June 19, 2013
At Paul Quinn’s 2012 commencement, President Michael Sorrell challenged the newest alumni to raise $25,000 for their alma mater. Patrick Hillard responded nearly a year later by making a $1,000 gift to the college. He is making the donation to start the John D. Lewis Hardship Scholarship, named after his grandfather, a retired Marine Corps master gunnery sergeant.
“My grandfather is, by far, the person who has influenced me the greatest,” says Hillard. “He lives the Marine Corps motto, ‘Semper Fi’, in every walk of his life. No matter what I have been going through in life, I have always been able to turn to him for assistance, guidance, encouragement, whatever the need.”
“Anytime I looked toward my grandfather for help, he didn’t give the same help each time, it was as needed,” Hillard recalls. “I have even witnessed him helping other students at Paul Quinn. This is what this scholarship will uphold.”
A native of Memphis, Hillard arrived at Paul Quinn when the college faced uncertain times. Despite pressure from some family members to leave PQC, he went on to graduate at top of his class with a 3.82 GPA and score in the top 17% of LSAT, nationally. Hillard has his sights on attending law school in the fall of 2014. He is considering Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Lee or SMU.
Ultimately, Hillard sees himself owning and operating his own law firm. He is even considering higher education, hinting that he would like to lead his alma mater. During his journey, however, Hillard intends to do his part to give a deserving student one more resource to enjoy the Quinnite experience.
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