SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility presents the
2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award
Celebrating those who personify the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue
Thursday, April 2
The Pavilion at the Belo Mansion
18th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award Lyda Hill is president of LH Holdings, a real estate, tourism and venture investment firm, and the granddaughter of the late oilman H.L. Hunt. She has spent her life dedicated to what she calls “balancing profit with a purpose.”
“Over the past several years, Lyda’s zest for adventure has been surpassed by the sheer joy she derives from making transformational gifts to organizations and causes dedicated to making Dallas a better community in which to live and work,” said Bobby B. Lyle, vice chairman of the Maguire Center advisory board and chairman of the 2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award luncheon.
Lyle said Hill “has set audacious goals for her philanthropy.” She has given hundreds of millions of dollars to “game-changing” charities, with a focus on life-sciences research.
“In whatever she undertakes, she sets the bar high and leads by example,” he said. “Many of her gifts are given quietly, without fanfare. Others are legendary. And all are having a tremendous positive impact on lives throughout our city and across the nation.”
In 2010, Hill joined The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Hill has pledged to donate all of her assets to charity, most of them during her lifetime.
Hill was a founder of the Oklahoma Breast Care Center, as well as Remeditex Ventures, which supports biomedical research and institutions. Hill also pledged $50 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, which has a mission to eliminate cancer through cancer-detection techniques and therapeutic treatments. Hill is a breast cancer survivor.
She gave $20 million to her alma mater, The Hockaday School, $10 million to the I Stand for Parkland capital campaign, and $6 million in pledges to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Her environmental efforts include gifts to Klyde Warren Park and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
After graduating from Hockaday in 1960, Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in math in 1964 from Hollins University in Roanoke, Va. In 1967, she founded Hill World Travel, which she sold in 1982. In Colorado Springs, she was president of Seven Falls, a privately owned area of trails and waterfalls, and founded the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. In 1990, she and a business partner restored the Fort Worth Stockyards.
2015 Honorary Chair, J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award Luncheon
Dr. Bobby B. Lyle
2015 Event Chair, J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award Luncheon