Late Liz Hilton leaves $250,000 bequest to UOW

Donation to establish a biennial fellowship for UOW students and support Jack Goldring Scholarship

The late Liz Hilton leaves $250,000 bequest to UOW

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has received a generous bequest of $250,000 from the estate of the late Liz Hilton.

Elisabeth Hilton (1939 – 2020) or Liz as she was affectionately known, made an extraordinary impact on the lives of many as a committed UOW staff member, passionate advocate, honorary Fellow, dedicated volunteer and donor.

She joined the University College in 1973 as a Lab Assistant to support the development of academic teaching skills, and went on to become the Head of International House Hall and the new Kooloobong residential complex. Liz’s passion about education and giving back to the community has had a remarkable impact in giving UOW a competitive advantage over other universities.

In 2000, after serving under three Vice-Chancellors, Liz retired from her official roles at the University. She was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award for Outstanding and Exceptional Achievement. In 2004, she was conferred a University Fellowship for her tireless advocacy and contribution to the University.

In an article published a few years after she received her Fellowship, Liz talked about why she had decided to leave a bequest to UOW in her Will.

“Even with a very modest estate it’s a treat to provide gifts for worthy causes. When I first made my Will, I thought about all the people who were important to me and then the causes that were important to me and where I could make an impact,” she said.

“UOW is one of my beneficiaries. I like the place and I know that even my small bequest to this big and diverse institution will make a difference.”

Liz Hilton’s Will Executor, Mr Roger Irving said her bequest will help make a difference at the University.

“Liz was truly a dynamic force; someone who was always ready to go to bat for what she believed in; and to help anyone in any way she could. Liz was energetic, interested and interesting – but more than that, she was involved and engaging, forceful, kind, and very funny,” Mr Irving said.

“She wanted to be a positive influence, for her life to make a difference and her bequest to Wollongong Uni has enabled her to do just that.”

Liz Hilton Fellowship:

As per Liz’s wishes, UOW will use part of the bequest to establish the Liz Hilton Fellowship, which will provide financial support to researchers undertaking work on or about collections housed in the UOW Archives. A total of $200,000 will be invested to fund the Fellowship, valued at $6,000. The UOW Archives will benefit through associations formed through the management and awarding of the Fellowship, through showcasing UOW Archives collections as a result of original research or other outcomes through the use of the material and through the promotion and publicity surrounding the bequest.

UOW Archives Manager, Grant White welcomed the bequest that will support worthy causes at the University.

“Liz was a great friend of the Archives and placed great importance in celebrating and preserving the rich history of the University and its staff and students,” Mr White said.

“Through Liz’s generosity we will advance the preservation of unique materials and collections as well as foster research to explore and contextualise the heritage of the University and the broader Illawarra.”

Conservation and Acquisition Fund:

The bequest will also be used to establish a fund for the acquisition and conservation of significant items relevant to the University or the local area.

Every second year, the alternate year to the Fellowship, up to $12,000 will be set aside for conservation work of items from the Archives in need of preservation, or to be used to acquire items as they become available. The outcomes of these activities will be promoted through Archives Online, the UOW archives digital exploration tool, and through the local media.

Jack Goldring Scholarship Fund:

Liz was very supportive of the work of Jack Goldring, the foundation Dean of UOW’s School of Law, from 1990 to 1995 and she witnessed the establishment of the School of Law while she worked at UOW.

A total of $50,000 from the bequest will be contributed to the Jack Goldring Scholarship Fund to support a student who combines academic excellence with a demonstrated commitment to social justice.

UOW School of Law Dean, Professor Trish Mundy said Liz’s generous donation will make a real difference to UOW law students.

“I am so touched by Liz’s generous donation to the Fund. Her contribution will undoubtedly make a real difference to UOW law students who are working to advance social justice in our communities,” Professor Mundy said.

“Liz wanted to keep making a difference through her bequest and she will absolutely do just that, for many years to come.”

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