Mrs. Anne Steuart "Stu" Gantt Wilson remembers her late husband, Hillsman "Hilly" V. Wilson '51, B.C.L. '53, as "a very humble guy" who truly enjoyed his long association with William & Mary. "My husband loved the College so much," she says. "He received a partial football scholarship, played varsity football as an undergraduate and then went on to attend the Marshall-Wythe School of Law."
In 1988, the Wilsons honored the College's famous student-athlete tradition - and Hilly's brother, Lynwood '31 - when they established the Hillsman V. and Lynwood H. Wilson Athletic Endowment, which provides financial assistance to student-athletes on the football team, and the Hillsman V. and Lynwood H. Wilson Law Fellowship, which supports scholarships at the William & Mary Law School.
Today, as part of the Campaign for William & Mary, Stu is building on her husband's legacy by establishing a charitable remainder trust in support of the two Wilson endowments. "I'm just trying to do what he would have done if he were here," Stu says.
After he graduated from William & Mary, Hilly served in the Army as a first lieutenant, Judge Advocate General Corps, and then returned to his hometown of Crewe, Va. In 1955, he became the manager of the legal department at McCormick and Company, an international producer of seasonings, flavorings and specialty foods. He became the company's president and chief operating officer in 1979, and was later a director of Signet Bank of Maryland, the Union Trust Bank Corporation, Baltimore Life Insurance Company and the Bank of Virginia Company.
Remaining involved with his alma mater, Hilly was a founding trustee of the Law Foundation at the William & Mary Law School, a trustee of the Endowment Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association. He passed away in 1993.
In 2000, Stu honored her husband by making a significant gift toward the construction of the Law School's North Wing, which officially opened in 2002. The resulting Hillsman V. Wilson Room is a 40-seat classroom designated for the teaching of ethics.
Stu smiles and thinks of her husband whenever she hears from students who have benefited from the two Wilson scholarships. "I thoroughly enjoy the letters that I receive from the recipients. They're very appreciative young people and they often tell me they wouldn't have been able to attend William and Mary without the scholarships," she says. "I am happy to do what I can."
Just like Hilly would have done.