Hilliard Endowment Records

Identifier: AC 0489

Scope and Contents

The Albert and Emily Hilliard Endowment Records consist of annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, nominations for candidates for the chair, exhibit brochures, and publicity material. As visiting Hilliard Scholars, highly recognized professors, authors, and artists have lectured, given literary readings, met with classes, conducted workshops and staged exhibits for UNR students, faculty, and the general public; resumes for many Hilliard Scholars are included in the collection. There is also information about the Joanne DeLongchamps house on Center Street in Reno, where several visiting Hilliard Scholars stayed during their residencies at the University. Publicity material for Hilliard programming includes issues of the "UNR Item-Miser" campus newsletter.

Several University faculty and other Nevada authors who served on Hilliard Fund committees were later inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, including William Fox, Dr. Robert M. Gorrell, Dr. James Hulse, Dr. Charlton Laird, Dr. Ann Ronald, and Professor Sessions S. Wheeler. Frank Bergon, a Professor of English at Vassar College and novelist, was a Hilliard Scholar in 1992 and inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1998. Teresa Jordan was a Hilliard Scholar in 1994 and was one of the first Nevada writers to receive the Friends of the University Library's Silver Pen Award. The collection includes correspondence from these authors.

The poets Allen Ginsberg and Hayden Carruth provided unpublished poems so that the University's Black Rock Press could create broadsides to commemorate their visits to campus as Hilliard Scholars.


  • 1952-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1985-1992


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Historical Note

Emily Robinson Hilliard was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Charles Robinson and Sabine Antoinette, and grew up in New York City. She married Albert Hilliard in Reno in July 1933. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in language and literature from the University of Nevada in 1946.

She was a member of the Nevada Artists' Association and exhibited her oil and pastel portraits in Reno and Carson City. A short story writer and guest newspaper columnist, she was a state president of the National Pen Women and of the Reno Pen Women. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and the Alliance Francaise. She served as president of the Washoe County Democratic Women's Club and as a member of the Washoe Library Board of Trustees. She was also a life member of the Friends of the University of Nevada Library and Friends of the Washoe County Library. She was affiliated with the Unitarian Church. Emily Hilliard is listed as a Silver Benefactor in the Honor Court at the UNR campus.

She died in Reno on August 27, 1970.

Albert E. Hilliard was born on November 27, 1892, in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Iowa and obtained his law degree from George Washington Law School and was a Reno lawyer for thirty years, serving as President of the Washoe County Bar Association in 1943. In 1945, he was appointed to a standing committee for cooperation between the University and the Washoe County Bar Association.

He was active in the Washoe County Democratic Club. President Franklin D. Roosevelt endorsed him when he made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1938, running against Senator Patrick McCarran. Hilliard was elected to the University of Nevada System Board of Regents in 1946 and served until 1950. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Scottish Rite Bodies of Nevada, the Kerak Temple of the Shrine, the Reno Elks Lodge, and the Reno Lions Club.

Albert Hilliard died in Reno on November 6, 1961. A portion of the UNR Physical Sciences Complex was named the Albert Hilliard Memorial Plaza in May of 1970. A portrait of Hilliard by Hans Mayer-Kassel was presented to the University in December 1971 to hang in the Chemistry Building.

The Hilliards had one son, Benjamin Clarke Hilliard III.

Through a bequest from Emily Hilliard's estate, the Albert and Emily Hilliard Chair in the Humanities endowment was established in 1972, under the auspices of the College of Arts and Science. The Dean of the College functioned as the financial officer for the endowment. The endowment was to provide a chair whose occupant would be the Hilliard Distinguished Professor of the Humanities. The chair was set up as an in-residency program with the understanding that it would be filled as funds permit and appropriate projects become available. Current faculty and staff of the University of Nevada, Reno, are not eligible for appointment to the Hilliard Chair. Emeritus Professor of English Charlton Laird was appointed as the first incumbent of the Chair for Distinguished Professor in the Humanities for 1972-1973.

The Hilliard Fund is supervised by the Hilliard Committee, a group of faculty and members from the community appointed annually by the President of the University. The committee has had several names, including the Hilliard Foundation Board, the Hilliard Foundation Committee, the Albert and Emily Hilliard Fund Committee, the Hilliard Endowment Fund, and the Hilliard Memorial Fund Committee. Individual members of the faculty, academic departments, and other campus organizations submitted nominations to the committee for consideration to be appointed Hilliard Scholars. The committee selected scholars to be awarded funding to visit the campus and also selected other campus humanities projects for Hilliard funding. In June 2003, the Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents approved a reorganization of the University of Nevada, Reno, which led to the establishment of the College of Liberal Arts. The College of Liberal Arts Hilliard Endowment in the Humanities provides support to bring scholars in the humanities and related fields to campus for public appearances and occasionally partners with other humanities organizations to bring speakers to Reno.


