Elizabeth Hill was a University of Nebraska at Omaha Professor of Speech (1956-1971, retired) and Dean of Women. She was born in Ellsworth, KS. She received a B.F.A. from the University of Missouri, an M.A. from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and an M.S. from Columbia College, in Columbia, MO. Professor Elizabeth Hill was selected by the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women as the 2018 UNO Legendary Woman.
“Elizabeth Louise Hill is UNO’s 2018 Legendary Woman of the 1960s. Hired by Dr. Milo Bail in 1956, she fell in love with the campus and people upon her arrival in Omaha. Having served as UNO’s Dean of Women from 1956-1970 as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech and Drama until 1971, Elizabeth was integral in shaping the University we know and love today.
“Through her numerous roles at the University throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Elizabeth found meaning in helping those around her become their best selves. As Dean of Women, many of her duties were administrative; however, she thought it imperative to teach at least one class per semester to help establish and maintain connections within the student body. She found her teaching to be incredibly rewarding, and her regular contact with students through communication courses helped shape her philosophy about higher education: ‘Each of us must feel we’re in the process of becoming. We never absolutely arrive. We’re always trying, striving to become.’ Elizabeth recognized the ongoing challenge each of us face every day: life is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.
“As a faculty member and administrator at the University, Elizabeth supported our students outside of the classroom as well. She sponsored several student organizations, including Alpha Lambda Delta, the Freshmen Honor Society, the Pan Hellenic Council, and Waokovia (the Senior Women’s Honorary Society). Noting that it took a ‘special kind of person’ to succeed at UNO, she expressed deep admiration for our students who, even in the 1950s and 1960s, were balancing work and school responsibilities while also finding time to participate in extracurricular events, clubs, and societies.
“During her time at UNO, Elizabeth was particularly struck by the comradery and sense of community among faculty. In addition to the support she provided to students, she also led her fellow female faculty as President of the Faculty Women’s Club. In an interview abouther time at UNO, she said, ‘there was an esprit de corps that I will never forget... and you wanted the University students to be what you knew they were capable of being.’ She felt the faculty’s dedication to student success was a source of inspiration to her as an administrator.
“Throughout her tenure, Elizabeth contributed to UNO’s long-standing tradition of community engagement and felt this was an important piece to being an effective educator. She served as President of the Women’s Division of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce as well as the President of the Omaha YWCA board. Once she was fully retired in 1971, Elizabeth enjoyed taking in theatre and serving as a community volunteer with the Medical Center, providing transportation to patients unable to drive themselves, and volunteering at the Medical Center Thrift shop. She believed in ‘doing your bit as a person, not only as a teacher, but also as part of your community.’”
Source: Elizabeth Hill, 2018 Recipient. Legendary Woman of UNO. University of Nebraska at Omaha website. Retrieved November 1, 2018. https://www.unomaha.edu/chancellors-commission-on-the-status-of-women/legendary-women-of-uno/elizabeth-hill.php