Spring/Summer 2017 Issue

by Lynne Haley, senior director of development

WSU alumnus John Hill’s (’58 B.S., ’60 DVM) legacy after his death is as big as his devotion to medical health research that benefits both animals and people was during his lifetime. Dr. Hill served in the navigation department on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War before coming to WSU in 1954. He went on to the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-1960s to earn a certificate in cardiology and a master of medical science in cardiology from the Division of Graduate Medicine in the School of Medicine. He was chief of surgery at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center for 20 years before retiring in 1988. But WSU was where his professional career started and where he wanted to leave his legacy.

Dr. Hill became a Silver Laureate in 2015 for his generous giving to WSU, providing funds for six postdoctoral fellowships through charitable gift annuities to support veterinary students furthering their education:

  • The John A. Hill Postdoctoral Fellowship for Cattle Medicine and Surgery, named after his father
  • The Caroline R. Hill Postdoctoral Fellowship in Veterinary Clinical Pathology, in memory of his mother
  • The John D. Hill Postdoctoral Fellowship in Small Animal Surgery
  • The John D. Hill, DVM Postdoctoral Fellowship in Radiology
  • The John D. Hill, DVM Postdoctoral Fellowship in Oncology
  • The John D. Hill, DVM Postdoctoral Fellowship in Anesthesiology

A quiet man, who didn’t like public accolades, Dr. Hill was deeply touched by a statue given to him by Bryan Slinker, the dean of the college, for his support of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. He kept it prominently displayed on an end table in his apartment. Dean Slinker always looked forward to his visits with Dr. Hill because, besides always having interesting discussions about his many accomplishments, he was such a gentle soul.

Words by his classmate, Dr. Roger McClellan, eloquently describe the man Dr. Hill was, and the impact of his legacy. “John was a true Cougar. He was a quiet and reserved man whose contributions to understanding both animal and human diseases will go relatively unheralded, remembered only by those of us who had the pleasure of enjoying his friendship on the walk of life.”