Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituaries: Dom Bennett D. Hill

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituaries: Dom Bennett D. Hill

Article excerpt

Dom Bennett D. Hill, O.S.B.,died on February 26,2005, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He was 70 years old. Father Bennett Hill was born on September 27, 1934, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of David and Muriel Clarke Hill. With his family he moved in 1944 to Philadelphia, where he attended public schools. He was the first African-American to graduate from Princeton University, where he received his B.A. in history cum laude in 1956. After graduation he taught at the Putney School in Vermont, but soon enrolled in Harvard, where he received an M.A. in history in 1958. After a period of study at Cambridge University, he received a Ph.D. in history from Princeton in 1963. In the same year he became the first African-American to be appointed by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 1964 and full professor in 1975. Between 1978 and 1981 he was Chairman of the History Department at Illinois.

In 1981 Father Hill took a leave of absence from the department to study at St. Anselm's Benedictine Abbey in Washington, D.C. There he was ordained in 1985 as a priest and as a monk in the Order of St. Benedict. For the next fifteen years he taught as a Visiting Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he offered courses in English Legal and Constitutional History, European Civilization, World History, Medieval Monasticism, and Medieval Marriage. At Georgetown Father Hill helped build the program in Medieval Studies and sat on the program committee for the 1999 Medieval Academy of America meeting at Georgetown. After retiring from Georgetown, Bennett served the parish of Our Lady of Mt. …

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