Taking place at the Riverside Convention Center, the ceremony honored Ellis for his leadership as president of CBU, especially in the area of athletics. The Chuck Kane Leadership award was named after Riverside Hall of Fame founding member and community college athletics legend, the late Dr. Charles A. "Chuck" Kane.
Ellis was one of two special award honorees at the ceremony, receiving recognition alongside the seven member 2012 RSHOF inductee class. Local legends Troy Percival, Billy York, Sam D. Knight Sr., Bruce Wilson, Sammy Knight Jr., Sue Baross Nesbitt and Dr. Charles A. Kane were all inducted into the Riverside Hall of Fame at the ceremony. Kermit Alexander received the RSHOF Presidents Award as the other special awards honoree.
During Ellis' 17 years as the university's president, CBU athletics captured 22 NAIA National Championships, including the university's first ever in 1999, and this past season won six National Christian College Athletic Association titles as well as the Pacific West Conference Commissioner's Cup, which is given annually to the top athletic program in the conference.
Ellis has been instrumental in the development and improvement of the campus' sports facilities, including the completion of the Lancer Aquatic Center, renovation of the Van Dyne Gym and the Lancer Outdoor Athletic Complex and improvements to the John C. Funk Softball Stadium and James W. Totman Baseball Stadium.
CBU has added 12 sports during Ellis' tenure and in 2012 CBU was accepted into the NCAA Division II membership process, joining the Pacific West Conference this past season.