In Memoriam: IACS Trustee Ellen Hancock

IACS trustee helped shape the Institute from its earliest days
ByBy IACS Staff


Ellen Marie Hancock, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC and a visionary leader in the tech industry and business world, has died. She was 79.

A resident of Ridgefield, Connecticut, for the past 45 years, she died peacefully on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Jason, and her siblings Peter, Paul and Patricia Mooney.

As an active member of the IACS Board of Trustees and its former chair, Hancock was influential in shaping the Institute’s structure and operations, said Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M, chair of the IACS Board of Trustees.

“Ellen personally supported the work of IACS, and believed deeply in its importance to the Catholic Church and to the larger world,” wrote Rev. Holtschneider in an email to IACS trustees announcing Hancock’s passing. “Above all, she was a friend to us all, sure to make us laugh at some point in every meeting. I will personally miss her at our board meetings, and I know you share that sentiment.”

Born in the Bronx, on April 15, 1943, to the late Peter and Helen (Houlihan) Mooney, Hancock grew up in New Rochelle, New York. She graduated from The Ursaline School, The College of New Rochelle and Fordham University, where she earned a master’s degree in mathematics.

Pursuing her interest in technology, Hancock began a successful business career with IBM in 1968. She steadily advanced from an entry-level position to numerous management and executive roles, where she achieved major personal and organizational accomplishments. Hancock worked for 29 years at IBM, where she was appointed senior vice president with global responsibilities, the first female to achieve the position.

Following IBM, she moved on to senior leadership roles at National Semiconductor Corporation, Apple Inc. and, later, was named chief executive officer of Exodus Communications.

Hancock was deeply devoted to education. Her philanthropy includes serving as an IACS trustee for more than 13 years, and as a member of the Marist College Board of Trustees for 34 years, including seven years as board chair. She was also a board member at Santa Clara University, as well as a corporate board member of Colgate-Palmolive, Electronic Data Systems, RAND Corporation and Aetna, Inc. Ellen actively participated in organizations that supported women in business. She was a member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated in her honor on Monday, June 6, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York followed by a reception at the Hancock Center.