James J. Hill Center donates $1 million to St. Catherine University
Funds will support Director of the Data Analysis role for three academic years
St. Catherine University announced today that the James J. Hill Center has made a $1 million gift honoring the memory of the nonprofit's first Board Trustee and philanthropic leader, Mary T. Hill. The donation will be used to support a new director position the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences that will lead the Data Analysis program at the University.
"St. Kate's is committed to providing meaningful research, community engagement, service-learning, and co-curricular civic engagement activities for our students in a way that aligns with our mission to educate women to lead and influence," said Anita Thomas, PhD, executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University. "This new director will lead data sciences programs to meet the growing demand among businesses for research and data analysts in a powerful way to deepen students' understanding of social responsibility and the practice of ethical leadership in the spirit and tradition of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ)."
The Mary T. Hill Director of Data Analysis will lead a program that will include faculty-student research in collaboration with community partners/businesses on data-related research. According to Occupational Outlook Handbook, the area of "research analysts is projected to grow 27% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. As technology advances and companies seek efficiency and cost savings, demand for operations research analysis should continue to grow." With this gift from the Hill Center, the Director will help current faculty and students with data analysis and allow more opportunity for faculty/staff research collaboration.
"From very early on, a connection has existed between the Hill family and St. Kate's," said Beth Halloran, executive vice president at St. Catherine University. "Both Mary T. Hill and Sr. Seraphine Ireland learned and harnessed the power of service to change the world and embodied the Sisters of St. Joseph's credo to meet the needs of the day. This gift in Mary's name both honors her spirit of service leadership as well as supports St. Kate's strategic plan, which positions our University to teach the next generation of leaders how to live and exemplify the same values and character."
Mary T. Hill was a member of the first class at St. Joseph's Academy school in St. Paul, along with Ellen Ireland, who later became Sister Seraphine Ireland and one of St. Kate's founders. Mary and the Ireland family kept in touch throughout the years, including throughout her marriage to James J. Hill. Mary was a constant presence in the Hill business offices, as well as leading numerous charitable endeavors to support the needs of St. Paul's neediest. She actively managed her own financial affairs in the years following her husband's death, including leading the nonprofit her husband launched to fund the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul. Mary, along with her children, formed the first Board of Trustees for the new nonprofit corporation.
"Over the last century, both the Hill family and St. Catherine University have worked to build and promote a strong St. Paul community," said Tamara Prato, Executive Director, James J. Hill Center. "We have a shared commitment to community and education, and a vision to provide access to learning and knowledge that creates lasting change locally, nationally, and globally. We are thrilled to make this gift that will further this commitment and honor Mary's legacy."