|Donna and former SSA President Tom Southard with Elsie and Henry Hillman '37 at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts groundbreaking ceremony, April 2003|
|Henry '37 and Elsie Hillman (seated) with former Hillman Center Executive Director Sarah York Rubin, alumnus Richard E. Rauh '58, and SSA President Tom Cangiano at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts 10th Anniversary Celebration, September 2014|
Hillman would have graduated from SSA 80 years ago this June. A dedicated and loyal alumnus, he was also one of Shady Side's most generous benefactors, especially in support of the arts. His $5 million gift through the Henry L. Hillman Foundation made possible the construction of the Hillman Center for Performing Arts, a state-of-the-art performance and classroom space on the SSA Senior School campus that opened in 2004. The Hillman Foundation is also a major sponsor of the center's annual Hillman Performing Arts Series, a professional performance series that is open to the Pittsburgh community. He generously supported projects on the SSA Junior and Middle School campuses as well. Hillman and his late wife, Elsie, were regular attendees at Hillman Series performances and SSA reunions over the years, and were Lifetime Founders Society members.
"Henry Hillman was such a generous supporter of Pittsburgh and its important institutions," said Academy President Tom Cangiano. "We will be forever grateful for his family's leadership in making our Hillman Center for Performing Arts possible. Not only has that building transformed arts programming at Shady Side, but it also has been an important cultural venue for Fox Chapel and the greater Pittsburgh area."
The obituary and information on services follows below:
HILLMAN, HENRY LEA
Devoted husband of the late Elsie Hillman for 70 years; father of Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds, Audrey Hillman Fisher, Henry L. Hillman, Jr. and William Talbott Hillman; grandfather of ten; great-grandfather of 16; renowned businessman, investor and philanthropist, died on Friday, April 14, 2017, at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 98 years old.
As an investor in the first funds of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers and Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, he was considered by many to be a pioneer in private equity. He was one of Pittsburgh's leading citizens known for his ethical way of doing business and innate ability to structure successful deals. The son of industrialist, John Hartwell Hillman, Jr. and Juliet Cummins Lea Hillman, he attended Shady Side Academy and graduated from The Taft School and Princeton University, then served as a U.S. Navy aviator in World War II. Over the course of next 30 years, he transformed the family business from its roots in coke and chemical production and related industries into the diversified investment company that it is today. He served as a director of many companies in Pittsburgh and across the country including General Electric, Cummins Engine, Merck, PNC Financial Services, and Texas Gas Transmission.
His philanthropy focused on the city that meant so much to him and his family and he remained active until the time of his death in directing the work of the charitable foundations he created. He was perhaps best known for the support he provided that created the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. His most recent major gifts focused on advancing medical and technological research at Pittsburgh's leading universities. He served as a trustee and director of numerous nonprofit and civic organizations over his life including the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital, Action Housing, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Elsie, who passed away on August 4, 2015. They were completely devoted to each other and to their family. Their wonderful spirit, love of life and generosity together will always be remembered.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish to honor Mr. Hillman contribute to either the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute or the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. The addresses of these organizations are as follows: Hillman Cancer Center University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (Attn: Kellie Sue Anderson), 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, or Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (Attn: Dolly Ellenberg), 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
The family will receive friends at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC., 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (freyvogelfuneralhome.com) from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017, 11.00 a.m., at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206.