Thomas C. Hilliard, Sr. Memorial Endowed Award

Thomas C. Hilliard, Sr. Memorial Endowed Award

Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Thomas Hilliard was proud to be a Chicagoan, even prouder to be part of DePaul University and proudest yet of his students’ accomplishments.

Having lost his father when he was 3 years old and his mother when he was 15 years old, Mr. Hilliard faced many of life’s challenges earlier than most. After high school, he studied at the American Institute of Banking and began a short-lived career in banking, as the bank failed in the early 30s during the depression. At the bank president’s suggestion, Mr. Hilliard enrolled at the University of Nebraska, where he earned his B.A. and M.B.A degrees. He later earned his C.P.A. at the University of Illinois.

Mr. Hilliard began his career in academia as an accounting professor at the University of Akron. However, he returned to the business world as the comptroller of a publishing company for a few years before he realized that the world of education was where he belonged.

In 1947, Mr. Hilliard joined DePaul as an accounting professor. Later, he accepted the position of chairman of the department of accountancy and finally dean of the College of Commerce, now the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business. Throughout his time at DePaul, Mr. Hilliard’s greatest joy was seeing the success of his students. Their warm letters expressing their gratitude for the assistance and guidance they received from the college were a great reward to him.

As a result of his struggles early in life, he clearly understood that any help along the way is greatly appreciated. Thus, he would be pleased to know that “a little help” is being provided in his name. Mr. Hilliard was 56 at the time of his death in 1965.