By Lisa Asher
Adding to a long list of honors, Dr. William (Bill) Hillis was named the 2010 Collins Outstanding Professor Award, an annual honor given by Baylor seniors. A 1953 Baylor graduate, Hillis is currently Baylor’s Cornelia Marschall Smith Distinguished Professor of Biology.
Hillis received the Baylor Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998 in recognition of a long and impressive career. After earning an MD from Johns Hopkins University in 1957, he focused on researching human infectious disease epidemics worldwide, serving in various clinical and hospital settings, as well as with the U.S. Air Force, retiring from the Reserves at the rank of colonel.
From 1962 to 1982, he was on faculty at Johns Hopkins, where he also served as a virologist and resident coordinator at the school’s Center for Medical Research and Training in Calcutta, India, and director of the School of Medicine’s outpatient clinical research center.
In 1981, Hillis returned to Baylor to serve as chair of the biology department. From 1985 to 1989, he was the university’s executive vice president and was vice president of student life until 1998, when he returned to full-time teaching.
Hillis is a three-time recipient of Baylor Mortarboard’s Distinguished Professor Award, and Student Congress gave him the Outstanding University Administrator Award in 1994.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Baylor Alumni Association.