As an undergraduate, Russell Ernest studied chemical engineering, played in the band, and was active with intramural sports and Alpha Chi Sigma honorary chemistry fraternity.
After graduation, he rose rapidly through the ranks of the Exxon Corporation from the position of process engineer to chairman of the board and managing director of an Exxon subsidiary in Athens, Greece.
For half a century, he has carried a sustained commitment to alma mater. He has served as a class agent for the annual fund and has been a generous benefactor. He has been active with reunion gift committees and has attended every reunion of his class. The recently completed Campaign for Bucknell benefited from his leadership as a team member on campus.
In 1978, he retired from Exxon and returned to the Lewisburg community. He immediately volunteered in the University Relations division to coordinate and lead several feasibility studies involving alumni and friends of the university. For the past decade, he has served the College of Engineering as director of the newly formed Industrial Associates program, which was designed to develop supportive professional relationships between engineering faculty and local businesses and industries.
He also has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and has been president of the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association.