1.41 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Albert and Emily Hilliard Endowment Records consist of annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, nominations for candidates for the chair, exhibit brochures, and publicity material. As visiting Hilliard Scholars, highly recognized professors, authors, and artists have lectured, given literary readings, met with classes, conducted workshops and staged exhibits for UNR students, faculty, and the general public; resumes for many Hilliard Scholars are included in the collection.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Hilliard Endowment Background; 2) Hilliard Committees; 3) DeLongchamps House; 4) Hilliard Newsletters; 5) Budget Reports; 6) Hilliard Scholar and Programming Nominations and Appointments; 7) Publicity Material for Hilliard Programming

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfered by Robert Blesse, former Chairman of the Hilliard Endowment Committee.

Separated Materials

The Ginsberg and Carruth poems have been transferred to the Black Rock Press Records, AC 0436; and photographs were transferred to University Photograph Archives as collection number UNRA-P3444.

Hilliard Endowment Fund Scholars and Grant-Supported Programming, Partial List

Dr. Henry Glassie III, Indiana University
Dr. Jill Johnston, New York City art critic
Spider Kedelsky, Arts Consultant
Hugh R. Trevor-Roper, Historian
Dr. Susan Armitage, Washington State University
Regionalism / Identity - Art Exhibition
John Dufresne, Writer
Dr. Virginia Scharff, University of New Mexico
Dr. Herbert Lindenberger, Stanford University
Claire Bolton, Alembic Press
John Nichols, Writer
Shigehisa Kuriyama, Nichibunken, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Novel Ideas Reading Series
Dr. Victoria Cass, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kevin Hartigan, Catholic Relief Service
Dr. Donald Pisani, University of Oklahoma
Harry Reese, University of California, Department of Art Studio
Wole Soyinka, Writer
Dr. Jean Marie D'Amato, Louisiana Scholars' College
Dr. Reinhold Grimm, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Harry and Sandra Reese, Book Artists
Dr. Jan F. Triska, Emeritus Professor, Stanford University
Dr. Walker Conner, Trinity College
Diane Wakoski, Poet
Allen Ginsberg, Poet
Dr. Basil Dmytryshyn, Emeritus Professor, Portland State University
Dr. Cassandra L. Langer, Queens College; Hunter College; School of the Visual Arts
Dr. Richard Hrebenar, University of Utah
Hayden Carruth, Poet
Rachel Rosenthal, Artist
Dr. Frank Bergon, Vassar College
Dr. Mary Daly, Boston College
Tom Marioni, Artist
Barbara Hammer, Artist
Willie Varela, Artist
Teresa Jordan, Writer
Dr. William H. Beezley, Texas Christian University
Jurgen Wolf, Artist
June Jordan, Poet
Dr. Juan B. Avalle-Arce, University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Eunice Lipton, Art Historian
Harold Gilliam, Writer
Kim Cheonae, Artist
Joel Feldman, Artist
Dorianne Laux, Writer
Dr. Kristal Brent Zook, University of California, Los Angeles
Galen Rowell, Mountain Light Photography
Wendy Ewald, Photographer
Roberta Meyers, Dramatist
Mark Salzman, Writer and Musician
Gary Snyder, Poet
Memories and Vision - Art Exhibition
Dr. Sven Liljeblad, Dept. of Anthropology, Idaho State University - Hilliard Foundation Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology
Allan Bloom, Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago
Dr. Richard Etulain, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Jeff Kelley, San Diego art critic
Dr. Christine Cassel, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Dr. Jean D'Amato Thomas, Northwestern State University and Louisiana Scholars College
Dr. Carolyn Allen, University of Washington
Dr. William Arrowsmith, Boston University
Dr. Margaret Wilkerson, University of California-Berkeley
Professor Edith Borroff, State University of New York at Binghamton
Carolyn Doty, novelist
Paul H. Smith, Library of Congress
Deborah Horrell, Artist
Dr. Vera Norwood, University of New Mexico
Dr. Charlton Laird, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Nevada, Reno
Guide to the Hilliard Endowment Records
Betty Glass
July 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. University Archives Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno NV 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)