CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) today awarded its inaugural Alumni Awards to Peter J. Elliott, the longest-serving U.S. Marshal in Ohio, and Elizabeth Tilley, who opened a residential facility in Cleveland for men with mental illnesses.
Tri-C’s Office of Resource Development established the awards to recognize alumni for their professional accomplishments and service to Northeast Ohio and the College. Honorees were selected from nominations from the community.
Elliott received the Distinguished Alumni Award, designated for those who graduated more than a decade ago. Tilley was awarded the Rising Star Alumni Award, which recognizes more recent graduates.
“Mr. Elliott and Ms. Tilley represent the power of a Tri-C education,” said Megan O’Bryan, vice president of resource development. “They are remarkable examples of what can happen when you dream big and take full advantage of everything the College has to offer.”
Peter J. Elliott
The 1990 graduate of Tri-C was appointed U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio in March 2003 by President George W. Bush. Elliott was retained by President Barack Obama in 2009 and again in 2017 by President Donald J. Trump.
His team handles security and protection of U.S. courts, criminal investigations, fugitive apprehension and other law enforcement activities. The district covers 40 counties across Ohio’s northern tier.
Elliott grew up in Lakewood and graduated from St. Edward High School. After earning an associate degree from Tri-C, he received a bachelor’s in public administration from Capital University before starting a public safety career spanning more than three decades.
The third-generation officer worked undercover narcotics and then followed in his father’s footsteps to become a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He later became an ATF agent investigating terrorism, firearms and explosives cases.
Elliott has been recognized with numerous national and local awards for his work and honored by members of the U.S. Congress on numerous occasions for his innovations and success.
The Cuyahoga Community College Foundation Scholarship recipient graduated in 2011 with Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. The first in her family to go to college, Tilley excelled and earned a seat in Tri-C’s Robert L. Lewis Academy of Scholars.
A project done as part of Tilley’s work with the academy set the foundation for her to launch Royal Haven Inc., a nonprofit organization and residential facility for men living with mental illness.
Tilley acquired a condemned house in her Glenville neighborhood and renovated the structure to create a base for Royal Haven. She welcomed the first group of residents in February 2016.
The home-like atmosphere allows residents to develop a positive support system to integrate them into the community. Royal Haven helps people build self-esteem to meet the everyday challenges of life with optimism.
Tilley serves as executive director of Royal Haven. Aside from her Tri-C degrees, she holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from John Carroll University.