This is the look on Rick Hill’s face when he received a surprise early birthday gift. His son and daughter coordinated the gift of a lifetime – a scholarship in perpetuity in Rick’s name. The photo is from a gathering at Trinity University where the scholarship was announced. Read the comments below from his son Rick Jr. for the rest of the story:

“The landline phone my roommate had mounted between our beds in my Trinity University dorm room would not stop ringing.

It was October 1990 and I was at my desk studying for midterms. I was tempted to just unplug it but I decided to get up and answer it to voice my displeasure.

It was my Dad. Before I could complain, he said “I have great news.”

Since I was graduating that Spring and told him I regretted not getting to study aboard because of baseball, he laid out his plans to take the family on a 2-week trip over the holidays to Australia and New Zealand.


This was a serious upgrade over our summer trips to Lake Barkley, Kentucky where we’d pack our brown Ford Gran Torino station wagon and drive four hours south from St. Louis to stay in a glorified Motel 6.

Since I was going to graduate that Spring and my sister Laura was not far behind in her studies at Arizona State, he reasoned we should splurge on what could be our last extended trip together as a family.

It’s been over 35 years and I still remember every stop on our 8-city, 2-country tour.  From the Stephen Sondheim play at the Sydney Opera House to the Māori haka dance performance in Queenstown and the conversations we had over unforgettable meals. There are so many memories we still talk about today.

When I got back to campus, I described the experience to my friends as “the trip of the lifetime.”

The Trinity students I know who take the Sports in England class describe their experience the same way.  The quality instruction, priority access to venues, access to experts helping compare British and American sport models, and the opportunity to explore so many historical sites, made it a Trip of Lifetime.

That gave me an idea.

Dad, can you come up here and join me?

Luckily for our family our first Trip of Lifetime wasn’t our last. My Dad’s career gave us the financial means to take additional trips. His fear that we wouldn’t travel together was unfounded, especially since most were what my sister and I call a NWW…a no wallet week for us.

Dad for your 80th birthday we want to pay you back. We are going to establish a scholarship in Rick Hill’s name to send one student on every Sport in London class in perpetuity.

Honoring you this way ties in your love of trips, sports, and philanthropic desire to provide educational opportunities.

Thank you for everything you have done for our family.  Our Trips of a Lifetime have had an incredible impact on us, and we know it will be very meaningful for the recipients of these scholarships.

Happy Birthday Dad!”

Hill Investment Group