The Christ School community is saddened to learn of the passing of J. Hagood Ellison Jr. ’68.
He was 70. Hagood will be sorely missed as he has been a faithful supporter of the school over the years and is a former member of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Council.
Throughout his 44-year career in wealth management, Hagood consistently distinguished himself as one of Merrill Lynch’s top producers in the nation. His team based out of Columbia, S.C., was included on Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Barron’s ranked him as of the country’s top 1,000 advisors from 2009 to 2013 and named him No. 1 in South Carolina in 2013. Forbes bestowed a similar in-state honor in 2018.
Hagood came to Christ School as a sophomore and found athletic outlets in football, basketball, and track, but his real passion for journalism called, and accordingly, he joined the Christ School News student newspaper. Hagood rose to the position of Editor by his senior year, and under his leadership the Christ School News developed a reputation for incisive, biting observations, and excellent journalism. Hagood’s tenure as Editor remained a source of pride to him throughout his life.
Upon graduation, Hagood went on to study at Washington & Lee University (Va.), earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He received his MBA from the University of South Carolina.
Hagood loved and supported Christ School generously. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2005, lending his expertise to both the Advancement and Finance Committees. Hagood was instrumental in the campaign to renovate and expand St. Joseph’s Chapel in 2005, and more recently led the effort to raise the 50th reunion gift to $100,000. In 1998, he was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the school with the Alumni Achievement Award.
Hagood served in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1976, taught as an adjunct professor at the Moore School of Business, led his sons’ Boy Scout troop, and was a trustee emeritus at Washington & Lee. Additionally, he served on boards for the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, the Center Cancer Treatment and Research, and Lee University.
He was the recipient of Merrill Lynch’s Lifetime Community Achievement Award in 2003.
Hagood is survived by his wife, Eleanor “Cis” Ellison and their children, Adger, Andrew, and Zan. Shives Funeral Home out of Columbia is assisting the family with arrangements.