Bill and Donnis Hilton
A New Meaning to Return on Investment

Photo of Donnis and Bill Hilton
Bill and Donnis Hilton

Bill’s favorite memories as a student at Ohio State include attending class in University Hall. “The knowledge and experience of the professors made class enjoyable and laid the foundation for my successful career.” After graduation he worked as a programmer for Columbia Gas of Ohio. He then moved out of state to start a career with TWA, where he made his way up to the director of central reservations. After that he became the VP of a health care diagnostic imaging company. During that time, he and Donnis also owned a travel agency. “But for Ohio State, I would not have had the wonderful opportunities and career that I did,” said Bill.

Since graduation Bill remained an active alumnus. He continually supported the university and took an active role in local alumni clubs and various advisory councils, including the dean’s advisory council for mathematics and physical sciences. He also chaired the alumni advisory council of the Alumni Association.

Although Donnis is a graduate of the University of Kansas, she easily became a Buckeye. When they started dating, Bill took her to her first Ohio State football game. She was overwhelmed and excited by the large crowd, the noise, and the enthusiasm of everyone in the stadium.  “The Buckeye spirit is infectious,” said Donnis. “Even when traveling the world, we always found someone wearing Ohio State gear or exclaiming an enthusiastic O-H.”

After spending 30 years outside of Ohio, Bill and Donnis returned in 1995 so Bill could take a development position for the Alumni Association. “It was like coming back home,” said Bill. “It was rewarding and fulfilling to finish my career where it started.”

Bill and Donnis Hilton are paying it forward with a charitable gift annuity (CGA) to benefit the Alumni Association at Ohio State. “A CGA makes fiscal sense, but more important, our investment is making a positive impact on future generations of students and alumni,” he said.

They are compelled to support the Alumni Association because everyone is a student for only a finite number of years, but a member of the alumni body for the rest of their lives. “By keeping alumni connected, we can encourage others to pay it forward and ensure a quality education for future students.”



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