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May 29, 2014

Hillmans donate $5M to Institute of Politics

The Henry L. Hillman Foundation has made a $5 million gift to Pitt’s Institute of Politics. This is the largest gift ever received by the institute.

The gift will be added to the University’s endowment and will support in perpetuity new and enhanced efforts by the institute to promote citizen engagement, develop innovative approaches to important public policy issues, and encourage ever-higher levels of social responsibility among students and community partners.

Among the planned initiatives is a civic engagement scholars program that will support students conducting independent public policy research in such diverse areas as human services, public health, education and community development.

Program scholars will use materials from Pitt’s archival collections, which include the papers of civic leader Elsie Hillman; Dick Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania governor and former U.S. attorney general, and the late K. Leroy Irvis, former speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Students also will have the opportunity to interact with regional decision-makers and learn from the accomplishments of high-profile leaders.

Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the Institute of Politics has made contributions to regional progress as a nonpartisan convener of public policy discussions and impartial community research initiatives.

Through consensus-based dialogue, balanced research and collaborative planning, the Institute of Politics has served as a catalyst for the development of innovative approaches toward pressing public policy challenges.

“We are deeply grateful for this exceptionally generous and very well-targeted gift, which will help secure the future of the institute,” said Terry Miller, director of the Institute of Politics.

“For decades, Elsie and Henry Hillman have stood as inspiring examples of completely committed civic leaders who have been passionately committed to the progress of western Pennsylvania. Speaking in more human terms, then, we also are honored to have the mission of Pitt’s Institute of Politics so visibly embraced by the Hillmans.”