Ellis to make a splash at Misciagna Family Center

February 03, 2009

Jim Ellis, swimming coach and subject of the movie "Pride," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at Penn State Altoona as part of the campus' Distinguished Speaker Series. The event takes place in the Paul R. and Margery Wolf Kuhn Theatre in the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.

Ellis founded the Philadelphia Department of Recreation (P.D.R) Swim Team in 1971 when the lives of young African-American teens in the city were often full of hardship and prejudice. Ellis pulled together a group of troubled inner-city kids, turning them into a dedicated team and teaching them how to overcome adversity through hard work and determination. Today, the team is the city's nationally recognized competitive swim team, the nation's best predominately African-American team and a model for urban swim programs around the country.

"Pride," released in 2007, stars Oscar nominee Terrence Howard ("Crash," "Ray") and the late Bernie Mac ("The Bernie Mac Show," "Ocean’s Eleven"). The film tells the story of Ellis’s journey as well as his swimmers’.
In May 2007, Ellis received the President's Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required and may be obtained through the campus bookstore (814) 949-5121 or box office (814) 949-5452.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009