Family, Friends Establish Endowed Scholarship to Honor Late Community Leaders

September 21, 2017

Quick Facts

bullet point The Hill-Kay Scholarship will support Winthrop students pursuing careers in insurance or financial services.
bullet point Robert Hill was a longtime Fort Mill resident, while Dick Kay lived in Rock Hill for 44 years.

Family and friends of the late Robert Hill
and Dick Kay Jr. established and endowed
a scholarship for students pursuing
careers in insurance or financial services.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — The late Robert Hill and Dick Kay Jr. spent much of their lives giving — to their country, their families, their communities. To honor their memory and support Winthrop students pursuing careers in insurance or financial services, Hill and Kay's family and friends have established and endowed a new scholarship.

The Hill-Kay Scholarship, an endowed fund, will provide an annual award for a Winthrop student who has secured an internship with an insurance/financial services firm for which the student will receive official academic credit toward an undergraduate degree. The scholarship, which awards for the first time in fall 2018, will assist with travel, lodging and additional support necessary during the student's internship.

Richard Kay III '94 explained that the Hill-Kay Scholarship affords both families the opportunity to commemorate two men who gave so much to their communities.

"The scholarship was the best way that we could determine to give back to our local community and to a student in need — as Dad did in his State Farm agency by hiring Winthrop students," said Richard.

The Hill-Kay Scholarship illustrates the university's emphasis on creating a flourishing culture of philanthropy, with fundraising defined as a key priority in the Winthrop Plan, the university's strategic plan through 2025.

Both Robert and Dick have strong family ties to Winthrop. Robert's son, Michael '78 and wife Cheryl '78, earned Winthrop degrees. Dick's wife, June Davis Kay, attended Winthrop, and his son, Richard, earned a B.S. degree in 1994. Robert and Dick maintained close friendships with Bob Breakfield and Gay Randolph '72, both faculty members in Winthrop's College of Business Administration who also contributed to the Hill-Kay Scholarship.

Robert Hill served in the U.S. Marines-Third Marine Division-in the Pacific Theater. He also served in the South Carolina National Guard until his retirement as major in 1963. Robert worked as a State Farm insurance agent and realtor for 47 years. He and his late wife, Dorothy Alma Case, were longtime Fort Mill residents. Robert was active in his community, where he was president of the Jaycees, the Fort Mill Community Playhouse and the Chamber of Commerce. He was the chairman of the York County Tricentennial Committee, and he was named Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1961. Robert received Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow Award as well as the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce's Lifetime Business Achievement Award in 2005. He was named to the Fort Mill Hall of Fame in 2012.

Dick Kay lived in Rock Hill for 44 years, where he founded and owned the Dick Kay State Farm Insurance Agency. He served in the U.S. Army's elite Honor Guard in Washington, D.C., from 1969-71, with ceremonial duties at Arlington Cemetery, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the White House, where he served with distinction. Dick was a member of the Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Belton Area Museum Association and the Sertoma Club, and he served on numerous boards.

For more information, please contact Meredith Carter, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or

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