Louis W. Hill, Jr. Fellowship

In May 2002, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grotto Founder Louis W. Hill, Jr., the Grotto Foundation—in collaboration with the Northwest Area Foundation—announced a new five-year, $1 million initiative, the Louis W. Hill, Jr. Fellowship.

Each year, the Fellowship honored and recognized an outstanding community leader who had established a distinguished record of leadership, service, and philanthropy. These substantial financial awards enabled the Fellows to research, document, and organize their observations and thoughts on philanthropy and to share their findings in a lecture and symposium series, hosted annually at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Proceedings and/or transcripts of the symposia were produced for distribution to interested parties and for archival purposes.

The objectives of the Fellowships were to:

  • Highlight and honor the contributions of Louis W. Hill, Jr. and the Hill family to the fields of community service, leadership, and philanthropy.
  • Select and honor exemplary individuals who had 30 years or more of demonstrated leadership in philanthropy and community service.
  • Provide the Fellows with opportunities to think, explore, and report on their insights into community service and philanthropy.

Each Fellowship—which entailed a $100,000 grant and a requirement to prepare for, and participate in, a formal lecture and a one-and-a-half-day symposium with faculty and students at the Institute of Public Affairs, and with community leaders in philanthropy—was awarded to a current or former resident of Minnesota who had met the criteria. The nomination and selection process were vested in an anonymous panel of Minnesota community leaders, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota administered the Fellowships. In addition to working with the Oversight Committee, the Institute provided support to the Fellows through information dissemination, marketing, and public relations, as well as through coordination of the symposium event.

Award Recipients

2007-08 Charles M. Denny, Jr.
2006-07 Laura Waterman Wittstock
2005-06 Sage Cowles and John Cowles, Jr.
2004-05 Reatha Clark King
2003-04 Joseph K. Selvaggio