Donor Stories and Legacies

“A Force for Good in Changing the World”

Photo of Martin (Marty) and Jan Hiller.
Martin (Marty) and Jan Hiller

Martin (Marty) and Jan Hiller met as freshmen at Trine University located in the far northeastern portion of Indiana (Angola) and married soon after graduation. Little did Marty and Jan realize that some thirty-four years later they would be spending a significant amount of time in the northwestern part of the state (South Bend).

Though neither Jan nor Marty attended the University of Notre Dame, they were aware of the name and reputation for its excellence in Catholic education and, of course, its tradition of great athletics. Like many, they did not fully comprehend the full mission of Notre Dame until their youngest son, Jordan (ND ’12), was accepted to the University. “That moment forever changed our Catholic family,” said Marty. “When Jordan received his acceptance letter, there was not a dry eye in our house!”

Jan and Marty have three adult children, Wesley, Christie, and Jordan. All are married, and each has brought the Hillers the precious gift of grandchildren. During the time Jordan was at Notre Dame, everyone in the Hiller family attended many football games and other events—the engagement has been a true family love. With growing interest, the Hillers came to understand the mission of Notre Dame—a great Catholic university where students seek knowledge, where faith and reason resonate, and where outward focus and caring for others is alive.

“A very close friend once shared with me, find your passion and everything else takes care of itself. Jan and I used this advice in seeking ways to give back and support the mission of Our Lady’s University. In particular, we found that using structured giving with both a charitable lead trust and charitable remainder trust allowed us to support university causes that inspire us and at the same time help us plan our family’s financial future. These structured gifts helped us support the work of Professor David Hyde, Director of the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, and his team in the Adult Stem Cell Research along with the Alliance for Catholic Education and other aspects of student life on campus,” offered Marty.

Marty finished, “Our recommendation is to invest the time and gain the knowledge about the many areas where Notre Dame is a force for good in changing the world. There is a place for your giving and a method that will allow you to achieve your goals, with passion, supporting this great institution. Notre Dame is an incredible place, one that makes us better each and every day. We feel very blessed to have developed the friends and to have been part of the Notre Dame community.”