Matt Hill is our Distinguished Alumnus for 2019. He joins an elite class of alums including 2014 DA, Lawton Langford (CEO, Community Volunteer, ’78), 2015 DA, Brigadier General John Richardson (youngest general in the US Army, ’87), 2016 DA Dr. Deryk Jones (orthopedic surgeon, ‘82), 2017 DA Betti Kathryn Grant (logistics contractor for the National Science Federation, ’76), and 2018 DA Mary Shovlain (correspondent and media producer for the Vatican, ’88).
Hill was a National Merit Scholar during his time at Maclay and was always headed to make an impact in the world. After graduating from the University of Chicago and the University of California with his Master of Mathematics, he took on Wall Street where he built a successful career. After 15 years in the financial world, Hill retired to Madagascar for a more simple, natural, and relaxed lifestyle, but his work was not done yet. He immediately went to the African country and began working on projects to help the people of Madagascar. He worked with training school teachers, designed a program to help local fishermen protect their own coral reef, and re-grew a local rainforest which had been consumed by wildfire. He was so fascinated with the process of re-growing the forest, that he decided to create a non-profit, Green Again: Madagascar, working to restore the forests of Northeast Madagascar. In 2015, after establishing his organization, Hill decided to get his Master of Restoration-Ecology from the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2018.