The Public Education Foundation recognized Jim Hill, PEF’s immediate past chair of the board of directors, for his dedication to PEF and service to the Chattanooga community by awarding the James L. E. Hill Scholarship to Darius White, a graduate of STEM School Chattanooga.
“I’m very grateful to be the recipient of the James L. E. Hill Scholarship. I would like to thank Mr. Hill, PEF and my family, teachers and fellow community members for giving me a strong foundation and for believing in my abilities,” White says.
A participant in PEF’s STEP-UP and Camp College programs, White underwent a competitive selection for the scholarship that included an interview with Hill. He was selected by Hill and a committee of PEF staff members based on his academic achievement and service to his community.
“Darius is an outstanding young man who’s about to open the door to his future success in today’s global economy,” Hill says.
White will attend MTSU in the fall to pursue a degree in journalism. He plans on using the $1,000 scholarship to purchase a laptop for college.
Hill is a community leader and volunteer who has served the Chattanooga community for three decades. He has served on the boards of numerous local, state and national organizations including the Chattanooga Area Urban League, SunTrust Bank, Memorial Hospital, United Way and Allied Arts.
An army veteran, Hill became the first African American instructor in the history of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he taught chemistry. After retiring from the military, he worked for DuPont, and become the manager of the Chattanooga plant at a time when it employed more than 2,000 people. Hill left DuPont to become the first president of the Tennessee Aquarium.
The James L. E. Hill Scholarship is awarded to a student who, like Hill, has made significant contributions to the Chattanooga community.
Hill served on PEF’s board of directors for 20 years and as board chair for the past 11 years.
“Jim exemplifies community service,” says PEF’s president Dan Challener. “He committed an extraordinary amount of time to leading PEF’s board, and it was my privilege to benefit from his wisdom, judgment and good humor as our board chair for over a decade.
“Jim played a major role in the transformation of our community and the success of PEF. We are deeply grateful to him.”