Institute of Politics Establishes Elsie H. Hillman Civic Forum

Issue Date: 
June 16, 2014

The University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics is establishing a new initiative, the Elsie H. Hillman Civic Forum. The new forum, made possible by a generous grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, will emphasize programming aimed at preparing the next generation of civic leaders. Institute Director Terry Miller will lead the forum’s activities.

“We continue to be extremely grateful to the Hillmans for both their generous financial support, as well as for their ongoing commitment to the mission and goals of the Institute of Politics,” Miller said.

The new forum will be named for Mrs. Hillman, and its mission will reflect her lifelong commitment to civic involvement. “Mrs. Hillman’s accomplishments, borne of a strength of mind and the courage to stand for what she believes in, paired with her generosity of spirit, provide rich lessons for both students and policymakers alike,” Miller said.

The forum’s activities will be designed to involve students at all levels to help prepare them for civic engagement. The forum will also work to bring community leaders and young people together for education and mentoring aimed at fostering student interest and involvement in civic progress in the Pittsburgh region.

“The Elsie H. Hillman Civic Forum will serve as an opportunity to foster a civic dialogue that reaches across the generations to include representatives of all political affiliations, socio-economic status, and ideological differences, in order to bring people together to explore ways to make the Pittsburgh region a better place for all citizens,” Miller said.

Among the forum’s components will be a lecture series, a community advisory council, and a scholars program.

The Elsie H. Hillman Civic Forum lecture series will feature speakers of state and national prominence who reflect the qualities of leadership, dedication to public service, and inclusion and collaboration that Mrs. Hillman demonstrates. “The aim of the lecture series is to ignite in regional leaders and students a passion to give back to the community and become more thoughtfully engaged in the civic life of our region,” Miller said.

The forum’s advisory council will draw on the talents of accomplished individuals who will work with the institute’s staff to guide the forum’s mission and programming. The scholars program will support students conducting independent public policy research in such diverse areas as human services, public health, education, and community development.

Terry Miller joined the Institute of Politics staff in 1992 and was named director by Chancellor Nordenberg in September 2005. Prior to joining the institute, Miller founded and served as first executive director of POWER, a nonprofit organization that has provided support services to more than 13,000 women in recovery from addiction. Miller has been honored for her role in establishing POWER and continues to serve on its advisory council. She has served as a consultant on special initiatives with a number of regional nonprofit organizations as well as a member of several boards and advisory councils. In addition, Miller has served as an adjunct faculty member with both Pitt’s School of Social Work and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.