NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 20, 2015) - The Association of Junior Leagues International today announced that noted philanthropist Lyda Hill is the winner of the 2015 Mary Harriman Award for Community Leadership. The award was made at AJLI's 93rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles on April 17.

In receiving The Junior League's most prestigious award made to an individual League member the long-time member of the Junior League of Dallas joins such past winners as former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Martha Rivers Ingram, chairman of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trustees and a noted philanthropist and patron of the arts; Karen Cullen Luke, lifelong civic leader in Oklahoma City and vice chair of the committee that built The Oklahoma National Memorial & Museum; Florence Shapiro, a long-time member of the Texas Senate; and Samira Modad, a tireless advocate for public health and education initiatives in Mexico. Ms. Hill also joins two other distinguished Junior League of Dallas Mary Harriman Award winners: Ruth Altschuler in 2002 and Jan Langbein in 2007.

Although Ms. Hill is best known by many for her embrace of the Giving Pledge in 2010, joining such other philanthropic leaders as Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and Richard and Joan Branson in committing to donating the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, her list of achievements as a philanthropist, volunteer, entrepreneur and generous booster of public institutions is equally impressive.

Her interest in voluntarism led to the creation of the Volunteer Connection, which matches volunteers with organizations in need. For that initiative, she was honored with the President's Volunteer Action Award and an appointment to President Ronald Reagan's Advisory Council on Private Sector Initiatives.

Her success as an entrepreneur included building Hill World Travel into the largest travel agency in the U.S. in its time.

Her own personal battle with breast cancer inspired investments in game-changing scientific and medical developments and led to the launch of Remeditex Ventures, which invests in early biomedical research by universities and health care institutions, and the Oklahoma Breast Care Center.

In 2013, she became the only living single woman to make the Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America's most generous donors. Among the recipients of her generosity are her alma mater, The Hockaday School, which will use her contributions to fund a STEM program, and the University of Colorado's UTeach, which prepares a new generation of math and science teachers. She has also underwritten a substantial Challenge Grant to Meals on Wheels; funded the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Moon Shots Program as well as the Center for BrainHealth, which aids the recovery of military veterans from traumatic brain injuries; and supported environmental and marine conservation efforts by the Nature Conservancy and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

In addition, she gives her time and ideas to a wide variety of causes including the Visiting Nurse Associations, the Dallas Chapter of the World Presidents' Organization, the Crystal Charity Ball, the Dallas and Texas chapters of the American Heart Association and Easter Seals of North Texas, among many others.

"It is no exaggeration to state that Lyda Hill truly lives up to the example set so many years ago by our founder, Mary Harriman," said AJLI President Ellen Rose. "Lyda, over a remarkable lifetime, has quietly built a legacy that demonstrates clearly that success in business -- as in life itself -- best serves as a springboard to helping others."

About the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award
In 1901, a 19-year-old debutante with a social conscience rallied 80 of her peers to improve the squalid living conditions of immigrants on New York City's Lower East Side, forming the first Junior League. Eighty-nine years later, in 1990, the AJLI Board of Directors created the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award as a way of recognizing an individual Junior League member whose volunteer efforts embody Mary Harriman's pioneering spirit, her sense of social responsibility, and her ability to motivate others to share their talents through effective volunteer action. It serves as a modern-day link to our rich heritage -- and to the tradition Mary began.

About The Association of Junior Leagues International
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.

Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) is comprised of more than 150,000 women in 292 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world.

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