Ethel Hill, alumna and professor emerita of home economics, died peacefully on Feb. 11, 2015, at age 96 at Harmony Assisted Living Center in Stevens Point.
“She was a very gentle person and spent a lot of time making sure students would be successful,” said Joan North, former dean of the College of Professional Studies. “She helped students with projects after class and figured out ways to do that while keeping her standards and role as teacher intact.”
Specifically, Hill taught classes based on making clothes and worked for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for 24 years before retiring.
“I think she had a sweetness about her that was inspirational both to faculty members and students,” North said. “Faculty members were more willing to work together because she was so easy to get along with.”
In 2002, the university made an effort to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the home economics field.
“One of the goals of that effort was to establish an endowment that would help fund a lot of special activities to support the education of the students in majors that came out of home economics,” said Annie Wetter, Ph.D., associate dean and chair of the School of Health Promotion and Human Development.
As a benefactor to the Home Economics Centennial Endowment Fund, Hill donated anywhere from $50,000 to $99,999 in efforts of supporting educational programs for future students.
“Every few years, we get a very large amount of money to be able to fund professional development activities on campus for students majoring in dietetics, family and consumer science and interior architecture,” Wetter said. “This allows us to be able to do things we normally wouldn’t be able to do in order to enhance the educational experience for these students.”
Wetter explained that students at UWSP will have a better education than students at other campuses based on opportunities offered through the endowment.
Wetter hopes the fund will benefit future students for decades to come.
“Not only was she a long-standing faculty member and having an influence in that regard, but her legacy lives on in the Centennial Endowment,” Wetter said.