any capacity, especially when it comes to serving society and Lane College.
It is her enthralling persona that has led to her beingchosen to receive a multitude of awards including: Distinguished Alumni for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO); National Alumni of the Year (NAC); National Alumni Council for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF); Outstanding Alumni Award from the Lane College National Alumni Association; Super Service Award; Outstanding Achievement Award and Presidential Citation from the National Association of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Lane College Founder's Day Legacy Award; and the LAY Person of the Year Award from the West Tennessee Conference Organization for the A.M.E. Church. One of Ella's most distinguished efforts of her commitment to service has been her success in amassing and collecting contributions to the Lane College Annual Fund, an effort that brought in excess of $500,000 to Lane College.
Ella, who has already proven to be an outstanding asset to any organization, is a self-starter who is dedicated to continuing her efforts as a conscientious advocate and supporter of Lane College.
About her tenure at Lane College, Flannagan shared the following:
"I pride myself on being a ‘doer,' and believe that my high-achieving personality is credited to the jewels of wisdom that I gleaned from Lane College. Lane taught me to be of service to mankind and to be a student for life in every aspect – educationally, culturally, and spiritually. Lane gave me the gifts of ceaseless energy, relentless courage, patience, and to put others before myself. Most importantly, Lane showed me a sense of compassion and to always have profound faith in God and humanity."