Spirited Supporter Passes Away at 91

June 15, 2007

Margaret Hunt Hill at an Mary Baldwin event in 1991 in Dallas, TexasSometimes adjectives find an ideal subject to describe. Such was the case when words such as “spunky,” “dedicated,” and “mover and shaker” met the likes of Margaret Hunt Hill ’37. Even as a consummate businesswoman and philanthropist who traveled the globe and a member of one of the most prestigious Texas oil families, Hill fostered close ties with Mary Baldwin University, supporting critical projects and academic initiatives for decades. Hill, 91, died June 14 at her home following a brief illness.

Hill’s mother, Lyda Bunker Hunt — for whom Mary Baldwin’s Dining Hall is named — began a family tradition of service to the college as a member of the board of trustees from 1939-1955. Margaret Hunt Hill served as a trustee just after her mother’s tenure and became a member of the President’s Advisory Council in 1987, a position she held until her death. Both Hill and her sister, who also attended Mary Baldwin, Caroline Rose Hunt ’43, generously supported “the educational heritage of four generations of women in her family” at the college through service and contributions, according to a brochure published for Mary Baldwin’s sesquicentennial in 1992. The sisters established two distinguished academic chairs and helped restore Hill Top Residence Hall, the oldest building on campus.

Hill received several of Mary Baldwin’s highest honors for her enduring support. She holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1989, and was awarded the college’s Emily Smith Medallion in 1966, and a Sesquicentennial Medallion in 1992 in recognition of her support of one of the college’s largest fundraising campaigns at that time. One of her proudest moments was the 1994 graduation from Mary Baldwin of her granddaughter, Heather Hill Washburne.

Mary Baldwin President Dr. Pamela Fox will attend Hill’s memorial service at 11 a.m. June 18 at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, which will be held after a private interment.

Memorials may be made to Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401; Planned Parenthood of Dallas, 7424 Greenville Ave., Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75230; the Lee Park Restoration of the Southern Memorial Society, 3333 Lee Park, Dallas, TX 75219; or the Garden of the Gods Foundation, P.O. Box 49033, Colorado Springs, CO 80949.

Read more about Hill’s life and service in The Dallas Morning News.