Donor Spotlight: Q&A With Mary HIll

Mary L. Hill is a 2014 graduate of the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission program and is a current member of our Board of Trustees.  In 2021, Mary served as Co-Chair of the Great Preacher Award Committee.  Mary’s calm, capable, and kind leadership was a blessing as the event changed drastically over the course of the planning due to surges in covid variants and the sad passing of one of the event honorees.  In spite of all of the uncertainties, the event was the most financially successful in its 27 year history.   She has graciously offered to serve in the same capacity again this year. 

Name: Mary L. Hill

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Current Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Job Title/Employer: Chief Mission Officer, Avera

Spouse’s Name: Allyn Hill

Hobbies: Iconography, jogging, hiking, swimming, reading, travel, food, health and wellness.

AI: How did you first hear about Aquinas Institute?

MLH: I heard about Aquinas Institute of Theology from Sister Sharon Richardt, D.C. while she was serving as the Vice President of Mission for Ascension St. Vincent Health in Indiana. Sister Sharon had invited me to serve as the Director of Ethics Integration and suggested the Aquinas Master of Arts in Health Care Mission (MAHCM) program to augment my nursing and law degrees.

AI: What made you decide to give your first gift to Aquinas?

MLH: My first gift was given in gratitude for the life-giving and transformational experience of having been part of the Aquinas community for three and a half years while pursuing my MAHCM degree and then a subsequent three years teaching as a member of the adjunct faculty. I was very fortunate in that my employer funded my Aquinas education and I wanted to “pay it forward” for other students by donating to Aquinas’ scholarship fund.

AI: Why do you enjoy giving to Aquinas?

MLH: It’s a joy to support Aquinas because the mission of educating men and women to preach, to teach, minister and lead responds to Jesus’ command, “Go and do likewise.”

AI: What do you hope to accomplish through your philanthropic endeavors?

MLH: I’m hopeful that my philanthropy will foster the flourishing of Aquinas faculty and students, and ultimately foster the Reign of God.

AI: If you were talking to someone else about giving to Aquinas Institute what would you tell them?

MLH: I would share about my own positive and transformational experience as a member of the Aquinas community and the fact that—under its current leadership—Aquinas is a fiscally sound organization with a strategic vision and plan for responding to the signs and needs of our times.

AI: What do you wish everyone knew about Aquinas and our mission?

M:H: I wish everyone knew the phrase “to preach, to teach, to minister and to lead” because these four verbs encompass a wealth of human endeavors that were modeled by Jesus and have the potential to bring about God’s Reign.

AI: What other organizations or causes do you support - either through your gifts of money or time?

MLH: I’ve been a longtime donor of the Maryknoll Sisters because they minister to the poorest of the poor throughout the world. I also support Catholic healthcare organizations with an emphasis on those providing care to poor and marginalized communities of persons.

Aquinas Institute is blessed by the support we receive from Mary, as well as from all of our alumni, Board of Trustees, volunteers, donors, and friends.