Name: Ellen Gibson McGinnis
YaleWomen title: Chair, Award for Excellence Committee
Yale Affiliation: ’82
Where you live: Baltimore, MD
What you do: I am a partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP, a law firm, where I co-lead a team of 30+ lawyers in a specialty finance practice, representing lenders with deals around the world. I’m on my firm’s Board of Directors, I’m the Chair of our Admission to Partnership Committee, and I am very involved in technology and knowledge management issues at the firm. I practice in our DC office, but started with the firm in 1989 in Dallas.
Your family: My husband is a Yale classmate, but if you ask each of us when we met, you’ll find a 3 year discrepancy in the answers! David is a Rheumatologist with a local private practice. Our daughter is a rising junior at Colgate University, majoring in behavioral neuroscience and minoring in Economics. Our son has just graduated from high school, and is taking a gap semester this fall in the Himalayas (both India and Nepal) before starting at Colorado College.
I’m also the eldest of 7 children, 4 of whom are Yalies (’82, ’88, ’91, ’00) (all three girls went to Yale). Two of my brothers went to Brown and one went to Harvard. We are a very close family, led by my 80-year-old mother, who has 18 grandchildren.
Other Yale volunteer work: Lots. AYA Board (former Chair), Class of 82 Treasurer, local Yale Club activity.
Something we might not know about you: When I was 14, the lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas Eve (1974) was titled “The Gibson Gang” and referred to the escapades of me and my siblings, who decided to deliver Christmas cards by hand in our town for 5 cents apiece, when postage was 10 cents. We should have known it was a felony to compete with the post office to deliver first class mail. We ended up on all three (then) networks NY news, and had lots of articles written about us. One interviewer asked my mom if she realized the penalty for breaking that particular law was 6 months. She said maybe they could take one of us a month for 6 months (there were only 6 of us at the time), but that we would eat too much to make it worth it.
Favorite Yale memory: Hanging out in the Morse courtyard the spring of senior year with everyone!
Which two Yale women would you ask to join you for lunch and why: Margie Marshall ’76 JD, because she is a fount of wisdom and I adore her, and Jo Miller’88, because she is a super smart writer, very funny, and a conversation between the two of them would be fascinating.