Yvonne Wells Ellis received the Distinguished Service Leadership Award at the Annual Governor’s Commission on the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Holiday Celebration on January 21, 2013. The award recognizes Wells Ellis's outstanding contributions and service as a community leader and as the coordinator of the statewide holiday celebration.
Wells Ellis, assistant to the dean in Hamline's School of Education, has earnestly and efficiently served as coordinator of this event for the past four years and has been a commissioner for the past nine years. She was also aided by Brian Johnson, Hamline's director of media services, who has video taped the event for the past five years. Johnson's assistance has given the Saint Paul Public Schools the ability to rebroadcast the event and provided the state with historical documentation for preservation.