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by Karen Donley-Hayes ’86, ’06
One of the enduring facets that sets a Hiram College education apart is the impact individual faculty members have, not just on a few students, but on potentially every Hiram student. Hiram’s historically small class sizes and focus on engaging students in and beyond the classroom have helped establish a community where individual faculty members can, and do, change lives.
Hiram has long been known as a college where students and faculty work together on research and scholarship,
providing experiential education many campuses would be proud to offer. But there’s more to it than just outstanding
scholarship. Individual faculty members engage and empower students; they bring passion to their fields and share that passion. They shape students’ lives beyond the classroom walls and become mentors and friends.
While every alumnus, student, faculty, staff and community member has his or her own story involving the beloved professor, almost every one of those stories involves that personal touch embodied by Matt Hils, Ph.D., professor of biology and director of the James H. Barrow Field Station. During his three decades at Hiram College, he proved to be a stellar educator. He was passionate about the world of plants and botany, and he brought that passion to life for scores of students. His enthusiasm and eagerness to investigate, learn and share research, scholarship and wonder made him a mentor and friend to thousands. His death in June 2014 left a mark on all.
Prudy Hall, Ph.D., professor emerita of biology said, “He was generous with his time, his energy, his enthusiasm and his knowledge. Anyone who has ever been in the field, either at Hiram or on a study abroad trip with Matt, has benefitted from his generosity and knowledge in those circumstances.”
Professor of Biology Denny Taylor, Ph.D. ’73, said Dr. Hils’s legacy shines through in the thousands of students he inspired to learn about and love the earth under their feet.
“In the field, he was a veritable living encyclopedia bringing dull facts to life through his ability to connect students with their green environment,” Dr. Taylor said.
To remember Dr. Hils, and to ensure his legacy will continue to benefit Hiram students, friends and family have collaborated to establish the Professor Matt Hils, Ph.D. Endowment for Student Research. This new endowment, still partially funded at this time, will fund student research experiences at the James H. Barrow Field Station.
Hiram’s legacy is its faculty who provide such extraordinary education and experiences. Named endowments are as unique and eclectic as those they honor, and ensure their legacies continue to thrive in perpetuity. Many named endowments keep alive and vibrant the influence of faculty members decades gone; and some named endowments recognize and support current, active faculty, building on living legacies now and ensuring they thrive in the decades to come.
Beloved Hiram faculty and the endowments honoring them
Joseph M. Denham, Ph.D., Funded by Joyce ’69 and Larry DeYoung ’69, the endowment provides resources for use at the discretion of the chair of the Chemistry Department to enrich the chemistry program through programs and opportunities that will benefit students and faculty.
Carol Donley, Ph.D., Funded by family and friends, the Carol Donley Endowed Scholarship in Biomedical Humanities is awarded to students who have an interest in biomedical humanities, medicine and literature.
Katherine Feather, D.A., Funded by family and friends, the Katherine Feather Fellowship is awarded to faculty members to facilitate on-campus professional development, and teaching and learning initiatives for the interdisciplinary Teaching and Assessment Center at Hiram (I-TEACH).
Roland V. Layton, Ph.D., Created by alumni to remember and honor Dr. Roland Layton, the Roland V. Layton, Ph.D. Memorial Fund provides resources to fund programs and opportunities that perpetuate the memory and ideals embodied by Dr. Layton.
Charles McKinley, Ph.D., Funded by family and friends, the Charles McKinley Scholarship helps juniors and seniors pay for extra costs, such as travel and lodging, associated with international travel and study.
Jody Modarelli, Ph.D., Funded by David Modarelli, Lisa Orlandi, Michael Orlandi and friends, the Jody Modarelli Memorial Scholarship Fund is awarded to an excelling senior biochemistry major who has demonstrated financial need.
Craig L. Moser, Ph.D., Funded by Douglas Grimm ’84 and several alumni, the Craig L. Moser Endowed Scholarship is awarded to students majoring in economics with financial need and a maintained grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Damaris Peters Pike, M.M., Funded by family and friends, the endowment is to be used to enhance vocal music.
Linda L. Rea, Ph.D., Funded by Linda Rea and friends, the endowment provides funds for one student to travel to Central America or China with the study abroad program.
Jane Preston Rose, M.B.A., Funded by Joan Jagow, the endowment provides for the Jane Rose Adjunct Faculty Award.
Edward J. Smerek, Ph.D., Funded by friends and former students of Ed Smerek, Ph.D., the Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences and Technology recognizes Dr. Smerek’s distinguished career as a professor, scholar, mentor and leader.
Mary Louise Vincent, Ph.D., Funded by friends and family, the endowment provides support of the Hiram College Library.
Thomas O. Weir, A.M., The Professor Thomas O. Weir Memorial Endowed Scholarship is funded by Larry DeYoung ’69, Joyce Lewis DeYoung ’69 and friends and is awarded to one student majoring in economics, accounting or management.
Many other named endowed funds and scholarships exist to honor these faculty and staff members. They will forever influence the Hiram educational experience.
Dwight H. Berg, Ph.D., and Trudy R. Berg
Paul H. Fall, Ph.D.
Charles A. Henry
Mary E. Hinsdale
Yuksel Ismail, Ph.D.
Elmer Jagow, M.B.A., and Ellen Jagow
Stephen Love, M.A., and Jacquelyn Love
Eugene H. Peters, Ph.D.
G. Benjamin Oliver, Ph.D., and Paula Oliver
Eric R. Riedel, C.A.G.S.
Robert Sawyer, Ph.D.
John Shaw, Ph.D.
Albert R. and Mary Beattie Teachout
If you are interested in contributing to the Professor Matt Hils, Ph.D. Endowment for Student Research or another existing endowment, or creating a new named endowed fund, please contact Jennifer N. Schuller, associate vice president of development, at 800.705.5050, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.