The Award will be a one-time gift to the selected student, who must have a 2.6 or better grade point average when nominated for the award.
“My mother, Eleanor Dill, left Donaldsonville for Northwestern, then called Normal, in 1922 at age 18 to become a teacher. She was followed there by her sisters Hilda and Detta and her oldest niece Betty,” said family spokesman David J. McGill of Chamblee, Ga. “They all studied elementary education at Northwestern. The Dill family honored by the award consisted of my grandparents and their eight children.”
“The award was endowed by the Dill cousins, comprising 10 first cousins, the widow of a deceased 11th, four children of a deceased 12th, three other second cousins, and the surviving widow of one of the Dill brothers,” McGill said. “Altogether we sent 19 checks from three generations of Dills to the Northwestern State Foundation to endow the Dill Family Perseverance Award. Eighty percent of the first cousins participated.”
Those contributing in addition to McGill were Sally Ginsberg, Mary Hillery and Giselda Dill of New Orleans, Jack Lewis, Richard Lewis and Jane Alexander of Baton Rouge, Charles E. Dill of Abbeville, Giselda Bloom of Covington, Janet Shafer of Clearwater, Fla.; Judy Robinson and Mary Sonnier of Welsh, Lynne Dill of La Place, Marilyn Lane of Point Clear, Ala.; Meghan Root of Leavenworth, Kansas; Gayle Demarest of Atlanta, Ga., Connie Kenney of Roswell, Ga., James McGill of Slidell and George Bloom of Mandeville.
“The ideal recipient would be a senior in education who has persevered to overcome hardship in obtaining a degree in education at Northwestern State and who has a burning desire to become a successful teacher,” said McGill, who emphasized that the award honors the entire Dill family, including his grandparents and their eight children. “We prefer the word award instead of scholarship because most winners will be graduating soon after receiving the honor. It’s to be a prize in recognition of their accomplishment in spite of hardship. The overcoming of hardship to obtain their degree in education is to be a paramount consideration in considering candidates for the award. Another is a strong desire to be a successful teacher.”
“I am very pleased that the College of Education and Human Development will be able to honor an education senior who has overcome obstacles in his or her life to obtain a baccalaureate degree,” said Dr. Vickie Gentry, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “It goes without saying that an effective educator is someone with extraordinary knowledge and skill, but also someone who is determined to succeed in all things. I am indebted to the Dill cousins for providing monies dedicated to this award and pledge to share with future recipients the legacy of the Dill sisters, Eleanor, Hilda and Bernadette, who were graduates of the State Normal School or the State Normal College.”
The first Award will be presented in the spring of 2012 with the recipient receiving a check, a certificate and photo and written information about the Dill family.