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For the Record

Lawrence J. Hill, left, is stepping down as USITT's Treasurer. Mr. Hill is noted for his good humor, appreciated by his fellow officers and Directors at Large, as well as by the staff and members. Here he shares a laugh with John Uthoff, center, and Brian Reed, right .

Photo/Barbara E.R. Lucas



Saying 'Goodbye'
-- And 'Hello'

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell
USITT President

Where is the good in goodbye?
-- Meredith Willson, The Music Man

Dr. Lawrence Hill has selflessly and tirelessly served USITT, not only as our Treasurer (since 2002), but in many other ways. As Treasurer he has worked alongside Administrative & Finance Manager Carol Carrigan and CPA Jim Bandoblu to revise our financial systems making this valuable information easily accessible to all members of USITT.

While this task was heroic, it is only one of many contributions Mr. Hill has made to our organization during this term of office and a previous stint as Treasurer from 1996 to 1998. He has optimized the use of investments and, together with Past President Richard Durst, inaugurated the USITT@50 development initiative. Now concluding its second year, it has raised more than $300,000 toward "Honoring Our Past and Securing Our Future."

Beyond the call of duty, he has actively and effectively mentored each of the Institute's incoming officers and Directors at Large, providing valuable budget information and making each more knowledgeable, comfortable, and better able to perform their job. From serving as an active leader in the Board's effort to redefine the Institute as we seek our place in the 21st century, to routinely encouraging and providing for student participation in the organization, Mr. Hill has been a key player in solidifying the health and welfare of USITT.

At the March Board of Directors meetings in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Hill, announced his decision to make this year his last as Treasurer. He will take his final bow on June 30, 2007, at the end of USITT's fiscal year. The Board and staff of USITT are indebted to and very fond of Mr. Hill and his wit, wisdom, and humanity. He will be sorely missed among our ranks.

Mr. Hill joined USITT in 1968 and served in a number of leadership roles in both the regional and national arenas. He served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Boundary Section and was twice elected and served as a Director at Large for the National organization. He was Programming Chair for the 1987 USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Minneapolis and served as Finance Committee Chair for five years.

It was with particular pride that in 1996 he became a Fellow of the Institute. In 2005 he received one of the Institute's most prestigious awards: the Joel E. Rubin Founder's Award. That award is given to a USITT member in recognition of outstanding and continued service to the Institute. (See story about that awards presentation here.)

Past President Bruce Brockman observed, when he presented the Founder's Award, "Following a distinguished career as a theatre educator, designer, historian, and department head, Dr. Lawrence J. Hill took on the task of treasurer of USITT . . . giving generously of his time at a point in life where retirement activities would seem far more interesting than the finances of USITT."

We're sorry Mr. Brockman invoked those images of "greener pastures" since Mr. Hill has come to agree with that. He will hand over the reins and the coffers at the conclusion of this fiscal year in order to take time to engage in some of those more interesting pursuits, many of which he discussed in an interview in the August 2002 edition of Sightlines (available here).

All of us at USITT offer our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Hill for the profound influence he has had and the gifts of time, expertise, and acuity he has so generously shared.

Yet Snoopy's quandary persists:

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos." -- Charles M. Schulz

Hello and welcome, Travis DeCastro, USITT's incoming Interim Treasurer!

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