Philanthropist and community entrepreneur Lyda Hill will receive the 2017 UCCS College of Business Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award at a May 19 campus luncheon.
The ninth annual award ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the UCCS Gallogly Events Center. More than 400 business and community leaders will attend in celebration of local entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Lyda Hill’s legacy is woven throughout the fabric of Colorado Springs in innumerable ways. Not only is she a generous philanthropist, but she also has an incredible business mind,” Cathy Claiborne, interim dean, College of Business, said. “She’s constantly thinking about how to innovate in order to help more people.”
In fact, Hill’s philanthropic works intersects with her entrepreneurial endeavors so much that she has been dubbed a “phil-entrepreneur.”
While Hill prefers to keep to her work behind the scenes, she has made some prominent investments into the Colorado Springs community. An example of her ability to innovate is the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center which was founded in 1995.
Hill, in partnership with the Garden of the Gods Foundation established the Visitor Center outside of the park, which was nearly unprecedented. The organization was set up as a for-profit, committing its net proceeds to the foundation. In 2011, once the total amount donated exceeded $3.5 million, Hill gifted the entire facility and its operations to the Foundation.
As president of Seven Falls for nearly four decades, Hill has been an advocate for preservation of local natural wonders. Her other passions, including education, science and research, sparked a community projects including the UCCSTeach program and the UCCS Veterans Health and Trauma Clinic.
Today, Hill is regarded as one of the top philanthropic entrepreneurs worldwide according to Forbes and Philanthropy. She is president of Lyda Hill Foundation and LH Holdings, Inc. and is a member of the Giving Pledge, an initiative of the Gates Foundation. She is committed to donating her entire wealth to charity, the bulk of which during her lifetime.
Lyda Hill follows a list of distinguished past award recipients including Gary Loo (2009), Bruce Shepard (2010), Joe Woodford (2011), Cari Shaffer (2012), Chuck Murphy (2013), David Jenkins (2014), Jon and Becky Medved (2015), and Ed and Mary Osborne (2016).
The award luncheon is a fundraising event to support the College of Business and its alumni and student initiatives including a mentorship-focused Career Coaching Program. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. May 19 in the Gallogly Events Center on the UCCS campus. Tickets are $150 each and $95 for UCCS College of Business alumni. Registration is available at www.uccs.edu/LEA or by calling (719) 255-5174.
Dean’s Circle sponsors of the award luncheon include Gray Line Tours of Colorado, Inc., Luisa Graff Jewelers, Nunn Construction, Inc., Penrose St. Francis Health Services, and Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs.
— Samantha Wood, College of Business