University News

Eric Hill Memorial Scholarship in Honor of Michael Meador

May 26, 2015

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MACOMB, IL - The family of Eric Hill (1981-2010) has established a scholarship in his name to honor Michael Meador, Hill's former employer. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Macomb High School senior attending Western Illinois University, one who exemplifies the qualities that made Hill an outstanding individual.

"Eric was dedicated to serving his family, his church, his country and his community," said his wife, Erin Harrison. "His dedication to family made him a wonderful father and a loving husband, and his likable personality and generosity made him a respected man who had many dear friends. He was an active volunteer in his church and in teaching children's Sunday school classes. He also served in his community as a volunteer for multiple organizations and fundraising events."

Hill was a 2000 graduate of Macomb High School and a 2006 graduate of WIU, with a degree in law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA). His professional career included employment with the Macomb Police Department, the Illinois National Guard and Meador Investigations (Lincoln, IL). The scholarship will be awarded beginning Fall 2015 to an MHS senior with documented volunteer or community service, mentoring or church involvement. Financial need will be a consideration.

"Getting a college education was of the utmost importance to Eric," Erin said. "We married young and struggled to make ends meet while in school, sometimes working two or three jobs each. But as we got further into our education, our burdens were eased by scholarships and grants that allowed us to study more and work a little less. Looking back at our own history at WIU, I decided that a great way to honor him was to help a few hard-working students get their start with a little less financial burden to bear. Every bit helps, and Eric was always about helping others."

The scholarship also honors Michael Meador, Hill's employer at the time of his death.

"Michael Meador is a man of admirable character and great integrity," Erin said. "He took it upon himself to go far above and beyond to provide support and security for Eric's family. This scholarship honors Michael as a small token of sincere thanks from the Hill family."

Meador's selflessness and compassion has created a lasting impression and great amount of gratitude with the Hill family.

"Although Eric's life was cut short at the age of 28, his legacy of helping others lives on through those who knew and loved him," Harrison said. "This scholarship will continue that legacy and help MHS students further their education at Western."

Contributions to the Eric Hill Memorial Scholarship, in Honor of Michael Meador, are welcome. Gifts can be made online at or mailed to the WIU Foundation, 1 University Circle, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455.

Posted By: Julie Murphy, WIU Foundation (
Office of University Relations