2019 Hall of Distinction: Truman Hill

Many of Truman Hill’s favorite memories from his youth focus on time invested among men who seemed to be giants — the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys of the 1940s and 1950s.

“I would invite myself to the practices, and then visit with any player who would talk,” said Hill, who was inducted into the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction on Saturday, May 11. “I feel quite sure the stories they told weren’t overloaded with facts. They were laugh until your sides hurt hilarious.”

That affection for Tech athletics benefited the institution decades later when Hill took up the cause of promoting former Wonder Boys and Golden Suns for inclusion in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF).

Perhaps his most noteworthy contribution in that realm was leading the nomination process and planning committee for the induction of Arkansas Tech’s 1992 and 1993 NAIA national championship women’s basketball teams into the ASHOF in 2016.

It’s all part of an affiliation with the university that dates back more than 70 years.

“Arkansas Tech continues to be a special place for me,” said Hill. “I first moved to this campus in 1946. I was 3 years old. My dad was a student here, and my parents and I moved into an apartment on Red Hill. At that time, there were very few youngsters who were my age living on Red Hill. As a result, I’m sure there was a lot of affection and attention sent my way. I’m just as sure I took it all in.”

Hill grew up to attend Arkansas Tech and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1970. He went on to a 35-year career with Firestone, and he was an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance sales for individuals and small groups from 1999-2013.

Hill served on the ATU Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2012-14. The ATU alumni board elected Hill as its president for 2015.

“My story is not unique,” said Hill. “There are tens of thousands of students who have felt the kind, caring touch of Arkansas Tech leaders, administrators and instructors. The difference is I got to feel their kindness more often for more years. I think I recognized it then, but I know it now. One of the great blessings of my life was to grow up near Arkansas Tech and be influenced by the good and decent people here.”

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